Keep Informed > Where Are You Now? > 2010-2019 > Andrew Guthrie

Where Are You Now?

Andrew Guthrie

BSc Networks and Communications 2014

From the age of 16 Andrew knew he wanted to work in IT support, but at that stage had not factored in a university degree to help him reach his full potential.

However, after achieving one of the highest marks ever for a Btech National Diploma in IT Practitioner Support Systems at college, Andrew was encouraged to take his natural talent to the next level with a degree, fuelling his ambitions even further when he chose the University of Sunderland to study Network Computing.

Four years later and the life-changing decision to go to university has paid off as the 23-year-old has been offered a full-time job as a Network Test Engineer at the multi-billion pound corporation Cisco Systems, one of the world’s leaders in networking and communications technology.

Alongside his consistent excellent academic results, one of the major factors which has helped the 23-year-old  land his dream job before he even graduates in the summer, was the year-long paid placement he secured with Cisco, at their offices in Reading, during his third year.

“This is a fantastic opportunity I have been given by Cisco and what I have been working towards through my degree at Sunderland. The university has really opened doors for me.

“I’ve never deviated from wanting to work in IT, and have always been interested in computing solutions and making systems more efficient; it’s something I always found I could do quite naturally.

“When I was studying my Btech, I initially did not think of going to university, but there were jobs I was looking at that required a degree. However, Sunderland has been a fantastic experience and I’ve taken my career ambitions from wanting to work in IT support to a different level of responsibility, validating large network systems for major international clients.”

During his placement year, Andrew realised how relevant the skills he’d been taught at university were, when it came to putting them into practice in the workplace. As an intern at Cisco he supported a team of engineers who tested projects for the company’s top clients. Now in his new role he’ll be working directly with those clients, testing solutions for them before they’re implemented into a live working environment.

“While I was at Cisco I completed my CCNA and I went on to do my Cisco Certified Network Professional qualification (CCNP). It was hard work studying before and after the working day, but the effort I put in that placement year certainly paid off with this job role I’ve now been offered. I’m over the moon.”

So what advice would Andrew give to students currently thinking about their career options?

“Network Computing at Sunderland was certainly the right choice for me, from the moment I stepped on campus and found out what the university was all about during an Open Day, I haven’t looked back,” he said.

“The course was excellent and the lecturers in particular are incredibly supportive, their knowledge is excellent and I’ve learned so much from their experience.

“I would also recommend students ensure they take advantage of a placement while at university, it can really open doors and is equally as important as your degree. It will help you make contacts and gain the practical experience you need to make you more employable.”

But Andrew adds that while having a fantastic university experience in the North East, students also need to be prepared to travel anywhere in the country to find the right job once they have graduated.

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