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This is an abridged version of a conversation between Laurence and Kiran.


Laurence: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to start with?

Kiran: I have just finished a 6-month placement at Eurotherm and I’m about to start the 4th year of my degree at Imperial.


So why did you chose Eurotherm for your placement?

I really enjoyed coming down for my interview day. It seemed like a really friendly place and also working with industry was something I’ve never really experienced before; it seemed like an interesting way to go with computers.

Could you give a brief summary of the project that you undertook?

The project involved research into Cloud computing for a particular application.


What sort of technologies were you working with during the placement?

Some of the technologies used were HTML, JavaScript and Flash on the client side, and on the server side PHP, MySQL, C++ and the Bash scripting language.


Which aspect of the project did you enjoy the most?

Working with web technology was something I had not done before that I found very interesting. Also learning about the field of Cloud computing which is something that I’m now really excited about, and which before I had no knowledge about.


Looking back at the placement, has it changed your thoughts about what you might do in the fourth year and beyond that?

Definitely, yes; there are no directly relevant courses in my fourth year, but it is something I will carry on in my own time – my interest in web development and in particular Cloud computing. Hopefully I will get to do things with that in the future.


Eurotherm is located on the south coast. How did you find the location – did you enjoy your time there?

I did, yes. Luckily I live quite close so I could get down to Worthing pretty easily. It’s a nice place.


Looking back at the placement, you say that it has made you really interested in Cloud computing which before the placement you were not really thinking about at all. Did the placement match your expectations? Was there any part you feel you missed out on that you were hoping to experience?

In a lot of ways it exceeded my expectations: the level at which I got to be involved and how big the project got. I got to talk to Customers which I had never experienced and actually working with customers, also working with a whole range of people at Eurotherm was really great.


What was the single most valuable thing that you’ve learned?

For me it was being able to apply all the theory that I’ve learned over recent years, not just at degree level but before that. All of the studying – really you don’t get to apply it properly in the degree, but being able to work in a commercial environment applying all the theory and knowledge that you have gained was really useful.


Do you have a word of advice for other students about making a choice for a placement? What should they have in mind when going into a placement? Should they be prepared to have a very research-based mindset, or do you think it is normal to expect to do quite a lot of development on a placement?

From my experience it was a bit of both. I spent the first month researching. Keep an open mind about what your project will be, I had no idea mine would be something like this so that was really great.

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