Recent BIS graduate, Jonathan, takes time out from his work at Babcock International to chat with us.
1. What first attracted you to the BSc Business Information Systems (BIS) course?
I have always had a passion for computing and studied the subject throughout the entirety of my time at school so continuing to study the field at university seemed an obvious choice. Despite my passion for IT I did not share the same passion for developing or programming. The BIS course offered a real balance between introducing programming without overpowering you whilst also offering knowledge of the applied use of IT throughout business.
2. Is it compulsory to be a geek to study on BIS?
Absolutely not, I wouldn’t consider myself a geek. In fact majority of the people on the course were not stereotypical “geeks”, certainly not to look at anyway. There’s no denying that there were certainly some geeks in the other computing courses but not in BIS, well perhaps one or two.
3. What was the most important thing you gained from studying on BIS?
The thing I gained that I feel is the most important is in fact not something academic. BIS made me into a comfortably confident person, when I began the course I was relatively shy and the thought of presenting to a crowd was unthinkable. Now I can confidently present to people of all levels and whether it be in or out of work. This skill helped massively at my assessment centre and job interviews for the job that I currently have.
4. What makes the BIS course different from other courses?
BIS is an incredibly supportive course, the lecturers are always available and approachable. On the BIS course there isn’t this culture of going to a lecture, taking screeds of notes and then struggling to make sense of it all on your own, there is always help available. I’ve heard experiences from many of my friends’ time at university and they simply did not get the support anywhere near to what I got.
5. Does BIS have anything to do with real life?
Yes, most of the material taught is current and relevant. I remember a time that I sat in a class thinking “I don’t know why we’re studying this, this isn’t going to be relevant in my future”. However after securing my job all these things I thought were once irrelevant started to become very real.
6. Was there ever a point when you felt like giving up? What made you carry on?
Yes there was, towards the end of second year I really considered cutting my course short and not continuing with my honours year. I was struggling with money, my grades had started to slip and I had just lost all motivation. The only thing that made me carry on was that I had come this far I at least had to finish 3rd year. After completing my first semester of 3rd year my grades had dramatically improved and in turn I became more determined to finish the course and I went on to finish my honours year.
7. Would you recommend BIS?
Yes, I would recommend this course to anyone that has a passion for IT/Business but not necessarily the technical side.
8. What single piece of advice would you give someone planning to study BIS?
The single piece of advice I would give is play to your strengths. Know what you’re good at and focus on it. I got caught up with worrying that I didn’t know how to code in C++ or I didn’t know how to configure a network whilst neglecting the skills that I had. If you realise what you’re good at early on then it makes you far more confident and it helps to clarify your thoughts about your future career.
9. What are you doing now?
I am now following a 2 year IT Graduate Development Programme at Babcock International, a FTSE 100 company and one of the UK’s leading Engineering Services enterprises.
10. How do you feel about the future?
I’m incredibly optimistic about the future; I’m working for an international organisation so the opportunities are limitless. In terms of academia I am now looking to study to become a Chartered IT Professional with the British Computer Society (which has accredited the BIS course).