University Presentation – From Student To Employee

A few month’s ago I was asked by one of my old University lectures if I could come in and give a talk to some students from the Computer Games Development course, that is the course I done just over 2 years ago now. The talk I was asked to give was based on how I went from being a student to an employee at a software company.

TL;DR – Went to University run employment event, meet my now co-worker and got the job as they really needed a developer.

This was the second time I have given a talk at the University but the first time doing it alone. I was more than willing to give up some of my time to deliver the talk, as when I done my course the lecturer was extremely helpful and provided a lot of support with my studies. Which I personally think helped me gain my First Class degree as I was able to transfer the skills he taught me to other classes. I have even used what he taught me in my career and still use to this day.

I also wanted to deliver this talk, as when I was at University we didn’t have anything like this from a previous student. So I hoped it could be more beneficial than hearing from someone in a YouTube video that had a completely different background.┬áMy talk covered most of the usual information usually given in these kinds of talks. Such as the importance of having a portfolio, GitHub, learning outside of class time and going to networking events either run by the University or not.

My real goal however, was to try give them a confidence boost and try remove any worries they might have had about the application process. I spoke about not needing to know everything there is to know in order to get a job. But that they can, should and will continue to learn. Along with that I wanted them to know that they should not doubt their ability to get a job, if they keep learning and working they will get one. It just takes some people a little longer than others.

I remeber the summer between my 3rd and 4th year at University I was extremely worried that I was not good enough to get a job and I would never get a job as programmer and I would have to go back to working in retail. Worrying about this hit me really hard and it ended up hitting me to the point I was put on medication for depression.

Even today I still freak out about my ability to complete tasks, even though these thoughts have been proven to be wrong. When ever I get stuck or start to panic I just take a breath and remind myself that all I can do is give 100% into the task or problem. And that failure is not a bad thing, it let’s you know you are going outside of your comfort zone and skill level and when you finally solve the issue which you will, you will have grown.

If you are reading this and are experiencing the same issues, just take a breath and look at all the work you have done now compared to 6 months ago or when you started and look how much better it is. You have and will continue to grow, you will continue to doubt yourself but when you do, just stop, take that breath and remeber that you do have the skills or at the least can learn what you need to overcome these tasks or to get yourself a job in your chosen industry.

If you have made it this far thank you for sticking around, I know it was a long post but I didn’t want to skip anything in case someone needed to hear it. If you have had similar issues let me know what you did to overcome them and if you are doubting yourself and need someone to talk to please leave a comment or send me an email and hopefully I or someone else can help.

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