David What made you choose Imperial ?

I chose Imperial college for its excellent reputation. The diversity of the Computing course makes it one of the best available in the country. I also chose Imperial for its great location in the middle of London.

What has your experience been as an Undergraduate, personally and academically ?

Coming to London has been amazing. My time at University so far has been a very pleasant time. I have made lots of new friends, of many different nationalities. I have really enjoyed socializing and participating in numerous events with other residents of my hall. My first year at Imperial has enabled me to develop lifetime skills such as cooking, time-management, and also how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in general. I have found all of this to be very beneficial.

From an academic point of view I have learnt so much. Although I had a keen interest in Computing before starting the course, I had little knowledge of any programming languages. Over the course of this first year I have learnt 5 different programming languages and have learnt a lot about computer logic, and computers in general : from reasoning about high level programs down to close-to-metal architecture and hardware.

David Cattle

Degree: MEng Computing

Year: 1

Internship: Nielsen, Singapore 

What is your experience with the Imperial Computing Department contributing to you getting the internships that you want?

The Computing course at Imperial has taught me a variety of different subjects. Many of these have been of interest for the companies I have applied to for internships. In particular, I think the Reasoning About Programs module is particularly useful, as this module teaches us to be very rigorous with the code that we write and is unique to Imperial’s Computing degree. Moreover, I have had the chance to learn a variety of Functional and Object Oriented languages, including Java, which is one of the main languages that I was required to know for my internship.

What are you enjoying the most?

In addition to the satisfaction attained from acquiring so much new knowledge in the field of Computing, I really enjoy the location of the college in South Kensington. Being in the middle of London has given me easy access to so many interesting places and activities. We have many interesting museums very close by and a whole host of activities and clubs to join. What I have enjoyed most of all is living in halls : being so close to one another creates tight bonds and a sense of familiarity. I also really enjoy the multi-cultural aspect of Imperial. It has allowed me to become more open-minded, have very interesting debates and to have a better insight into many different cultures. Obviously living in the heart of one of the world’s greatest global cities carries a price – and living costs can be expensive. But even this can be a beneficial experience as it teaches you to manage your budget carefully.

What do you do in your spare time? 

I am very keen on sports, so in my free time I typically go running or to the gym. I also like to read, cook, play the piano, and go out with my friends.

Was it easy to find an internship?

Doing an internship during the summer holidays of the first year is ideal. Despite the fact that it can sometimes be quite difficult to find at this stage, I believe that it is relatively easier for Computing students to find placements, even after one year. It seemed that those who had a prior knowledge of programming were recruited fairly rapidly, at an early stage of the year. Without programming experience it has required more persistence, but there are opportunities if you are determined and look hard enough. If you are unable to find a paid internship voluntary work can also be considered, as this would also provide you with a good opportunity to practise the skills acquired during the first year. I did experience some difficulty finding my internship but after some persistence eventually found some interesting opportunities. Many of my friends have also found internships. Besides, the Imperial Career Service really helps with suggesting good techniques to approach companies and they also o↵er a service to help with writing a CV and conducting mock interviews.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

”When you climb a very high mountain it can get very cold”. My first piece of advice would be to be prepared. Try to do as much programming as you can before starting the course and do not hesitate to be ambitious and pursue your own projects. More generally, I would really advise to prospective students to get involved in societies as much as you can during the first weeks of the term. You could also improve your culinary skills, if you have the motivation!