What are the key ingredients to first-class degree success?


Liam Jack achieved a first-class Tech Industry Gold accredited degree from Northumbria University. He explains how hard work, resilience, and enthusiasm were the key ingredients to achieve his great result. 

What made you decide to study for a Tech Industry Gold accredited degree?
I always had a keen interest in technology from an early age, playing with computers and picking up the relevant skills quickly.  My aunt, who works in the tech industry, recommended the degree as she had delivered an Industry Insight lecture to Tech Industry Gold undergraduates. After I found out more, it quickly became obvious this was the degree for me and then I needed to decide which university to apply for.

Why did you choose Northumbria University?
When I attended the open day at Northumbria University I had the best experience as everyone I met was friendly and attentive. When speaking with the staff it was apparent that the lecturers had structured the course in such a way that allowed for a perfect balance of IT and business, really echoing the values of the degree providing a mixture of skills that employers require.

What were the highlights and challenges?
I think the biggest highlight for an undergraduate is their graduation. That was one of the best days of my life. Yes, there were challenges along the way like managing deadlines with a social life as well as keeping a healthy body and mind. But I think the biggest takeaway from my degree is do everything in moderation, don’t overwork yourself but don’t have too much of a good time either. Any challenges throughout the year though were certainly surpassed by working for IBM at Wimbledon every summer break from university – this was a dream job.

What was it like working at Wimbledon?
In one word, amazing. It’s hard to believe that attending university would lead me to work at the biggest tennis tournament in the world, as this opportunity is only open to undergraduates studying a Tech Industry Gold Degree. The placement allowed me to further my skills more than I would have thought possible and network with some of the best in the industry. Aside from all the immediate professional benefits, it’s hard to ignore that you are working in and around the best tennis players in the world in a live sports environment. The placement comprises long hours and a lot of hard work, yet it is so rewarding when you see how and where your work supports The Championships.

Congratulations on your first-class honours degree! What did you need to do to go the extra mile to achieve this?
Thank you! I think my achievement came from a culmination of hard work, over the course of my degree, and trusting my work efforts when it all seemed tough going.

What was your year placement like at IBM?
The year was a huge learning curve from start to finish. As the year went on, the more opportunities arose outside of my day-to-day role and I got to spend time in other areas of the business which I really welcomed. By the end of my year I had a good understanding of the company, the areas I would eventually like to work in and the areas I probably would not consider in a future role, which I think, is equally important.

What would you suggest to someone thinking about studying for the Tech Industry Gold degree course?
GO FOR IT!! If you are interested in IT or business, then this is a degree for you. You don’t always need a technical background as everyone starts from a common ground with the aim to ensure each student develops the skills employers want. The degree gives you an ‘unfair advantage’ so it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

How have Tech Partnership Degrees helped you in your journey?
I don’t doubt for a second that the opportunity, to build my skills and professionalism through IBM, was key to my achievements. The knowledge I learned was exceptionally helpful when it came to completing assignments in my final year and my dissertation was based around an IBM ‘smart stadium’ case study. I can’t stress enough how much Tech Partnership Degrees create employer opportunities for Tech Industry Gold undergraduates.

What are your summer plans and career plans?
I completed work at Wimbledon just over a week ago and I’m diving straight back into my graduate role at IBM in August. Before this, I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday and my graduation. Overall, I will be relaxing and making sure I’m well rested before beginning work full time. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Meet the Class of 2018 and find out more about Tech Industry Gold degrees.

Click here for more info on Clearing 2018.