Lewis McDonald - College of Engineering and Technology - University of Derby

Lewis McDonald, Business Computing Management, 2010

What are you doing now?

Since graduating in 2010 I’ve been employed within the Service Management team at HSBC Technical Services. I support and develop a range of technical service management tools and am in daily contact with colleagues from many countries; India, Hong Kong, Mexico, North America and mainland Europe.

What were the main reasons you took that course? 

I knew I wanted to study Business Management with something extra alongside it which the computing modules gave me. This provided me with a broad range of opportunities after graduation. The course also included a one year placement in industry (during the third year) which was very appealing to me. I knew it would open doors to a career after finishing which is exactly what happened.

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

Derby was over two hours travel from home – not too far away but just far enough to start to live independently (although that was heavily dependent on my mum giving me instructions on how to use the washing machine!). The course itself was a great fit for what I was looking for in particular the support for finding a placement opportunity in a business.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

Absolutely massive! Choosing to study this course at Derby has led to me getting the job I have now and meeting people from across the world.

How did the lecturers inspire you?

The lecturers - particularly Lin Mellor and Wayne Rippin - opened my eyes to realise by having this degree on my C.V. it would open up opportunities to travel and work in different countries.

Lin took the time to personally show myself and my parents around on the open day back in 2005, and it was this personal touch which set Derby apart from the other universities - so I definitely owe Lin a lot!

How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?

A big difference between the University of Derby and other universities is the approach it uses for helping students find their year on placement in industry. Derby makes the whole placement application as close to applying for a real job as possible.

I had as much support as I needed from the Career Development Centre team. They answered any questions I had, helped with research, applications and pointed me in the right direction. I found this was invaluable as it gave me the perfect balance of support whilst I got the experience of real job hunting.

What are your future plans?

I've recently been approved for a six month assignment in Hyderabad, India. The team I work in is split across UK and India, and this Senior Technical Support Analyst position will give me the opportunity to work closely with colleagues in India, as well as experience a whole new culture and way of life. Longer term I want to become a team leader and I believe this assignment in India will be invaluable in improving the skills I’ll need to do this.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

I urge prospective students to take into account the smaller and more personal classes, the fantastic on-campus facilities, and the nightlife in Derby city centre isn’t too bad either! I highly recommend the advantage of taking a four year course which includes a year on placement.

It’s very tough starting a career without experience and studying a degree with the industry placement included provides a massive advantage.