The HE Computing Final Year Project Open Day took place on Tuesday 19 May at the David Hockey Building. The event provided an opportunity for second year, final year Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to showcase their work, skills and expertise to local and national employers. The annual event, now in its second year, took place and was organised by the University Centre Computing academic staff, in partnership with Beacon Recruitment & Placements Services Ltd, a member of the Bradford College Group.
Two HND Computing and Systems Development students, Kate and Amar have successfully gained employment with employers who attended the event. Katie Mistry said "I feel that the Open Day was a success in showcasing the teams’ skills as a whole and as an individual. By taking part I feel it has opened up a network of opportunities. It has got me noticed in the Web Development and Graphic Design industry in which I wish to work in. Taking part has led to me being employed by a Bradford based IT software company called Sett." Both students were interviewed and successfully gained employment. Amar Pars commented on his success said: “The final year project Open Day created so many opportunities for me. It was a great chance to meet likeminded people who have been successful in the industry. I recently got a job in the industry thanks to the event.”
Laura Fisher, BSc (Hons) Business Computing Solutions with Networking student said “The Final Year Project Open Day was a fantastic opportunity to bring together employment-ready graduates and skill-seeking employers. For me, it was a platform to shout about my project and to demonstrate, and receive feedback on the solution I was immeasurably proud of!”
Students worked individually and in groups to produce a real project. This included the creation of company branding, which was presented to employers, staff and other students. Final year students produced an individual project, outside their course assessments, related to Business Computer Solutions, Games Development, Software Application Development and Masters programmes.
Sulayman Kinteh, second year BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Systems Support student commented: “This event opened my eyes for the outside world and the potential opportunities I could have after graduation. I now feel motivated and re-energised to do well in my final year.”
The aim of the Open Day was to enrich students by improving their current skills, whilst also helping local businesses to improve their organisation.
Anwar Ul Haq, MSc Computing student said “The experience I have gained was a new experience on Project Open Day in Bradford College as this involved presentation skills and good communication skills. There were many guests who enquired about the features and functionality of the CRM Project. The solution that I had given to them they were very impressed by my response and my communication skills and were given a good feedback regarding my CRM project. This would increase my experience in presenting my projects in the future and enable me to participate in more events in order to sell my projects on the market.”
Graham Hannam, Support Manager at Eclipse Legal Systems commented: “We enjoyed the enthusiasm and knowledge of the students and there were plenty of knowledgeable staff available to talk to.”
Students had the opportunity to exchange ideas, build strong links with employers and get a real feel for the industry they are in. A master’s (MSc Computing) student had an opportunity to showcase their work related to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, a hot topic in the current marketing world.
Wayne Waite, BSc (Hons) Business Computing Solutions with Internet Applications student said “I’m glad I did attend though. The day looked quite professional once it was all up and running and there were more visitors attending than I thought there would be. I did gain some contacts though and some employment too from the day so all in all I think it was a great success and it won me over from my initial scepticism”.
The event was a huge success with 30 external employers and organisations attending, as well as Bradford College staff, students’ friends and family and alumni.
Commenting on the event, Joshua North, Network Security Engineer at NTS (Network Technology Solutions) said: “The projects were of high quality and I was impressed by the level of work that had been done and the technologies presented. The students have pushed hard to achieve their end goal and applied themselves to their projects.”
Students discovered more about the skills employers need and the current technologies they use in the industry. Christopher Hannan, second year BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Systems Support student said: “There is a lot of work that goes behind this event and it was a team effort. We need employers and the exposure as we learn interview skills and establish links with industry contacts. I took the employer feedback on board and understood that our studies are relevant to the industry. Bradford College should be the first choice for everyone”.
Students also keep in touch, share ideas and get valuable feedback from graduates through a networking society and different support groups on social media.
Steven Clay, Bradford College Alumni took part on the event last year and finished fourth at the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competition while studying at Bradford College. Steven attended this year’s event and said: "The presentations by the students were a testament to the quality of the teaching and the calibre of the students at Bradford College. The Projects ranged from Windows Visualisation and Web design projects through to cutting edge Cisco Network Designs. The College should be proud that the HE Computing Department is at the cutting edge of technology and I would expect these final year students to make a positive contribution to the IT Industry. It is encouraging to see that the Investment that the College has put into the David Hockney Building and its facilities is starting to pay dividends."
Some of the work included real live projects for employers and charities. One of the projects has been engineered for a local charity, Lillie’s Grace, who offer support for families in need. Second year HND Computing and Systems Development students have worked with Lillie’s Grace to develop and create a fully-functioning website that facilitates volunteers, donations and requests for help, spearheading their marketing campaign to raise the charity’s profile. Students impressed the attendees and more charities and local organisations are now looking to work closely with the students.
Nicky Hodges-Rhodes, Lillie’s Grace Charity said “The open day was a fantastic opportunity for us as a charity to present our work with the community. It was a pleasure to be involved in such a well organised day. The room was a buzz with information, fresh Ideas and advice from businesses visiting the open day this was great for giving feedback to our charity and for the students. It was a fantastic idea to involve our charity on the open day. It gave us a chance to showcase the charity and compliment the work of the students. It was a refreshing change to be able to explain the work of and raise awareness to the charity without being at a fundraising event.”
Kelvin Charles second year BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Systems Support student said: “This event was an eye opener and helped me see that employers are looking for people with my degree and skills. I now feel confident to work in the industry and work my way up. The doors are wide open if you are willing to work hard”.
Companies are now willing to come and establish connections and give projects or offer graduate positions to students. Staff also offered their expertise and specialist advice to employers. Another event/seminar with guest speakers is planned in September with employers and industry professionals.
Take a look at the photographic coverage of the event...