The University of Southampton

Eldar Alasgarov BSc Information Technology in Organisations, 2015

It wouldn’t be a lie to say that my time at Southampton was the most influential part of my life. University taught me of everything I use as a grown man – dedication, honesty, and an endless desire to learn and challenge myself.

The knowledge I acquired at the University of Southampton allowed me to find a job as soon as I went back home to Azerbaijan after graduation, in the leading IT company AtaTechnology.

Choosing Southampton

I chose to study at Southampton for various reasons, including the great QS and UK ranking of the particular degree faculty (Electronics and Computer Sciences), and unique courses – the University offered BSc Information Technology in Organisations, when in most universities similar degrees are Computer Science and Business Management. Also, because Southampton is a relatively small city, that meant less expense, and a better social community.

Settling in quickly

There were a few things that I was anxious about before coming to Southampton – the language barrier, socialising and the difficulty of the subject. The language barrier was passed after 2-3 months of standard involvement in the classes, thanks to the patient academic staff. Socialising was easy too, thanks to the nice design of the University accommodation and endless student fairs held at the University.

Quality of teaching

The quality of the teaching was a major benefit of the course. The academic staff are very experienced with strong abilities as tutors – we would never doubt their knowledge in their fields of expertise! My advice to anyone starting their degree at Southampton would be to soak up everything your teacher gives you like a sponge!

Winning the Zepler prize

I can’t possibly list all my highlights of studying at the University of Southampton, but here are a few. I had a summer internship as part of the Web Accessibility Team in the faculty. I worked as a demonstrator in the labs helping programming students, from the year below me. The knowledge and experience I gained there helped me to get to where I am now.

Moreover, earning a Zepler Prize and ECS scholarship for achieving the highest overall mark in the course in my first year made me extremely motivated to continue in the same path and be as enthusiastic – if not more!

Opportunities outside of the course

I made the most of opportunities outside of the course whilst studying at Southampton.

I was part of the Football, Russian and Turkish speaking societies, and even created one of my own, The Azerbaijan Society, to unite all students from our country and share our cultures and traditions with the rest of the student community.

I also took a variety of additional courses such as Professional Development and Living and Working on the Web, which allowed me to adjust my presence online and highlight the importance of the digital profile online, which slowly but surely ended up in employers taking interest in me. Courses such as Groups, Leadership and Teamwork, meanwhile, taught us about teamwork, that every member matters, and that team is no place for stereotypes. It’s better to learn of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Studying for a masters degree

The knowledge I acquired at the University of Southampton easily allowed me to find a job as soon as I went back home to Azerbaijan after graduation, in one of the leading IT companies, AtaTechnology. I was working as a full-stack Web Developer applying my knowledge gained at the University in real-life projects.

I also worked as a lecture assistant in the evening at The Code Academy Company, teaching Web Development to students from different age ranges.

However, my love for the academic life triggered me to continue studying, which lead me to the decision of getting a masters degree at University Politecnico di Milano.