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Richard Woodward (BSc Cybernetics and Control Engineering 2009)

Biography

I currently live in London, studying for a PhD at Imperial College London in Biomedical Engineering. Since graduating from Reading I have started my own limited company which I contracted from, before starting a Masters at Imperial College London, followed by a PhD.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

I was drawn in by Readings reputation and information I obtained online. After attending an open day I was immediately set on going there.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

Reading is an exciting and interesting city, which has plenty of entertainment and things to do. If Reading isn't enough it's only a 30 minute trip to London. Reading's campus is very pretty and well maintained, one of the best I've seen.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Explore what else the university has to offer outside of your studies. The facilities Reading offers are very useful, including the math support centre which saved me more than once, and the careers advice department which helped me improve my CV and interview techniques.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I'm taking a PhD at Imperial College London, in my second year now. I took a year out following my bachelors at Reading and worked under my own company, contracting as a software developer. I then took a Masters at Imperial, followed immediately by my PhD.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Invest your skills outside of your immediate area as well as your core focus area to show your abilities in a different domain. Volunteering and teaching are very beneficial both for your learning and to make you stand out from the crowd when applying for further education/jobs.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

The careers centre didn't help me choose my career path, per se; that was determined by my course and interests. What the careers centre did do for me is boost my confidence and help me in improving my professional image.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Make yourself stand out! Graduating with a hundred of your peers, with similar backgrounds, education, and interests means that you will struggle when applying for the same job. Extra curricular activities and volunteering work makes the difference.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

The University of Reading was what turned my academic life around and helped me in numerous areas, setting me up for the academic path I have taken. My favourite memory is graduating with my friends and receiving congratulations from those that taught me.

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