The University of Southampton

Mayuran's essay wins national essay prize

Published: 30 April 2009

Final-year student Mayuran Anantharajan has won a national essay competition organized by the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Sciences.

The subject of the essay was ‘Who or what was the inspiration for choosing your current course of study?’ and the competition was open to all students in the UK studying Computing or Library and Information Sciences.

In his essay Mayuran provides an entertaining and persuasive account of the factors that led to his decision to study Software Engineering. He explains that in his case, the important reasons didn’t derive from ‘who or what’ but ‘who and what’. In particular, Mayuran cites his father and his dedication to his work as a Communications Engineer for London Underground as an inspirational influence. He writes:

‘Professionalism is one of the first things that struck me about being an engineer when I was younger. I saw my Dad updating a massive thick file (there’s so much work that files are used rather than books!) with work that had been carried out the night before. When I asked my Dad why he did this, my Dad explained that the log file was a record to show as proof to the IEEE (Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) that work was being carried out worthy of an Incorporated Engineer. This is when I found out that institutions existed to help engineers carry out their roles in a professional manner.’

Mayuran’s father also provided decisive advice when the choice of course at university had to be made. Mayuran had decided to do Engineering, but his father encouraged him to follow his passion for computing technology, suggesting that Software Engineering would be a key discipline for the 21st century.

‘I took my Dad’s advice, and having nearly completed my course, I believe that software is a vital technology (without any software, a computer doesn’t do anything), which is why it will continue to develop to a level that will mean society will rely on using computing technology even more in the future. This is why I chose to do a Software Engineering degree; to help lay the foundations in my knowledge and prepare me for the future.’

Mayuran will complete his Master of Engineering course in the School of Electronics and Computer Science in just a few weeks. After graduation he will look for a job as a Software Engineer, or possibly continue his studies to postgraduate research.

‘I really enjoyed writing this essay,' he said, 'as it made me remember many wonderful memories. I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.’

Mayuran wins an Apple iPod Touch and will be invited to attend the Higher Education Academy 2009 Annual Conference at the University of Manchester in June.

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