I Got Hired: Software Developer at THG
Posted on: 5 December 2019 in Case Studies
Holly Canham is a 2019 Graduate from the University of Liverpool, currently working as a Software Developer for THG.
She discusses how her degree in Mathematics prepared her for a role in software development, what activities she took part it whilst at University and what advice she would give to students wanting to follow in her footsteps.
What has been your best experience while studying your course at the University of Liverpool?
As part of one of my second year modules, I was assigned a placement in a primary school to observe and help teach maths lessons. I really enjoyed working with the students - their feedback, enthusiasm and development was inspiring and a huge confidence boost for me. I also loved going back to basics in maths, it provided a greater understanding and appreciation for my degree subject.
Which aspects of your course do you think have been the most beneficial to your career development?
As I will be a software developer, a lot of my degree will be directly applicable to my future career. The thought processes and reasoning techniques are similar, as in maths I have been shown how to solve many different problems, which I will need to do in my career also. Furthermore, I took two modules which heavily involved the use of Maple, giving me my first exposure to coding.
Can you please share an insight into your current role and if this was supported by your time at the University of Liverpool?
Starting in September, I will be a software developer at The Hut Group. I am joining the Accelerator programme, a pathway designed for students, like me, who have an interest in technology and coding but come from a background other than computer science. I believe it to be a fantastic opportunity to learn to code fluently and explore all aspects of computer science - from data science to website design, from artificial intelligence to business systems management. I am excited that after learning all of this, I will then get to decide which team suits me best and start my career working for a global e-commerce business.
Last summer, I was lucky to take part in the Institute of Financial Mathematics Summer Research Internship, which runs every summer, organised by the maths department and its PhD students. In my group we worked with Eddie Stobart Transportation to create profitability matrices using R programming. It was a great way to learn technical skills and mathematics, whilst working with a team and providing a service for a business. This has not only prepared me for my new job, but also gave me an edge when I was applying.
I also used the Careers & Employability Services as much as possible. Starting with a meeting with a Career Coach in September to set me on the right track, then using the online resources to make a great CV, then making many trips to the Careers Studio to meet with employers and take part in workshops. I was introduced to the Talent Partner from The Hut Group who encouraged me to apply for the Accelerator at one of the talks organised by Careers & Employability, and saw him again recently when I was shown around my new office.
Do you have any top tips to share with future and current students?
Take advantage of all the opportunities you have at university. At first, I thought I was only doing internships and placements because they made my CV look better (which they do of course) but I also met so many amazing people from all over the world, learnt many new skills, found things that I didn't know I loved and just had a lot of great experiences. I think this has made me more employable because I'm a better, more well-rounded person in general.
Go and talk to Careers and Employability! They're the experts, they can tell you what you need to do to get where you want to be. It’s a great place to start when looking for post-university employment. You've got nothing to lose.
Set up a great LinkedIn profile. I used mine to communicate to my now future employer before
What is the first thing that you think of when you think of the University of Liverpool?
The Maths building - spent A LOT of time in there over the past three years.