Matt McDonnell

Employer:    Ford Motor Company
Job Title:  Software Engineer
University: University of Greenwich
Programme Title:  BSc Digital & Technology Solutions
Date started: September 2017

Recommendation by Ishmael Essop, Principal Lecturer, University of Greenwich

I had the pleasure of teaching Matthew in the last four years. From the first day of class, Matthew impressed me with his ability to articulate difficult concepts. He is very thoughtful in responding to questions and is an active participant in class discussions and is very eager to engage in group work, and often takes the lead in projects. Matthew has successfully completed an outstanding research piece on Microservice technologies for his final year project. 

In conversation with Matt

Please describe your current role.

I work as a software engineer at Ford, turning business requirements into code that then feeds front-end, customer experiences.

What do you do on a typical day at work?

Most of my time is spent either helping to design a solution to a given requirement, or developing/testing the solution. There is a lot of problem-solving in my role!

What has been the best experience of your Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

Becoming familiar with database design and gaining extensive knowledge of SQL. I query databases on an almost daily basis and use my learnings from the apprenticeship every day.

What has been the most challenging experience of your Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

Sometimes balancing a number of different assignments with work priorities can be challenging, but this has certainly improved my time management skills.

What has your employer done to help with your degree apprenticeship that you particularly appreciate?

I was offered regular touchpoints about how the apprenticeship is going, as well as complementing my degree learnings with corporate training.

What has your university done to help you with your degree apprenticeship that you particularly appreciate?

My uni, provided clarity on assignments when needed, and made the workload manageable.

What advice would you give someone considering a Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

What are your career plans?

Having gained a good breadth of experience through managed rotations on the apprenticeship, I plan to begin focussing on software engineering as my specialism in the coming years.

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