Personal Statement 2017

Computers have revolutionised modern society despite often being taken for granted. For years, I have enjoyed exploring technology and pushing its capabilities. IT’s future direction is to make applications more simple, secure and accessible for the user – demanding supporting infrastructure and platforms that are increasingly complex, resilient and secure.

I want to study Computing with a networking and security bias as I am fascinated by the way technologies connect to deliver applications, services and facilities. I am intrigued as to how front-ends, and their integration with back-end servers, can be secured to protect the data (including the digital assets of multinationals, governments and health services).

New security technologies such as TLS and SSL protect communications across internal and external networks and I have deployed them to secure my home lab (VPN, Radius authentication). I am interested in the balance between security and enabling greater ease of use (biometrics, token authentication etc.).

Repeated instances of insecure systems result in cyber-crime, so forensics and investigative techniques and technologies are areas I would love to learn more about.

I reinforced my longstanding passion during work experience with HP, integrating virtualisation (HP Hellion), databases (Redis), and web development. I visited HP’s Datacentre, seeing servers, routers, switches and management in an enterprise environment.   

I have self taught skills including server admin, virtualisation, Active Directory etc. using online resources, books and through trial and error. I share my knowledge in voluntary activities including; running AV systems for my local church; building a website for a local business; physical upgrades and repairs on Mac and PCs; and giving technical support and assistance to numerous organisations and individuals, winning awards from my Academy.

I see technology as an enabler personally, using it inside and outside school to complete activities that I ‘d find harder due to mild dyslexia and dyspraxia, e.g. writing tasks and annotation. My A-level subjects are giving me skills in logic, applying theory to real-life, and differing communication types.

I am very hard working and have proved my ability to both work in a team and independently. I led a team to manage technical aspects for in-school and visiting theatre productions. I trained new members to use industry-grade lighting, audio and projection equipment. I got an immense sense of achievement seeing new members confidently performing vital roles with skills that I had taught them. My ambition is to use the knowledge that I will gain at university to follow a career in network architecture/administration. An in-depth knowledge of networks, security and forensics is vital to designing, implementing and protecting networks.

At school, I was also in a team building a robot, using VEX robotics equipment, to enter competitions. This gave me a better understanding of how hardware and software came together to produce a useful device. I am respected by staff and students alike for my technical knowledge and my willingness to answer their questions, fix their problems and show them clever ways in which to use the network. As a result, while in Sixth Form, I have taught some GCSE Computer Science periods. Volunteering at open evenings for 7 years, has developed my ability to communicate with others, demonstrating the technology, and explaining how it can help fix real life problems.

I have a passion for Civil Aviation. I am building a flight simulator and have particular interest in the effect automation has had on flight. My EPQ examines the role of automation in several accidents. This involves a lot of research into human interaction with systems, ease of use and access: something I know must be related to any quality IT system.

I enjoy include cycling, walking and cooking, activities that allow me to set goals and to see progress.