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Tony Livins

BSc (Hons) Computer Science
Current student

Headshot - Tony Livins

Tony Livins studied BSc (Hons) Computer Science as a mature student for career progression and personal interest. He developed a growing passion for computing, which evolved into a desire to delve deeper into the field of computing and understand its intricacies.

Why did you decide to study an undergraduate course? 

One pivotal moment that solidified my decision to pursue a degree in computing was during my time working as an IT Computer Assistant and Store Keeper. It was there that I was first introduced to various aspects of computing beyond just basic usage. I found myself captivated by the potential of computing to revolutionise industries and drive innovation. In particular, I was intrigued by the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving landscape of computing technology.

After researching various universities and their programs, I found that Solent University's BSc in computing offered the perfect blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The curriculum seemed comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics relevant to modern computing, and the university's reputation for fostering industry connections and providing hands-on learning opportunities further solidified my decision.

Ultimately, I see this undergraduate course as the first step towards achieving my career goals in the computing industry. I am eager to immerse myself in the world of computing, expand my knowledge and skills, and ultimately make a meaningful impact in this dynamic and rapidly evolving field.

Did you have any concerns about studying an undergraduate course?  

One of my main concerns was whether I would be able to keep up with the academic rigor of the program, especially considering that I had been out of formal education for some time while working in the IT industry. I was worried about adapting to the university environment, managing my time effectively, and balancing my studies with other responsibilities.

To overcome these concerns, I took proactive steps to prepare myself for the challenges ahead. I sought guidance from academic advisors and career counsellors to gain a better understanding of the program requirements and expectations. I also enrolled in online courses and self-study programs to brush up on fundamental concepts and technical skills related to computing.

I made use of the resources and support services available at Solent University, such as academic workshops, industry meetups and counselling services, to address any academic or personal challenges that arose during my studies. By taking a proactive and positive approach to my concerns, I was able to overcome them and embark on my undergraduate journey with confidence and determination.

What’s the best thing about your course lecturers? 

The best thing about my course lecturers is their remarkable dedication to teaching and their profound impact on my academic journey, from making lessons fun, to maintaining high standards of excellence in every module; truly enriching my learning experience and shaping me into a better student.

Overall, each lecturer has played a crucial role in my academic journey. Their dedication, support, and inspiration have made my experience at Solent University truly unforgettable, and I am profoundly grateful for their contributions.

Did you do any work experience as part of your course? 

I had the opportunity to gain valuable work experience at both Sainsbury's and Currys, which significantly enhanced my studies and prepared me for my current role.

My hands-on experience at Sainsbury's allowed me to apply the theoretical knowledge I gained in my coursework to real-world scenarios. I learned how to effectively communicate with colleagues, prioritise tasks, and problem-solve under pressure, skills that have proven invaluable in my current role.

Similarly, my work experience at Currys, where I served as a sales assistant in the computing department, provided me with valuable insights into customer service, product knowledge, and sales techniques. I gained a deeper understanding of different computing products, software, and hardware, which complemented my academic studies and helped me develop a well-rounded skill set.

Overall, both work experiences have played a significant role in bridging the gap between theory and practice, allowing me to apply theoretical concepts in real-world settings and gain practical skills that are essential for success in the computing industry. These experiences not only enriched my studies but also prepared me for my current role by equipping me with the hands-on experience and practical knowledge necessary to excel in the field.

Overall, my experience has been incredibly fulfilling. From striking the right balance between work and study to seizing new opportunities and accessing study support services.

Tell us a bit about your experience as an undergraduate student?

My experience has been incredibly enriching and rewarding. One of the most important aspects of my experience has been finding the right balance between work, life, and study. Balancing coursework with part-time work and personal commitments has been challenging at times, but with proper time management and organisation, I've been able to maintain a healthy balance and excel academically while still enjoying my student life.

One of the highlights of my undergraduate journey has been the plethora of new opportunities that have come my way. From internships to networking events, the University has provided me with numerous opportunities to gain valuable experience and expand my professional network. These opportunities have not only enhanced my resume but have also helped me develop important skills and gain insights into potential career paths.

Overall, my experience has been incredibly fulfilling. From striking the right balance between work and study to seizing new opportunities and accessing study support services, my time at Solent has been transformative and has prepared me for success in the future.

How is Solent preparing you for your career?

The University is providing me with a well-rounded education and practical experience that is preparing me for a successful career in the computing industry. The curriculum is carefully designed to equip me with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to thrive in today's digital world.

Moreover, the University's extensive links with industry, opportunities for work experience, and regular industry talks provide invaluable networking opportunities and insights into the workings of the tech and digital industries. Through mentorship programmes, placement activities, and participation in local tech meet-ups and Hackathons, Solent University is helping me to become a highly skilled and well-rounded professional ready to make a positive impact in the computing industry.

What’s been your proudest achievement during your studies?

My proudest achievement during my studies has been completing various certifications and courses in the field of computing and technology. Among these achievements, I would highlight my accomplishments in machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence.

In terms of certifications, I have obtained diplomas in DevOps Engineering, Cyber Security, and Quality Assurance, which represent hundreds of hours of dedicated study and practical work. These certifications have equipped me with valuable skills and knowledge in areas essential for modern computing and technology roles.

I have completed numerous courses in machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence, covering topics such as statistical tests, data visualisation, predictive modelling, and deep learning. These courses have expanded my understanding of advanced computational techniques and provided me with hands-on experience in applying machine learning algorithms to real-world problems.

I have earned several HackerRank skill certificates, demonstrating proficiency in various programming languages and technologies such as Python, JavaScript, SQL, and React. These certificates attest to my technical competence and problem-solving abilities in diverse areas of computer science and software development.

My achievements in obtaining certifications and completing courses reflect my dedication to continuous learning and professional development in the field of computing. Each certification and course completed represents a milestone in my journey towards becoming a skilled and knowledgeable professional in the tech industry.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of studying computing?

In the realm of studying computer science, it's essential to embrace change and innovation. Don't be afraid to explore new technologies, methodologies, and approaches. Keep pushing your boundaries, learning new skills, and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of the field. Remember, success in computer science often comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the unknown. So, dare to dream big, take risks, and never settle for mediocrity. Your journey in this subject area will be as extraordinary as you make it.