Computer students receive career boost through Uni/Cisco connection
Release Date 03 April 2013
Over 100 University of Reading students have received project management training and career advice from networking giants CISCO.
Each year, the University's School of Systems Engineering partners with Cisco for a major piece of coursework for the final year Computer Networking module. This year the class divided into teams of eight, each tasked to tackle a major computer network design for a fictional University. Cisco engineers helped develop the scenario and the briefing notes.
Last term Cisco engineers spent half a day at the University, giving each team advice and feedback on their proposed solutions. They also held workshops on CV writing and employability issues as well as showcasing some of the company's latest technology.
Professor Chris Guy, from the University of Reading's School of Systems Engineering, said: "This kind of interaction with one of the world's largest and most successful companies is vitally important to enhancing the employability of our graduates. This is the fourth year in a row the exercise has been held in this form and many previous graduates have expressed their appreciation of how it helps them develop vital skills in team working, along with enhancing their technical knowledge."
Each team gave a short presentation with the brief to sell their solution to the fictional University management, so they have to focus on the services provided not just the underlying technology. The winners, who called themselves Pineapple Technology, were chosen by the Cisco engineers and were awarded prizes and a personal letter of commendation courtesy of Cisco.
Scott Daniels, studying for a BSc in Applied Computer Science and leader of the winning team, said: "Having the opportunity to present work to industry leaders from a major company is of a huge benefit for us as students. It's invaluable experience to be critiqued by both academics and industry professionals, working with both parties provided an extra dimension of feedback on our solution. In particular for this assignment, it was great to have an opportunity to meet with and discuss our solution with business and technical professionals from Cisco which allowed us to ensure we produced a professional, well rounded and technically outstanding piece of work."
Nigel Townley, Engineering Director from Cisco, added: "Cisco has been sponsoring the Group Design Project for the University's School of Systems Engineering for the past four years. As a major IT company in the region we have been keen to establish a meaningful relationship with the University that complements the academic teaching with an industry relevant Networking Case study."
The popular Computer Networking module is optional for all the degree courses taught by the School of Systems Engineering.