Siemens

Industrial Placements

We offer plenty of opportunities for you to make yourself as employable as possible when you leave University.

You can take a year in industry after your second year. This is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in the workplace. It’s also a great way to build contacts who could help you in your career. Many of our placement students return to University with a job lined up with their placement employer for after they graduate.

We support placements with a wide range of employers from small enterprises to large multi-national corporations. Think household names such as Microsoft, IBM, BT, Virgin Media and BAE Systems. We also offer some placements working with a software development company on campus.

Our placements team will help you find the right opportunity. You’ll be supported throughout your year in industry by an academic member of staff.

Sam Hutchinson, MSc Computer Science
Sam Hutchinson
Sam Hutchinson
BSc Computer Science with Placement Year Placement employer: BT
The most important thing I learned from my placement was communication. I reported to managers with differing technical backgrounds, so it was imperative that I explained technical concepts from my work in a way in which it would make sense to them. When I also needed help from a member of my team it was crucial that I clearly explained any technical issues that I couldn’t solve independently by searching the internet extensively (we do a lot of this in the software development field!).
  • Read our Q&A with Sam about his placement year at BT...

    Why did you choose to spend a year in industry?

    I was made aware during my time at sixth form and university that gaining professional experience within my chosen field would be invaluable in finding work after university. Also, students who do industry placements often achieve better grades during their final year at university.

    What was your role at BT? What projects did you work on?

    I worked at BT’s global Research and Development Headquarters as a software engineer within the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) platforms team, which is responsible for the infrastructure which authenticates broadband connections for BT’s wholesale customers. I also researched the use of open-source cloud technologies for use in providing remote broadband authentication services to rural areas of the UK too.

    What was your biggest challenge and your proudest achievement while on placement?

    My biggest challenge was rapidly learning technical diagrams to get to grips with how all of the infrastructure owned by my team was wired up and connected to the rest of BT’s network. My proudest achievement was fully managing the development of my assigned project all the way through from requirements elicitation to deployment and working with employees from multiple teams to help realise this.

    What do you think are the benefits of a placement year?

    You mature and grow a lot as an individual. You also learn loads about your industry and pick up professional practises for your chosen field. There’s also the opportunity to grow your professional network.

    What was the most important thing you learned from your placement?

    The most important thing I learned from my placement was communication. I reported to managers with differing technical backgrounds, so it was imperative that I explained technical concepts from my work in a way in which it would make sense to them. When I also needed help from a member of my team it was crucial that I clearly explained any technical issues that I couldn’t solve independently by searching the internet extensively (we do a lot of this in the software development field!).

    How did you go about securing a placement?

    I began looking around the beginning of my second year of university when all the large enterprises such as BT open vacancies for their placements. I had searched online using websites such as RateMyPlacement, Prospects and talent.io to apply for industry placements. I also went to careers fairs hosted in partnership with the university to organise interviews with local companies in Hull too. I utilised the careers service at the university, booking myself onto CV/interview workshops being hosted by them as well as doing my own research outside of scheduled university hours to help significantly brush up my CV and interview technique.

    What advice would you give to anyone thinking of spending a year in industry?

    Begin looking early on in your second year as that’s when a lot of employers will open for job applications. Also, the earlier you apply in the process the better chance you have of securing a placement as companies will be slowly filling their spots as time goes on. A lot of students shy away from going for industry placements because it means they forfeit the opportunity to graduate alongside their friends or spend another year of university with them. My advice would be to consider yourself first. Gaining professional experience might impact your employability and your success going forward. You can also use the year in industry to consider what you’d like to do in your final year in terms of module choices and your dissertation. My dissertation has spun off from my year in industry at BT.

    What are your plans for the future?

    I’m going to be re-joining BT on their technology graduate program in September 2020. I hope to move into technical consulting, becoming a specialist in either software, DevOps, network engineering and/or cybersecurity. My placement year has massively shaped this decision. There are plenty of opportunities to take my education further with BT through professional certifications and postgraduate certifications which I’m interested in also.

Watch: Sam Hutchinson on his placement year at BT

I wanted to have exposure to the industry before I graduated, enabling me to focus my final year study towards a real-world application. I also hoped that I’d get a job relieving me from the pressure of looking for one in my final year.
Kaan Uyduran, Computer Science

Kaan Uyduran

BSc Computer Science with a Placement Year (Placement Employer: Microsoft)

Kaan Uyduran, Computer Science
  • Read our Q&A with Kaan about his placement year at Microsoft...

    Why did you choose to spend a year in industry?

    I wanted to have exposure to the industry before I graduated, enabling me to focus my final year study towards a real-world application. I also hoped that I’d get a job relieving me from the pressure of looking for one in my final year.

    What was your role at Microsoft?

    I was a TSP (Technical Solutions Professional). In this position, I led technical presentations, demonstrations, workshops, architecture design sessions, proof of concepts, and pilots to explain, demonstrate and prove to Microsoft’s largest customers the capabilities of Microsoft's products and services and how we could make their businesses more successful. I worked with companies such as: Thames Water, Virgin Atlantic, KPMG, Tesco, NEC, Panasonic, Rolls-Royce and many more.

