Alumni Stories - Kening Zhang

Kening Zhang Name: Kening Zhang
Degree: MSc Computer Science

I completed a BSc in Medical Science from Bethune University of Medical Sciences, Changchun China in 1998. In my final year at Bethune I decided that I would like to study overseas for a postgraduate qualification. The decision to study in England was very simple, because of the UK's reputation for higher education.

I didn't attend any fairs, but I did meet and talked with some of my friends who have studied in the UK. One of my friends had already graduated from Birmingham University, and offered me lots of advice. I was impressed from the description of a grand university, with a beautiful campus and a lively international community.

I studied for my MSc in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, and I graduated in 2001. The aim of this course is to enable graduates coming from degree backgrounds other than computing to gain understanding of computer science and practical software development skills. I chose this area of study, as I believed that it would lead to good career options in what is a fast growing industry currently experiencing significant growth in China.

After graduating I began my career as an Analyst Programmer for Dell. The work was very challenging, developing Dell's global products including desktop and laptop new product releases. Last year I joined HSBC China as an IT Officer and continue in this role to date.

My department is responsible for the delivery of IT solutions to meet the business needs. The most exciting area of my work is having the opportunity to forecast the future growth of a department and being able to design a flexible infrastructure to meet those demands.

I particularly enjoyed my study at the University of Birmingham as there is a versatile international community and you can always find friends from your home country as well as others. The School also provided me with opportunities to attend seminars and events related to Business and various other subjects, which I believe enhanced my general knowledge and greatly added to my employability after graduation. I have fond memories of summer weekends spent at the guild of students and I value the connections I now have with the Alumni community.

Probably the most important benefit of my Computer Science course was the regular opportunity to put what I've learned from class into practice. There are many good assignments which were applied to the real world.

As an international student, I found school life on campus pretty easy to adapt to. Outside of studying you have to worry about rent and living expense, but you can put most of your energy into studying and planning your future career!

The University was a great help when first arriving, organising events to bring students together. I met and made lots of friends as quickly as I could. I should say Birmingham already has a relatively well established support network which made everything easier!

I think postgraduate study in Birmingham is a very good memory in my life, it has opened more opportunities to my future world and has given me life-long benefits. From this point of view, the study opportunity is priceless!