IT Student Placement Sonia joined us in 2019 as part of her course at the University of Sheffield studying AI and Computer Science. Originally from Kenya, Sonia’s interest in computers started when she first saw Iron Man. She explained:
“I liked how his software systems were so advanced, almost like they were actually alive! I have always been interested in Maths and Science and Computer Science is a fun mix of both.”
Outside of university, Sonia uses the skills she’s been taught from her course in her everyday use of computers. She enjoys the assignments that she is set, like making games and apps. She also loves making consumer products.
One consumer product Sonia has been heavily involved in during her time at SYPTE is our Travel South Yorkshire chatbot, Sonya, a brand-new project that Sonia designed and created. The chatbot started as an idea by the customer services team. Sonia brought it to fruition after researching other chatbots, coding our own and working with our customer service and marketing teams to learn more about what customers would need it to do. While it was being tested, she made changes and developed the chatbot based on feedback.
“I applied for the placement because it’s near to where I study, and it offers a wide range of things that I can work on during my time rather than a specific area. My placement at SYPTE is tailored to me and my course and it’s changeable, so it’s always interesting. It also gives me more knowledge of what I’m studying to apply my knowledge in the real world, so it’s definitely been useful.”
No two days are the same in the ever-changing world, so we asked her what sorts of things she gets up to in a typical week. She told us “I test new IT systems and work on them based on feedback. When we install a new system, we get training which is really insightful in the ways different systems operate and what they do and is great learning. We also have regular team meetings to see what the department is working on and what is coming up.”
Despite being a placement, Sonia gets to benefit from the wide range of benefits SYPTE offer our staff including flexible working hours.
“I like the location as it’s near to where I study. It’s a friendly environment where people are quick to give help if they can. The teams are smaller too, so it’s easier to collaborate and get to know who you’re working with.”