    What was your biggest challenge and your proudest achievement while on placement?

    When I first started my biggest challenge was skilling up on all the necessary information needed to perform my job. I had to do hours of training to ensure I was ready to go out to customers.
    During my placement, I was given the Microsoft ‘Role Model’ award. This is a company-wide initiative that recognises employees’ contributions that go above and beyond everyday work.

    What do you think are the benefits of a placement year?

    • Real knowledge of a commercial environment.
    • See how your university knowledge is implemented in the real world.
    • Earn money.
    • A year of industrial knowledge before graduating.
    • Being able to apply the knowledge to your final year.

    What was the most important thing you learned from your placement?

    That everyone is constantly learning. The most important thing is not to know the answer to everything but to know who or where to go to find the answers.

    How did you go about securing a placement?

    I applied for around five, only the big companies, and only got a reply from Microsoft and I got it.

    There were 3 main stages in the application process:

    • Application and cover letter – Simply uploaded to their application site.
    • Online video interview – I was given a few questions to answer via a video recording.
    • Assessment day – Where I had to give a presentation to a panel, participate in a group challenge and have two 1-to-1 interviews with prospective managers.

    What advice would you give to anyone thinking of spending a year in industry?

    Do it. It gives you skills that you can only get from an industrial environment. You’ll come back knowing where you want to be after you graduate and hopefully, with a secured job.

    What are your plans for the future?

    I’m now enrolled in the Microsoft Graduate Programme. As a graduate, I will be going back into the role I was in whilst I was an intern but with more responsibilities. I’ll now have accounts to myself and will be expected to meet personal and team targets.

James Gordon, Computer Science
James Gordon
James Gordon
MsSc Computer Science with a Year in Industry Placement employer: IBM
Gaining the experience of working in a high-end technology business was always one of my priorities within the first three years of university. My summers up to my placement were filled with my own projects so taking a year out made sense. I also wanted to enter a grad scheme directly after finishing university and my chances of doing so were increased if I took a year out to work. However, I had no idea who I would work for and, to be honest, I was very lucky to get the placement I did. I worked like a mad man for the first two years of university and it paid off with both an educational and financial reward.
  • Read our Q&A with James about his placement year at IBM...

    What was your role at IBM?

    IBM is one of the oldest and most established tech companies in the world. It’s responsible for running most of the world’s banking infrastructure as well as creating new developments within the tech world. I specifically worked on their most established product IBM MQ. It’s a piece of software that not many people have heard of, but you have used it. If you have ever made a bank transaction, you’ve used MQ. Most transnational tasks in the world use MQ at some point along the way. It’s an internationally renowned product with a world-leading development and service team. I personally worked in the admin team of MQ, while this sounds like paperwork it’s actually the team responsible for the APIs that administer queue managers within MQ. I worked on features and test suites throughout the whole year, I was very lucky to be placed on a development team as many people get assigned to ops for their placements.

    What projects did you work on?

    While I cannot directly disclose the projects I worked on as they are currently under NDA, I can tell you they were leading-edge java based development and test suites. I also worked on giveback projects - optional projects for fun. I learned 3D printing technology, IoT and cloud-based techniques through these giveback projects. This is also where I learned my softer skills such as presenting, teamwork and communication. They gave me the opportunity to travel to conferences and speak to hundreds of people about the work that IBM does.

    What was your biggest challenge and your proudest achievement while on placement?

    Learning how the infrastructure on a large-scale software engineering company fits together. Learning two new languages, time management - the list of challenges goes on. But by far my biggest achievement was attaining the award of ‘Lab Hero’, as I was identified as someone who heavily contributed to the overall quality of life at the lab.

    What do you think are the benefits of a placement year?

    You learn to apply your university knowledge, you learn how to manage your time which is essential for being successful. Everyone should do a placement year just for the soft skills that you learn.

    What was the most important thing you learned from your placement?

    How to manage my time between multiple projects and my university responsibilities. In my opinion, that’s by far the most challenging and most important thing anyone can learn. It takes commitment to achieve a successful year out.

    What advice would you give to anyone thinking of spending a year in industry?

    Yes, do it. The year will be one of the most challenging you’ve ever faced - but in my opinion, it’s worth it. It’s hard work throughout the day and then you’ll have a large amount of university work in the evenings, as well as any personal development the business wants you to do which in my case ended up being a 10,000-word document, which was fun. Overall, I made some amazing friends and would do it again in a heartbeat. Most of the friends I made are going back to the company as well, which is also great.

    What are your plans for the future?

    Well in my case the company offered me a grad role in a new team, which I have chosen to take up.

Try Computer Science for yourself

Want to create the next generation of software? Or develop apps or computer games for a living? Or even set up your own tech business one day? Whether you’re already an accomplished programmer or an absolute beginner, you’ll open up all these careers and more with a Computer Science degree at Hull.