Class of 2021: I’m very excited to start the Unilever Future Leaders Programme

Name: Barnaby Fittall
Degree Title: Information Technology Management for Business (ITMB) BSc Degree
University: University of the West of England

How did you find out about Tech Industry Gold accredited degrees?

Researching degree options, I sought an industry-focussed degree that would equip me with the real-world IT and businesses skills and understanding needed. The association with Tech Industry Gold gave me confidence that the ITMB course at UWE would deliver what I was looking for. 

What was the best moment of your degree experience?

It is challenging to pick just a single experience from the past four years as I was fortunate to have access to so many opportunities. Spending my placement year at Boeing Defence UK as a Business Analyst allowed me to contribute to a variety of projects, working with people from all different levels was a valuable experience. Or working alongside an amazing team to come first in the November 2018 competition was another stand-out moment. Just as important were the connections I was able to forge throughout my degree. As such, I discovered how I could make a real difference supporting others on my course through volunteer lectures, Peer Assisted Learning, and otherwise by just talking through a topic over coffee.

What was the most challenging experience?

Completing the final year during the pandemic presented both practical and logistical challenges. It called for finding new ways to get things done, like methods to successfully project manage a client-facing IT consultancy project which had to be 100% virtual. However, it’s an experience that will stand me in good stead in the future workplace.

What would you say now to yourself before you enrolled on your degree?

To make the most of it! It is an unrivalled opportunity and one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. You’ll meet some great people and embrace the tremendous scope for professional and personal growth.

What would you say to anyone considering a Tech Industry Gold degree?

This degree course, perhaps surprisingly, really punches above its weight. These days, companies are less interested in what university you went to and very much more concerned with what relevant experience and practical skills you can offer. This degree teaches the skills and solid understanding to address the industry gap between technology and business. And it’s important not to overlook the opportunities to connect with employers and garner relevant know-how to help with interviews. Even if you don’t know precisely the career you want to pursue at the outset, it’s something that becomes clearer over time. But what I would say is that this course can open a wide host of different doors. Others in my cohort have gone into careers ranging from project management to business roles to roles of a more technical nature and all manner of others in between. Take every opportunity to broaden your experience.

What are you planning to do this summer?

For the most part, taking some well-earned (and much-needed) time out and adjusting my caffeine intake to more sustainable pre-final year levels before starting a graduate scheme fresh in September.

What are your career plans?

I’m very excited to start the Unilever Future Leaders Programme in Technology Management which starts in September. This will involve a series of six, 6-month rotations throughout the business to prepare for future leadership roles.

Who inspires you?

To be honest, rather than try to emulate others, I’m more interested in what I can do to help, support, and inspire others. I take inspiration from the actions and achievements of those around me, whatever their chosen field or vocation. And particularly those who think differently, with fresh perspectives who use that to create new ways of doing things and lead others. Each day I strive to be the best I can be, with an ongoing commitment to learning and encouraging others to do likewise.

Anything else to add?

Thank you to everyone who has supported my development these past four years and good luck to those starting their journey. If anyone wants to connect, then just find me on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/barney-fittall/).

For more inspirational words and case studies visit the Class of 2021