Penelope Hindle

Penelope Hindle

Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?

Initially, I was set on moving to London for University but I decided to take a chance on Leeds and put it as my 5th option on UCAS. After visiting for the open day I completely changed my mind! I fell in love with the city of Leeds and especially the University campus. I love the fact that everything you need is all in one place, it makes settling in very easy.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University and why?

Studying at the university has given me so many opportunities I would never have otherwise had. My favourite year in Leeds was my 3rd year, where I did a year in industry at a software company in Leeds. It made me realise how fun working is, meaning I wasn’t scared to graduate and ‘go into the real world’. It also gave me a motivation boost and I found it much easier to settle into a good working routine in 4th year after working 9-5 for a year.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?

I worked as a developer at a start-up over summer between my second and third year. I had the opportunity to experience how a company is formed right from trademarking the company name to turning the web servers on for the first time.

During my placement year I got to work at a company that makes software for NHS labs, which meant I got to experience how the NHS works, alongside a smaller private company.

Finally, for my dissertation/final year project, I created an interface for a robot, so it could trace a maze on a sheet of paper - which formed a workshop to take into schools for GCSE students.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

I’ve always loved that Leeds is small enough to feel like home but big enough to never run out of things to do. There are hundreds of quirky bars and restaurants, shopping centres and independent shops, activities like bowling and crazy golf all just in the city centre. I’ve never met anyone who has regretted moving to Leeds for university.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I have just started working as a software developer back at the company I did my placement year at, X-Lab. I plan to stay in Leeds for a few years building up skills and starting to get involved with public speaking at tech events.

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

Back in first year, I got my first part-time job through the university, working on open days. Since then, the university has helped me secure an internship, placement year and ultimately a graduate job.

Throughout my time at Leeds, I also got involved with a number of volunteering opportunities. These included teaching over 100 girls to code with Code First: Girls, going into schools to promote STEM careers and creating a robotics workshop for KS4 students as part of my dissertation.

All of these have been invaluable to me and my future career.

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

My advice to any new students would be to completely throw yourself into the university experience in first year. So many people, including myself, regret not joining a bunch of societies and enrolling in obscure discovery modules. I would also advise making yourself known to lecturers. You can help make a real difference on your course if you become a course representative or join the society for your course.