Aimee Dowell

BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production student, Aimee, completed three software engineering internships during her placement year at global organisations including Music Tribe and InMusic.

What did you do during your placement year?

My placement year was varied, comprising of three different software engineering internships in the music industry, one at a start-up company called Faders and two at world-wide organisations, Music Tribe and InMusic.

My roles were in the following areas of the software development field: Cross platform desktop and standalone; Web development; Embedded firmware. I worked mainly on plugin design and product development, with one placement designing original hardware and accompanying firmware.

Why did you decide to do a placement?

I knew undertaking a placement would enable me to put theory into practice, consolidate my learning so far and develop it further. This would place me in a better position to meet the requirements of my final year at university and future career.

Contributing billions of pounds towards the economy, the music industry has many sub-industries. It was important to me that I knew for sure whether my heart lay in coding within the music product sector and a placement was a great way to find out.

Finally, as a local Brummie, the chance to live independently, explore new cities and listen to different accents also appealed to me!

What was the highlight of your placement?

For me, the highlight was seeing my ideas and hard work coming to life and receiving positive feedback on the products and features I created. I loved meeting new people and networking through social events such as bouldering sessions with colleagues and I got the chance to learn new coding languages, achieving my personal goal of improving my C++ skills.

Sound Engineering and Production

Gain professional skills

What was the application process like?

Each application varied and ranged from formal online applications via company websites, to speculative CV emails and even networking to find vacancies. The application, if successful, is inevitably followed by interview. Be prepared for technical questions and sometimes even practical tests!

How did the university help you find your placement?

Prior to application, I made an appointment with Careers+ where I improved my CV-writing techniques and gained access to a list of previous placement companies. The Industrial Mentors Forum was also a great place to directly contact previous BCU students who are working in the music sector for tips and advice on gaining internships.

What are your future career plans and how has your placement affected this?

My goal is to to become a Software Developer and increase the number of women within this profession. My skillset and confidence have both significantly increased from placements offering challenging work.

What advantages has your placement given you?

My placements have provided industry training, a network of software developers to tap into for advice and support and range of transferrable skills such as collaboration, problem solving, abstract thinking and self-belief. These advantages will all help my future employment prospects.

What placement advice do you have for future students?

When applying, speculative CVs and networking absolutely work! Don’t lose hope if you don’t get the first placement you apply for and make sure to brush up on technical knowledge before the interview. When you’re in a placement, know it will be hard to start with, but be resilient, persevere and you will achieve your goals. Finally, don’t be worried to ask for help - you will find people really enjoy sharing their knowledge!