Alexandru Zarafu

Alexandru Zarafu


Alexandru Zarafu

What is your degree?

Degree of MSci in Computing Science       


Which company did you work for placement and how long? 

GE Oil&Gas – 12 months placement (extended for a further 3 months)

Why did you choose to take a year in industry as part of your degree?

I wanted to have an insight into the industry I would like to pursue a full-time position after graduating from University. A year in industry is a great way to apply knowledge gained from University and find out what you do and don't like.

Tell us more about your year in industry

My year in the industry was with the 9th biggest company in the world according to Forbes. General Electric position itself as one of the best infrastucture and technology company with a strong accent on leadership and process simplification.

For my placement, I was assigned to GE Oil&Gas to work on the Oracle Global Enterprise Resource Planing implementation in the Subsea Systems division. In addition to my main task of ensuring a smooth data conversion process to the new system, I was highly involved in the other areas of the project: requirements gathering, testing, defects tracking, training.

Having the flexibility to work in all areas of the project gave me a great insight into how the business works as a whole and where I fit in as part of it.

Have you enjoyed it so far?

I really enjoyed my placement with General Electric and I will definitely look into joining them after finishing University as a graduate.

What skills have you been able to develop?

I was highly exposed to Oracle SQL and SQL Developer tools where I was able to further develop my existing skills in a real business environment having an impact on such a big project.

Furthermore I was able to greatly improve my HTLM, CSS and PHP by  developing  a  complete  intranet  website  from scratch where users could collaborate and find the most important project documents in real time.

Leadership, critical thinking, decision-making and collaboration are also skills I have managed to hugely improve as part of my placement.

Do you think the experience will help you when you come back to your degree course?

Coming back to my third year at University felt a lot easier than expected. Using the soft skills gained from my placemet I can organise my time a lot better and motivate myself to achieve my goals. 

How did your BSc Computing Science prepare you for your year in industry?

The amount of knowledge I could recall from my CS modules during the project was quite surprising. Courses like “Data management”, “Web Development” or “Human Computer Interaction” covered a good deal of knowledge similar to the project I was assigned to.

How has the Department helped you with your year in industry?

I have benefited from a lot of support both before and during my year in industry from my personal tutor, Dr. Martin Killingbaum, who is also responisble for organising placements.

The Careers Service provided plenty of constructive feedback in preparing my CV and Personal Letter. Furthermore, they were very helpful during my placement, when we worked together to organise a recruiting event on behalf of the company at University of Aberdeen.

Have you any advice for prospective students thinking about taking a year in industry?

Taking a year in industry is more about getting that experience on the CV. There are imense opportunities to make friends, network with people from all positions in the company, travel around the world and motivate yourself into achieving your goals.