Agnieszka (Aga) Madurska
Agnieszka Madurska (MEng Computing, Software Engineering 2012) is a Software Engineer Google London and has contributed to various projects including Google Maps, Google Arts and Culture and Wear OS.
Why did you choose to study at Imperial?
"In 2007, I applied only to Imperial College and Oxbridge as I wanted to study at a globally-recognized top University. If I didn’t get it, I was going to apply again and again until I did! Fortunately, I did receive offers from both universities and picked Imperial primarily because of the level of connection the program offered to industry and the emphasis on hands-on experience in the curriculum. The opportunity to complete an industrial placement was particularly important to me. I also really enjoyed the idea of living in London - a multicultural, dynamic, ambitious and challenging city."
Tell us about your time at Imperial
"I enjoyed my time at Imperial College tremendously. I met some of my closest friends there but also built a very robust and diverse network of professional connections. The course was well structured and well-paced focused on practical engineering skills. It was difficult at times, but not unnecessarily so. It prepared me very well for a top industry job, offering many opportunities to complete internships in-between the academic years. London is also a great city to be a student in, with very many events and gatherings for and open to undergraduates. It has a vibrant multi-national and multicultural community where anyone and everyone feels welcome."
Can you tell us what you’ve done since Graduation?
"Shortly after graduating I completed an internship with Google in their California headquarters, working on integrating local maps information into larger web services. I then took a 3-month break to backpack around South-East Asia before properly settling down. Since 2013 I have been working full-time for Google London (still a big-city girl!), contributing to a number of projects:
- Google Maps for Android where I helped launch ratings and reviews
- Google Arts and Culture where I co-funded the mobile engineering team
- Wear OS (most recently) where I took on a people management role
At the moment I lead the Wear OS Release and Telemetry infrastructure team focusing on launching and landing quality software. My day to day job includes large-scale software design, data analysis, staffing and structuring engineering teams and making strategic decisions for longer-term wearable projects.
I am also passionate about diversity outreach and STEM education. I engage in speaking opportunities, such as DroidCon London, Google I/O, Google DevBytes and Grace Hopper Celebrations. At present I also lead the GoogleUK & GirlGuiding UK partnership, hoping to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in STEM."
How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?
"Imperial gave me a complete set of practical engineering skills of the highest quality, but first and foremost it taught me to learn and adapt in a global, fast-paced environment. After studying 5 different programming languages in only the first year of classes, all taught in a language that was not my native, I aced the exams and stopped worrying about doing things I didn’t know how to do. I understood that learning was a meta-skill that I can apply in all areas of life. It gave me the confidence to apply for positions I never thought I’d qualify for and succeed. I didn’t need to be perfect-I need to be good enough to get my foot in the door and adapt to what came next; I could learn on the job. Imperial also gave me the very first seed network to rely on when moving around my professional field in a new city, culture and country. I still frequently reach out to my former classmates and professors to ask for advice, favours or simply support. I often help them in much the same way."
What would be your advice for current students?
"I’d advise current students to look for skills beyond the core ones taught in their course. University teaches you not only about the field you are interested in but also about people-how to work in groups, negotiate with people different to you and how to structure your work around them. It teaches you how to complete a short and long-term project, manager your work-life balance and often even how to adapt to a new community. Pay attention to those skills too-they will come in handy sooner than you expect."