Jacob Lister

Business Information Technology BSc (Hons)

Jacob’s year-long work placement alongside his degree gave him the opportunity to gain real-life experience, as well as getting him career ready after graduating. Nowadays, he works as an DevOps Engineer and working his way up the industry ladder.  

“To me, university felt like a natural step in life, as it gives people the chance to learn new skills to progress towards their chosen career alongside developing skills in their personal life through independence. When applying to BCU, I was fortunate enough to receive an unconditional offer.

During my studies, I had the opportunity to spend 12 months at Central England Co-Operative in a sandwich year. My first six months was spent working within a digital team as part of a wider IT delivery function; a key part of moving Central England into the future, by pushing innovative projects and delivering new digital based concepts. The second six months were spent working within a small team of developers responsible for a portfolio of third party and in-house applications, including new developments, new projects, and small enhancements to current systems.

The opportunity allowed me to create and grow skillsets that would be beneficial to my career. I was also able to see what life is like in real world scenarios rather than on example case studies. The sandwich year made me realise I wanted to focus my career on the technical side of IT.

Nowadays, I’m a Technical Graduate at DXC Technology, on the early careers program. My current role is as a DevOps Engineer. I received the job offer as I was graduating soon after. The course laid the foundations for me, and my degree grew my knowledge from college and bridged the gap to working on real projects.

We work in an agile way, so I have a daily meeting each morning to discuss what I have done the day before, what I plan to do that day and discuss any obstacles that I may be facing. Then, I work on tickets that are assigned to me or I have assigned myself, help with support requests throughout the day such as password resets, incidents on the platform and onboarding new hires. As a graduate, my week is split 70% for my role and 30% training, so I continually look at courses that will help me progress in my role or career down the line.

The most challenging thing about embarking on this career path has been rejection and not feeling as good as others around me. I had a lot of rejections when applying for jobs, however I didn't stop applying, believing I knew there was a company out there that would want me. Also knowing that I could learn off the back of failed applications or interviews, helped me get past the failure and continue to look for employment.

In the end, I was fortunate to have three different jobs to choose between, ultimately deciding to accept the role at DXC due to the size and current success of the organization, as well as the opportunities and benefits the job offered.

I am aiming to grow my skills further to continually grow in my career. I also aim to pick up as many accreditations as I can to make myself more desirable, with the hope of getting recognition and even promotions within the company.

My advice to graduates starting out in their career is to try to get real world experience, as it is invaluable; it teaches you things that university cannot replicate and makes you more desirable to employers.

Also, don't give up; keep putting your name out there, sending out your CV and apply for as many jobs as you can.

My advice to current BCU students is to have a good balance of university life and education, too much of either can spoil the wider journey. University allows you to grow in your potential career and build skills for it, whilst also creating memories to last a lifetime and moments to enjoy outside your course.

To me, I AM BCU means I am part of a community; a community of current students and alumni.”