- Current role: Head of Innovation
- Year of graduation:1995
- Degree course: BSc (Hons) Computer Science
What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?
I work for Endava, a fast-growing IT services company. I promote innovation to all our staff and help our clients implement their ideas. As one of our clients described, we turn people's imagination into reality in only six weeks. My team also produces lots of publications about industry trends, we speak at conferences, to company management boards, run hackathons and other fun events.
How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?
Studying at the University of Hertfordshire gave me enormous amounts of confidence which helped me build my career. My course had a one-year industry placement which gave me valuable and relevant work experience as soon as I left University.
What made you decide to study at this University?
I never originally intended to join the University of Hertfordshire. I really messed up my A-levels. I had been predicted three high grades and scraped two low grades. Getting my A level results was the worst day of my life. I picked myself up, called Hatfield Polytechnic and enrolled immediately. It was the best second choice I've ever made which taught me a valuable lesson in life. Sometimes you need to focus on looking forward.
What was the best or most useful thing about your course?
I liked the variety of courses. Some were extremely academic, theoretical and some were very practical.
What is your stand-out memory from your time at the University?
My positive and negative thing are the same - in the final year we studied databases. I didn't concentrate because core database technology was already stable. Why did I need to learn how to develop a new one? So I passed the course and threw the book away. On my first day at work after University, my boss turned to me and said: "We're going to write a new database from scratch."
Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?
Yes, a couple of friends. I was best man for one of them, and my kids are at school with the other friends' kids!
What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?
Enjoy it. Once you finish University, you'll be at work for a very long time.
Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?
Do a placement during the course. It makes you more employable after you graduate. And keep your skills broad. The most successful managers in industry have a broad knowledge, not a laser focus.
What are your future career plans/ ambitions?
A customer recently sent me an email to say I had "the best job in the World". And I agreed. My focus is on helping Endava grow and become a leader in several sectors. I'm also enjoying training people at the start of their career with softer skills such as productivity, presentations and management.