Students undertaking the ICT4D course at Royal Holloway go on to a range of interesting careers, building on the skills and expertise that they gain on the course. Cisco Systems also offers a generous internship for one successful student.
Tim Unwin’s ICT4D course was new and innovative, combining alternative ways of learning with different methods of assessment. One of the guest speakers, Dr Michelle Selinger of Cisco Systems, gave an informative talk on the role and corporate responsibility of the private sector in development. Through meeting and speaking with Michelle, I was fortunate enough to gain a summer internship with Cisco, working as part of the ‘Corporate Citizenship’ team. My project involved gaining metric and measurement feedback from the not-for-profit organisations that Cisco supported through its philanthropy grants. The internship was a great insight into the role and corporate social responsibility of the private sector, in developing and building strong and productive global communities. The ICT4D course, the internship with Cisco and my current study on the ‘Practising Sustainable Development’ Master's at Royal Holloway, have given me the foundation of knowledge and desire to further my interest in global development with a long term goal of working in the private development sector
At the start of last year I was pretty unconvinced about signing up for Tim’s ICT4D course. I had no idea what the term ‘ICT’ was all about and I certainly wasn’t a big fan of computers. However, I decided to go for it and found the course stimulating, stretching and really enjoyable. It’s unlike any other course you’ll take at Royal Holloway and will equip you for post-University life, providing opportunities for you to develop presentation skills, engage in group work and interact with visiting lecturers from the corporate world. Choosing the course has had massive implications for my life – I’m now starting an ESRC CASE Master's and PhD programme, sponsored by Cisco systems, in which I will be evaluating the potential of technology enhanced education across Africa. There is nothing I’d rather be doing with the next four years of my life – and there’s no way it would have ever happened without taking this course!
I graduated from RHUL in July 2005 and began work a week later for an American multinational called Alcoa. Alcoa is the largest aluminium producer in the world and serves a range of markets including the aerospace industry, the automotive sector, building and construction, manufacturing and machine equipment, flat rolled products, packaging and consumer products, and lots more. I work for Alcoa’s Global Business Services, within the Information Services resource unit, coordinating Oracle training for all our European locations and helping with other projects. One of my favourite projects is the implementation of Alcoa’s LMS (learning management system) in our region; I have been involved in helping to find content developers who take our Best Practices (about manufacturing processes, health and safety lessons and so on) and turn them into eLearning courses and assessments. I was amongst the pilot ICT4D class in 2004-2005 at RHUL and it was a terrific experience – studying a range of technologies and how they can be used to make a difference in the world. The sessions on eLearning technologies have really helped me transition into certain of my roles at Alcoa, and I still use a lot of the resources that my classmates and I looked at over the course of the year. I hope to gain a lot of experience in project management through my current position, and after some time in the private sector, I hope to work for the United Nations, using all the different skills – technology-, communications- and people-based alike – to help advance policies and programmes that make people’s lives better.
"The appropriate use of ICT can enable rural people, far from the usual sources of information, to gain rapid access to a wealth of up-to-date information relevant to their daily needs"