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About City

Computer Science, Usmaan Said

For Usmaan's placement year, he worked as an E-Commerce Consultant for PortalTech Reply (PTR)

Where did you undertake your work placement and what were the main responsibilities during your time there?

Usmaan Said For my placement year, I worked as an E-Commerce Consultant for PortalTech Reply (PTR). The company is part of the Reply group and specialises in consulting and technical solutions within the e-commerce industry.

I was exposed to four main roles during my time at PTR. They consisted of client facing and development roles. When working as a Business Analyst, I was responsible for creating a training manual on how to use the SAP Hybris system. This taught me to be more familiar with unknown systems and translate them in a way that is easier to learn. In project management, we followed SCRUM techniques on client site. I had to collect requirements and then feedback to the team alongside the delivery manager on our next steps for the project. In addition, my general skill-set was also constantly growing as I demonstrated my analytical skills, problem solving and communication skills.

What skills did you learn during your time at the placement?

When working as a Front-End Developer and Designer, I was responsible for the user experience and user interface aspects so that Back-End Developers could implement them in order to complete the website.  This was something new for me and I had to learn quickly how to use a range of programming languages such as HTML, CSS, SASS and JavaScript. I then had to merge these languages with the Hybris Platform. In addition to this, I also used Axure for the interactive wireframes, InVision and OmniGraffle for the prototyping user journeys, and Adobe Photoshop to adhere designs to client requirements.

Tell us about a positive standout moment during your placement which was most memorable?

What stood out for me overall in my placement was being commended and recognised for my work. I was awarded a bonus and job offer after successful completion of my degree. I would not have gotten that opportunity without the placement. I couldn’t have done it without my manager who kept motivating and pushing me to be the best version of myself.

How has the placement helped with your overall career goals and aspirations?

I have an offer of employment and a much clearer vision of where I want to be after graduation. I know that once I have completed my degree, I want to work in the commercial aspects of computing as it would open more opportunities and further develop myself as a professional. One thing that is great about being on an integrated master’s degree is that you have plenty of time to develop and grab these opportunities. I highly recommend going for a placement as it will help you to really learn about yourself, while also giving the ability to put your degree into practice. If you do find yourself being unlucky, start off with an internship and work your way up. It is still valuable! City University has plenty of resources and a great PLU team, so there’s no excuse when finding something you will like!