Name: Marija Smirnova
Qualification: BSc Computer Science with Business Management 2008
Employer: Goldman Sachs
Role: New Associate Programme Analyst in the Technology Division

Skills learnt at university
Over the 3 years while I was reading CSBM, I gained significant knowledge in different programming languages that improved my analytical thinking, important for my current role at Goldman Sachs. The business disciplines that I studied as part of my degree introduced me to the world of finance. For example, I feel comfortable to perform various strategic analyses of companies and industries globally. These skills are very important to me because I work in the financial sector and need to be able to deal with various financial problems everyday. Working in a team and presenting the team findings to large audiences have been a big part of several modules that I studied, such as Strategic management and Robotics. Additionally, extra curricular activities at university such as being Computer Science Ambassador improved my communication skills significantly and made it easier for me to settle in a new environment and work closely with other team members.

How did you progress from university into your current job? Last summer I did a summer internship with Goldman Sachs. It was a completely new but a fascinating experience for me because it was the first time I had done work which was relevant to my degree. After the internship they offered me a place on their graduate programme which I accepted.

What is your career plan for the future?
I am planning to work in the financial sector for a while. I believe that in some time I will move on and undertake new roles such as project manager and business analyst in order to further my career. But this depends as I first need to gain valuable experience and then I will see what the best options are.

What were the best things about studying Computer Science at Birmingham?
I believe that here we get taught not only theory but actually the essential software developing and project management skills. You get to do lots of practical assignments and work both on your own and in a team. This allows students after graduating to get fantastic jobs with major companies who highly value the Birmingham Computer Science department.

What are the best things about your current job?
In my current job I have a great opportunity to learn new things everyday and challenge myself. Support and training is available all the time if required. Furthermore, culture of the company and people are just fantastic.