Intent on expanding his IT knowledge and learning about the technology industry, Blackburn-born Dev Gonsai plumped for Edge Hill’s Computing programme, but found himself attracted to more than just the course:

“I think there was a couple of major factors which swayed me towards it – firstly was the location, both aesthetically and geographically. The fact that this astounding campus was only a quick drive from home was a massive plus for me. This paired with the fantastic Computing programme the university offered made it an obvious choice.”

During his studies, Dev worked as a Student Assistant on University Open Days for the Computing programme. “A lot of the work involved talking to potential students about what the programme offered in terms of degree and job opportunities. I thought about taking a sandwich placement to increase my employability after university, but ultimately, I didn’t really commit to the idea and chose to continue my studies. I think taking a sandwich placement to get work experience that employers crave these days was something I should have considered – just to build up my CV and technical skills.”

Talent is an asset, but will only get you so far without proper preparation, as Dev can testify:

“Technical knowledge and ability is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Having a well-built CV and refined presentation skills are key elements that employers need to see when sifting through applicants at the rate they do. Edge Hill helped provide me with these skills. The lecturers, the course, the Careers Centre – they all contributed to preparing me for the real world after education.”

Although he initially applied to become at consultant at QA Consulting through the academy’s training programme, Dev found himself training to become a Trainer within the QA academy. “At the moment I spend my time either planning how to train or training the graduates who come in to become gateway consultants. It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Although it wasn’t the job he foresaw himself doing, Dev says that he couldn’t be happier.

“As cheesy as it sounds, I enjoy everything about this job. The technology, the people, the environment – it’s all amazing. Everyone at QA Consulting is so friendly and motivated to do well in their work – it’s incredibly refreshing.”

Dev cites his biggest success as his transition from trainee to Trainer, during which process he had to prove his ability to think on his feet. “I had to produce a presentation for a class on a topic I had no idea about. I researched, planned and presented it, and now I’m becoming a Trainer, so it clearly must have gone okay! It was a difficult piece of work to produce, but I did everything I could and it turned into a victory.”

Asked whether he felt supported by Edge Hill after graduation, Dev replied “Absolutely. The University has been nothing but helpful after the transition from graduate to employee. If I had any questions in regards to references or post-graduate opportunities, the university was glad to help. It’s something I really appreciate. I can honestly say that Edge Hill University did a fantastic job in preparing me for my future.”

Dev advises students to apply for every job that interests them. “Don’t worry about location, finance etc. – just get into the world and work on your craft. Go to the careers fair, give out your CV, work on your LinkedIn page; there’s so much you can do to make you more employable.”

“Don’t be afraid of rejection. I think that’s the main piece of advice I can give to any graduates looking for a graduate job. The fact that you have the ability to get your name out there through university is such an asset – don’t waste it because you don’t think you’re good enough. Go into interviews and assessment days and show them who you are and that you’re the right person for the job.”

As a tipoff to IT students, he also recommends not assuming that online resources are always quicker to use, “Personally, I should have gone to the library more. I swear some of the PDF’s I found online after countless hours of gruelling Google searches are easily found in the library. Such is the life of an IT graduate, I suppose!”

Find out more about studying Computing at Edge Hill here.