Chat with Jonathan

Recent BIS graduate, Jonathan, takes time out from his work at Babcock International to chat with us.

Jonathan
BIS grad Jonathan, now working for Babcock International

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).

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Chat with Kayvon

We chat with recent BSc Business Information Systems (BIS) graduate, Kayvon

BIS graduate Kayvon
BIS graduate Kayvon

1. Tell us three things about yourself.
I have lived in Edinburgh all my life (why would I want to live anywhere else?). I was president of the university badminton team and competed in the university league and cup competitions. I also love to play football!

2. What first attracted you to the BIS course?
On reading the prospectus, it was clear the BIS course offered a variety of essential modules and was designed to bring together theory and practice, including the option for a year-long placement. I hoped the course would help me improve my skills in an IT and business context and put me in good stead for a job in the IT business industry.

3. Is it compulsory to be a geek to study on BIS?
No, I’m not a geek and I have been quite successful! An enthusiasm to learn and effort in your studies will help you to be a successful BIS student.

4. What was your favourite subject on BIS?
There are many interesting subjects covered in BIS but one of my favourites was Knowledge Management. It was a very thought provoking module that involved lessons and assessments that prepared me well for the honours project dissertation and no doubt for the future.

5. Was there ever a point when you felt like giving up? What made you carry on?
A couple times during my dissertation I felt a little stressed and sometimes felt like giving up (I’m told this is perfectly normal). Great support and guidance from my honours project tutor and other university lecturers helped me focus on the task at hand and get through the challenging period. I should probably mention my family too who supported me a great deal throughout. It can be difficult at times but organise yourself well and it can also be very rewarding (once submitted!).

6. Would you recommend BIS?
Absolutely! BIS is a great course and I’m glad I decided to enrol. The BIS course is different from some courses in that you can do a full year’s work placement in the IT/business industry. This was invaluable and I learnt a lot from my experience working within the industry and applying what I had had learned in class. It also helps you confirm what you want to do in future.

7. You’ve finished the BIS course – how do you feel about the future?
Although I am sad to be leaving university, I know I am ready to take on the ‘real world’ thanks to my university degree. I now have a strong CV full of interesting and industry respected skills/ modules that I have studied and also a full year’s works based learning experience. I am confident employers will highly regard the skills and opportunities that the BIS course has provided me.

8. Where do you go from here?
Thanks to my degree, I now have a variety of skills and work experience. This has helped me to gain employment with an international technology company and would help when applying for graduate jobs.

9. What advice would you give to new students at Edinburgh Napier?
– Use a diary to keep you on track with module deadlines, university events, and exams.
– Always make a study plan when approaching exam time. Exams can be fun if you have learnt the content!
– Make sure you join a society at Edinburgh Napier if you have a particular interest in a sport or hobby. It’s a great way to meet new people and a great social life too.

10. What advice would you give to new BIS students?
– Make sure take up the opportunity to do a full year’s student placement. This is a great chance to challenge yourself and use some skills you have learned from your first few years at university.
– Always buy or borrow the module textbooks at the start for any course modules.
– Enjoy it, deciding to study BIS will be the best decision you have ever made!