On June 8th 2017, I took my final exam at the University of Surrey. With that, a challenging, rewarding and unashamedly nerdy four years of studying the world of Computer Science came to an end. Now, just over one year later, I’m working for one of Britain’s leading charities.

When applying for the job, I was excited to take on an opportunity to use my technical skills to benefit others. However, working life appeared to be a daunting, drastic change from the ‘casual goings-on’ of student life that I had become so accustomed to. But as it would turn out, in the short time I’ve been part of the team, working with this charity has drastically changed my outlook of working life and changed it for the better.

My role is Junior Web Developer. What that translates to for my daily is, “providing bug fixes, improvements and new features to the charity’s public facing and internal websites” (preferably without causing any major fires, or accidentally taking down the whole site). It did take some time to adapt to this new role. With this not only being my first job after graduating, but in fact my first real job, I wanted to make a good impression. Not just on the people I’d be working with, but with my career as a whole so I’d give myself a good platform to further develop from.

No pressure then, clearly.

Alas, the transition from university to work has been unexpectedly smooth. That’s mostly down to the team making me feel so welcome. My team is made up of a few other developers, some ‘thorough’ testers and a number of business analysts. Together, in each of our roles, we ensure that the website delivers a functional, simple and informative experience for users. If anything, the most difficult part of the transition and working life, has been learning how to work without Netflix tucked away on a second screen somewhere on my desk – a standard throughout university (educational videos, of course! 😉)

I feel like I’m in a rare, blessed position to have gotten a job straight after graduating where everything seems to be pretty much “spot on”. A lot of this has to be down to the cause. Working with a charity has really made me appreciate the value of hard work, because the hard work is actually making a difference to people’s lives. Sure, I may not be at the forefront of the groundbreaking research and fundraising that goes on here, but nonetheless, I feel as though my role in the wider organisation, is just as important.

The only thing I can really, honestly, fervently complain about are Britain’s absolutely abysmal railway transportation services (this should come as no surprise). Cancellations here, delays there – excuses everywhere:

  • “Shortage of train crew”
  • “More trains needing repairs than usual” (this has been in use since February)
  • “The wrong type of leaves on the track”
  • “Brexit”
  • “THE SUN!” (???)

And yes, without fail, these trains are packed, slow and outrageously expensive. It’s literally a metaphorical slap in the face! It’s just unfortunate that the trains are a necessary evil I have to embrace every day for a total of up to four hours, on a good day.

Even then, all it takes is for me to get to work, say “good morning” to the team and we’re back to the business of helping people out. And as it turns out, that is a good business to be in.

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