Senior Network Designer: BT
Jaina graduated from Loughborough with a Master’s degree in Internet Computing and Network Security in 2014. Here Jaina discusses her course and career – and how Loughborough was a step towards her career in the telecommunications industry.
Why did you choose to study for a Master’s degree in Internet Computing and Network Security at Loughborough University, following your undergraduate course?
Following my undergraduate course in Electronics and Telecommunication I wanted to do my Master’s degree in a field that was Computer Networks focussed as that was my area of interest.
I chose to study Internet Computing and Network Security at Loughborough University because of its reputation and excellent course structure; it was definitely the course I was looking for. At the time, the Computer Science department at Loughborough ranked fourth overall with a high post-study employment level.
I was inspired by the way the course modules were taught and by the excellent lecturers. The course modules were very in-depth and incorporated a very practical way of teaching which was ideal, as I am a practical person myself.
Everyone around was so supportive and always willing to help and promote a collaborative learning environment. The learning facilities were very good, especially the library which had all the books needed for the subject matter. Loughborough is a reputable university with good career prospects, which helped me in establishing my career, in the Telecoms sector, by shaping my knowledge and soft skills.
Loughborough was the stepping-stone for my entry to the Telecom industry. I have not only developed transferrable skills but I have also built so much confidence and competence while doing so.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
The one piece of advice that I would like to give to the current/prospective students is to get the most out of the course and the facilities provided by the University. The course can be quite intense but if you study hard, and be proactive, you will be able to enjoy your success. Do take some time out for extra-curricular activities and learn a sport or two as Loughborough is famous for Sporting excellence. If you are planning on being a network designer then this course will build the foundation for you.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
Yes, it is very important that you do participate in extra-curricular activities. In my spare time, I used to play badminton and go on weekend field trips organised by student bodies. This helped me to network with the fellow students and meet students from different parts of the world, which was amazing. University days are one of the best days of your career and most enjoyable days.
My favourite thing about Loughborough was the friends that I made for life and the quality of teaching. The staff were very knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects. The lectures were quite practical which made it a fun way of learning.
The University has all the facilities you need from the library to computer labs. It was so helpful to have everything at your doorstep and close to my residence at John Phillips hall. Town was within walking distance and there were regular shuttle buses to the town centre and station.
I have been working at BT for 3 years now and my journey has taken me from Graduate to a Senior Network Designer.
My career prior to BT was very interesting and challenging; I have done internships and work placements in Schlumberger, Sky, TCS and PwC. It is very important that you work in core companies as it expands your professional network and helps build a great CV.
I was so ecstatic at getting a dream job in a company like BT, as I have always wanted to work in the Telecoms sector.
One of the lessons learnt from my career journey is that companies do not want to employ someone who hasn’t experienced any failure because they want to understand how you would react. As you go further in your career where failure is almost a pre-requisite, be very honest when you are struggling and failing. On these occasions other people can help you so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
I work as a Senior Network Designer in Openreach’s Next Generation Access design team. We are responsible for design, implementation, testing and support of the Openreach broadband platform.
In Openreach, we are planning to rollout FTTP to as many as 16 fibre cities which is quite exciting and challenging and I have been closely involved in the design. Superfast broadband has been extended to 95% of UK premises, which means that millions more homes and businesses can get online speeds of at least 24Mbps.
I have been instrumental in the designs to support further rollout of NGA superfast broadband to the remaining 5% of UK homes. My job requires me to spend time in our design labs and validate my design. It’s very exciting when you see your designs go from concept into live deployment.
What I love most about my job is everyone shares the same vision and is so professional. People care about me as a person and about my professional growth. Everyone is so supportive, there is always something new to learn and there are plenty of new challenges to keep the job stimulating.
There are so many innovations happening every single day in my job that I am excited about the future. I want to become a lead Network Designer and see myself becoming technology expert in my area of expertise whilst also widening my knowledge space generally. I am also keen to become Chartered Engineer accredited by IET.
It’s hard to pick the single proudest moment, as there have been quite a few. Getting my dream job in BT has been one of the proudest moments and then representing BT at the Loughborough University careers fair gave me a real sense of achievement. Giving an IET tech talk about my Career journey in the Ultrafast lane at the University of Essex is my most recent proudest moment.