Being part of the Department of Computer Science at York, right from day one, has been nothing but rewarding for me. As soon as I arrived at the University I was given access to the 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week study space, relaxation spaces and the labs, which I have used extensively since coming to York! Within the first week there are events such as the Raspberry Pi Challenge and the welcome talks which not only show off the skill-sets of students before the degree, but which also help really bring people together within the department from the get go so that in the first lecture I knew both who was lecturing me and who was sat beside me, which helped greatly in settling into a new life!
Work is fun?!
Over the course of a year-and-a-half of being part of the department I have been able to take great advantage of the many opportunities it provides. Firstly, I have been employed on a part-time basis by the Department to help run open days and UCAS days which are extremely fun from my point of view, and this fits in very nicely with my studies while also boosting my CV! The Department also offers placement years and I don’t think I could both thank and recommend enough the Department’s Industrial Placement Coordinator for the frankly insane amount of hours they put into getting me a job that I’ll love on my placement year, while also happily meeting me on a one-to-one basis whenever I had the slightest question or worry. I will now be enjoying a placement next year on campus at IBM, which I don’t think would have been possible without the support and unique opportunities provided by the department and its FastTrack system.
Networking without protocols
Another important way the Department has benefitted me is through academic networking. By helping out the Department in different ways I have been able to spend more time around lecturers and staff, and I feel that I can speak to anyone in the Department more like a friend than a superior! Another benefit of this is that when I’m working on a pet project, I know that my lecturers will always be able and willing to help me fix any problems, or may even just want to talk to me about the project because they are genuinely interested in it, which is a great feeling and really encourages me to work more on both academic and pet projects equally!
The amazing staff!
Recently Dr Will Smith (no, not THAT one) has been a real help to me in my role as Press and Publicity Officer for HackSoc, the Computer Science society here at York, by supplying me with brain teasers for the emails I write weekly. He also has lectured me and helped me in practicals all through first and second year so far, as well as working on the open and UCAS days the department puts on. His passion for his work is really inspiring and also I believe it’s the reason every student loves his lectures. However Will is not alone, there are plenty of other great lecturers from award winning Professor Colin Runciman, to the ever energetic Dr Mike Freeman. Being taught by people with such a passion and energy for Computer Science really makes it fun and easy to learn from them and I believe is a strong advantage of being taught at York.
The best bit!
And the most rewarding thing from this whole experience so far is the friends I have made, not just the friends I sit next to in lectures and practicals, not just the lecturers and academic staff, not just the admin staff that I work with, but everyone. I am not even halfway through my degree yet and I feel like both York and the Department provide me with a home full of friendly faces and infinite opportunities.
What should you know?
Before coming here I could not have anticipated how much I’d fit in within the department, and although I think I was ready for a big life change I was honestly a little scared of the whole transition process. What if it went horribly wrong? What if I couldn’t fit in with friends? What if the work was too hard? What if I found I hated Computer Science etc?
The one message that I have always tried to get across to every student, member of staff, and parent that has asked me whether or not York was a good choice for me, is this: It seems stupid all the stressing I did before coming to York, because being here feels so utterly natural. I wake up in the mornings happy to be here, go to my lectures and practicals because I enjoy the work, and look forward to my future within York and Computer Science and for me that’s the most important thing, looking forward to the future.
Thanks for reading,