Balwinder Singh studied BSc Creative Computing at Queen Mary, graduating in 2018.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
For me, the main reason that I chose to study at Queen Mary was because the course was right. It is an interesting insight into different disciplines, offers a level of flexibility which really enables my learning to be tailored specifically around areas that interest me. Additionally, after exploring the campus I felt the university offered an environment within which I could comfortably learn, engage and collaborate.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
I think the thing I most enjoyed about my course is the variety of areas with which we engage. Having the opportunity to experience workflow from different perspectives I feel is crucial in being able to develop a capability of remaining flexible, and being able to tailor different approaches for different problems/challenges.
Being in a research led university I think provides a collective of lecturers who are all passionate as they are practicing within their respective fields. They therefore are very approachable and happy to provide support, or refer you on to someone who would be better equipped to provide the correct type of support. This therefore let me personally develop a network of lecturers to whom I could go to in the case of specific issues, whether that is via email, skype or by having a meeting in person.
In my first year, I was nominated for the ‘Best Student Recognition Event’ with IBM which took place in Amsterdam. This was a fantastic opportunity, and having been one of only a few individuals selected from the UK, I was very humbled to have had the chance to represent the university at the event. It revolved around the issue of food wastage, building up to a team based task that required for a technologic solution that tackled the issue. I opted to put forward an idea, which my team supported, for which I then led the pitch to win the final proposed task. This required creating and delivering a presentation revolving around our solution in front of four individuals in a ‘Dragons Den’ style session.
Furthermore, I provided support as a student ambassador, answering the questions and queries of prospective students at Queen Mary open days and other events. I found this hugely rewarding as it enabled me to engage with the new cohort and provide advice based on experiences I have had – whether that was to do with course choice or by offering further insight into specific modules.
Did you study abroad at one of our partner institutions or taken up an industrial placement as part of your course?
I took an industrial placement as a junior graphic designer at a DHL subsidiary servicing EY. For me one of the highlights was the whole process of application for the placement. Although it was difficult I found it was insightful; allowing me to further develop my approach to applications and how I presented myself as a candidate. As part of my placement I feel one of the best moments was to have had the opportunity to go and visit ‘Smoke & Mirrors’, a post production house. This was a company I was very interested in, and having exposure to the environment very much cemented my direction into the creative sector.
The experience as a whole also allowed me to further develop my client engagement skills, improving composure to understand and service individuals ranging from consultants through to global partners.
What do you hope to do now you have graduated?
I am open to the possibility of continuing in academia. Queen Mary has provided me with the opportunity to work with both talented staff and students allowing me to further grow my network. Additionally the experience has prepared me for working with a variety of mediums and roles that I may encounter in future opportunities.