Robin Johnson MEng Software Engineering, 2015
Acting Features and Content Co-ordinator, Society of London Theatre/UK Theatre
“I was attracted to study at Southampton because of the people. I came to an open day and found everyone, both staff and students, really friendly and engaging. It seemed very vibrant with lots of things happening and many opportunities.
"Southampton is a fantastic place and it is what you make of it. From the first visit you are blown away by the huge array of equipment. You are given the foundation to push yourself to the next level.
"I really enjoyed the creativity of my course. People may not associate computer sciences with creativity but it really can be. Within the group projects we work in teams to innovate and there are lots of design ideas that could easily convert to commercial products.
"The great thing about Southampton is that there are so many academic and non-academic opportunities. Our third year project was a particular academic highlight. Using computer-based video analysis techniques on footage of theatrical performances I created a system that could suggest and make edits to a live show. At the time I had a great sense of completion.
"Through the Students Union I've also had amazing opportunities and experiences to perform in, produce and direct numerous theatre productions - some of which we even took to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“Through my work with theatre productions I have developed skills in acting, producing, directing, project management, resource management and time management. I have also had the opportunity to work as a presenter on Union Southampton's TV and radio stations as well as writing regular blog posts for www.lifeatsouthampton.com.
"The programme’s Group Design Projects simulate a real-world environment where you are designing products to fulfil a real need and meet the requirements of a business client. You are developing a product for a client, from pitch, to design and prototyping.
“The project I worked on had the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research as a client. We built a prototype for a remote hearing test that would allow people with potential hearing difficulties to test their hearing without the need to travel to a test centre.
“One of the main strengths of my course was the variation. It never felt like I was just programming or just learning theory. From your first year there are opportunities for so many different starting points such as artificial intelligence or human-computer interaction.
"Whatever your interests you can quickly move from a broad overview to specialise in something niche. The variation in modules can help you get a sense of the direction you are headed in and you can find out what you like and enjoy.
“You gain an understanding of the world as it is developing. You look at how people behave and you can start to predict how technologies and social media will change and how you can contribute to that change.
"Southampton is a fantastic place and it is what you make of it. From the first visit you are blown away by the huge array of equipment. You are given the foundation to push yourself to the next level. Seeing other people's coursework and projects is ridiculously inspiring.
"I would advise people thinking about coming to Southampton not to be nervous, just get stuck in and make the most of your time. There is so much support and, although you may not realise it, everyone has the same challenges to face. That's what pushes you together."
Law with software engineering? Neuroscience with electronic engineering? Robin Johnson and Olivia Ojuroye talk about the unexpected subjects they were able to to study as part of their degree.