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Emily, Cambridge, Physics

Casebooks Emily

At the start of my degree I thought that coding was the worst thing ever. We had to do some Matlab exercises in my first year and I had absolutely no idea what was going on and was convinced there were some illogical powers involved, because nothing I tried ever worked..

However, as the years went on, I started to mellow towards coding, and it started to seem much less mystical. In the summer of my third year I did an internship at the UK's synchrotron facility. To my initial dismay, I didn't get my first choice experimental project, but got assigned my third choice project which involved some coding in R. By the end of this project I discovered I actually quite liked coding and so I made sure I got a coding based Masters project for my 4th year. By this time my enthusiasm for Physics and a PhD was starting to wane quite seriously, and the Masters project convinced me that I would quite enjoy sitting around writing code and drinking coffee for a job.

Serendipitously, it was around this time (Lent term) that I spotted an Ensoft flyer in my pigeon hole, and thought it looked like a pretty good company to work at. I went to a "tea and cake" recruitment session, and chatted to a few people at the company. They were all friendly and nice to chat to, and although I cannot claim to have really understood anything about routers at the time, the work sounded interesting. I'd gone through quite a few lengthy internship applications in my time, and had completed a patent law job interview earlier that year that required days of preparation, so I really liked the fact that Ensoft just wanted a CV. I thought I didn't have much to lose, so I sent off an application. Only a few weeks later, after a pretty efficient interview morning that didn't require much preparation other than being ready to talk about my CV, I found out between lectures that I'd been offered a job! I couldn't quite believe that someone was actually offering to pay me money! It was pretty lucky as all of my good intentions of applying to a few other similar companies had gotten swept up in university work.

I visited the offices during the Easter holidays and decided to accept the offer. Ensoft helped me get in touch with the other people that had accepted offers, and we all met up for dinner after summer exams were finished. Thankfully, they all seemed really nice, and it got me excited to start working! It also allowed me to get a flat in Harpenden arranged with another girl that would be starting with me.

One year on, I've really enjoyed my time so far at Ensoft. There is loads to learn here, and loads of helpful, supportive, super smart people to teach it to you; I definitely learn something new every day, and I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of software development. I've also found out that there is a lot more to industry standard software development than I could previously have imagined. The projects are obviously on a much larger scale than "a program to plot a Cornu spiral" and have a much bigger impact, as Ensoft code runs on routers around the world.

An added bonus is that Ensoft is a really sociable welcoming company and promotes a good work life balance to take advantage of it. There are lots of pub trips, sports, and bigger socials going on e.g. fancy dinner in London, Christmas dinner, and the walking weekend. I also quite like living in Harpenden: being able to walk to work is very luxurious, and I can get out cycling in the Chilterns just as easily as I can get into London for dinner after work with friends. I would definitely recommend applying to Ensoft for anyone that thinks they might be interested in software development - it's a brilliant place to work!