Returning to his home country during the pandemic has helped De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student Romans Kononovs land an exciting role in the computing industry.
After finishing the second year of his Computer Games Programming degree, Romans took a break from what had turned into a year of remote learning due to coronavirus, to explore work placement opportunities in Latvia.
He approached Accenture Baltics, a leading provider of technology services to more than 180 clients across 28 countries, and after impressing on a three-month internship, he was offered a placement as a computer vision engineer.
The 21-year-old said: “Coming back home was a blessing in disguise. I like to find the good side in everything, and maybe I didn’t experience university life how it should have been in my second year, but I’ve found a work placement to help me secure my future.
“The essential idea of a placement is for employers to find prospective employees and it’s worked out for me. It feels amazing to know that I will have a secure job offer after I complete my studies.”
Romans’ role involves utilising artificial intelligence (AI), specifically object recognition, to help clients become more effective and efficient in their processes.
“I’m involved in everything end-to-end, from talking with clients about what they need and verifying that the task is possible, to coming up with a strategy and integrating it into their systems,” he said.
“Just seven-months into my placement, I’m responsible for a project and I’m really happy with it. I spent my three-month internship learning about the company and shadowing different teams, so to be trusted with my own project straight after that has been a real highlight.”
The DMU Works team has been instrumental in supporting Romans to land his placement, helping him to present himself professionally both on paper and in interviews, which gave him the confidence to approach Accenture Baltics in the first place.
He also completed a Frontrunners internship, a scheme offering students paid part-time work experience within the university’s professional and academic departments.
Romans said: “It was a brilliant experience that helped me to understand what I want to do with my life and how.
“I developed an AI programme to generate examples of answers relating to final-year students’ projects, to help them understand what is expected of them and to stop academics from being flooded with the same queries again and again.
“AI is fascinating to me because, in theory, you are creating something that can become more independent, so it feels very futuristic and exciting.”
Romans is looking forward to returning to DMU to complete the final year of his degree, where he’ll get to choose from a range of robotics and AI modules.
“I love that my course is not only about games development, but also about expanding those skills in a wider context,” he said.
“Although it would be very tempting to just stay in the job that I’m enjoying, I know that I want to finish my degree, so that I can continue the student experience I enjoyed before the pandemic.
“When I go back I hope to re-join the fencing and jiu-jitsu societies, which I really loved being a part of before, and I look forward to face-to-face lectures again, because you get so much out of them.
“I’ve also really missed campus, which is so welcoming and pretty. There’s constant improvements happening and it’s always growing - I love that about DMU.”
Posted on Tuesday 22nd February 2022