Checca Aird

  • Current role: Banking Business Analyst and Consultant
  • Year of graduation: 2015
  • Degree course: BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Software Engineering)

Checca AirdI was accepted into all my Uni choices after college, but my decision was made after my visit to the University of Hertfordshire campus. I just knew it was the right place for me. I was also awarded the Computer Science and Engineering Scholarship, which really sweetened the deal!

We asked Checca...

What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?

My current role is a Banking Business Analyst and Consultant. My background is in software development and data analytics. While working at PwC I realised that my favourite projects were the ones where I had the most impact, whether it was on a client’s business goals, their internal processes, or their software solutions. This led me to seek out a role as a BA and ultimately to Capgemini where I work now.

How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?

Extremely important. Although I didn’t need a technical degree to get a role in the Forensics department at PwC, or at my current role at Capgemini, it has been a fantastic boon. My background in software development has helped me immensely on system delivery projects, and I have built on the software design skills I learnt in my studies which I use everyday.

What made you decide to study at this University?

I was accepted into all my uni choices after college, but my decision was made after my visit to the University of Hertfordshire campus. I just knew it was the right place for me. I was also awarded the Computer Science and Engineering Scholarship, which really sweetened the deal!

What was the best or most useful thing about your course?

Learning the fundamentals of system architecture and programming languages such as SQL and Java have been the most useful in my post academic life. Having solid programming skills opens so many doors post university, and makes it much easier to pick up new technical skills, which is vital to employers.

What is your stand-out memory from your time at the University?

Either freshers week or final year. I met so many fantastic people in freshers week and I often wish I could relive the crazy party lifestyle. Otherwise it has to be final year, as I had the best house mates and that really made my year! It didn’t matter how tough an assignment was, or how poor we were, having a supportive group of people to live with who shared my goals and deadlines made it one of the best times in my life!

Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?

The short answer: yes! We are still close, especially the ones who work in London. While a lot of the people you meet at uni you'll probably never see again, the best ones will always make the effort to stay connected.

What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?

Enjoy first and second year because your final year is going to challenge you more than anything you’ve experienced so far!

Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?

For current students I cannot overstate the importance of technical experience. Although it took 6 months of applications and rejections, my placement made all the difference when I was applying for a graduate role.

For recent graduates I would say don’t give up! Write those long application letters, do the tough online tests, interview anywhere that will invite you. You hear so many stories of unemployed graduates, but I know the jobs are out there. I was offered three! You just need to show the employers that you are what they want, and that you’ll work hard to achieve.

What are your future career plans/ ambitions?

My current plans are to continue developing my technical and soft skills: I have recently gained the BCS BA accreditation and am now working on my PSM 1 to become a certified SCRUM master. My job takes me to a variety of locations, projects and people which is always exciting and I am hoping for more of the same!

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