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City and Accenture collaborate on employability module for computer science and maths students

By Eve Lacroix (Communications Officer), Published (Updated )

“The cloud is here to stay,” says Swathi Nandi, Managing Director at Accenture.

Swathi was one of eight senior Accenture employees that delivered talks to undergraduate students from City, University of London as part of the “Cloud technology for business transformation” module.

The module was co-created by City and Accenture to prepare students for a career in cloud computing and was open to students in the final year of their BSc Computer Science or BSc Mathematics degrees.

The partnership was facilitated by the School of Science and Technology’s Corporate Relations and Employability Unit (CREU).

Preparing for the future: students learn about cloud computing

Companies are increasingly relying on cloud services in their businesses and the numbers are expected to continue rising in the years ahead.

Cloud computing is a high availability and reliable platform to store data that can be accessed by teams anywhere in the world. It is used to run complex computing and analytics functions, rather than using local servers that are tied to specific offices and locations.

As part of the module, students complete a Google Cloud accreditation, which is one of the major cloud computing providers on the market and puts students in good stead for future job applications.

Building business acumen: how does cloud fit within a business?

For third-year undergraduate computer science students like Valli Ramaswamy and Rosen Georgiev, whose degrees focus on technical skills, studying the “Cloud technology for business transformation” module provides them with the opportunity to sharpen their business acumen.

During the module, students were split into teams and came up with a plan on how to introduce a cloud infrastructure to process the data requirements of a fictional pharmaceuticals company, which they then pitched. The assignment gave students a broader view of how cloud computing fits into the wider scope of a business.

“The cloud computing module opened my eyes to what it would be like to work in a team in a more corporate role,” said Valli, who is studying towards the integrated MSc in Data Science and did her placement year at the semiconductor company Arm.

Headshot of student Valli Ramaswamy
Valli Ramaswamy, MSc Computer Science

Fellow student Rosen was interested in understanding the different cloud platforms.

Portrait of student Rosen Georgiev, BSc Computer Science, wearing a white collared shirt and grey work trousers sitting on a grey couch
Rosen Georgiev, BSc Computer Science

A career-oriented student, he already has work experience in cloud computing, having spent his placement year working as a Security Technical Specialist at Microsoft’s offices in Reading followed by a summer internship at Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“I’m confident that the knowledge I’ve acquired has helped set me up for success and has made me a more versatile candidate,” said Rosen.

He continued:

The best part of the module was having the opportunity to gain insight from professionals at Accenture and hear about their practical experience of working in the industry.

Originally from Bulgaria, he selected City after seeing the positive employment statistic for its graduates and has already secured a job which will start after he graduates.

He credits Mohson Khan, Head of the Corporate Relations & Employability Unit (CREU) and Anne Lloyd, his work-based learning advisor, in helping him secure the role. Mohson heads up the CREU team, which is unique to the School of Science & Technology, and Anne Lloyd leads on the Accenture-Google cloud module.

Leadership in tech

Swathi leads the Accenture-Google Cloud business in the UK and Ireland and delivered two talks on adaptive leadership in technology.

Portrait of Swathi Nandi
Swathi Nandi, Managing Director at Accenture

Swathi said:

Leadership has come a long way from the days of ‘hero leaders’ and has moved instead to ‘leadership at every level.

This reflects the cultural shifts happening as Millennials and Gen Z become the biggest populations making up the modern workforce.

For Swathi, an effective leader is ethical, not only in how they run their business, but in respecting human rights and planetary boundaries.

“The students were really engaged and interested in sustainability,” Swathi said. “They had a really good balance of EQ and IQ and asked high calibre questions about teamwork and about how tech can become greener.”

Student Valli resonated with these concerns about leadership and ethics because in her placement year at Arm, she worked with a global team to support the company’s data strategy related to its workforce and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Data science is a booming field and new roles will need to respond to the demand. “I predict a new department will be created that handles the data strategy across the company, managed by the Chief Technology Officer (CTO),” she said.

After finishing her master’s, she hopes to work in a data strategy role in a startup.


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