Arunima decided to make a slight career shift and study MSc Artificial Intelligence in the hope of building an exciting career within this rapidly growing field. Take a read on to discover her experiences of studying this cutting-edge subject at Salford.

Why did you choose the University of Salford?

I was attracted to the University’s close location to Manchester city centre, which is a thriving hub of technology and innovation. Manchester and Salford have excellent transport links which made commuting to my classes very easy which was important to me.

The amazing campus and state-of-the-art facilities, including specialist project labs and computer workstations, really attracted me to Salford. I felt that the University could provide all the tools and resources students within my field need to succeed. I wanted to be in an environment which was conducive to learning and collaboration and I felt that Salford could really had this.

Finally, I felt Salford was very proactive at organising career guidance events, guest speakers and live projects. They demonstrated a commitment to preparing students for success in their chosen industry. I knew when I was selecting a university for my master’s that I didn’t just want to acquire expert knowledge, I also wanted help to make a smooth transition into the sector after graduating and I believed that Salford could do this.

Arunima and her friends at Welcome Week

What is the best thing about your course?

The programme provides a well-rounded education, covering key areas in the AI field. In the final trimester, the dissertation is conducted under the supervision of an expert tutor who will help you explore specific areas of AI and bring a wealth of practical knowledge.

The University has lots of specialist project labs, cutting-edge computer suites and industry-used online tools which students have access to. This helps in applying AI to real-world scenarios and helps you to understand what it would be like to work in the sector.

All of my tutors have a very approachable nature. They encourage open dialogue and make themselves available for discussions and questions. Many of my teachers are engaged in cutting-edge research and have lots of experience in industry so they can provide valuable insights based on their real-world experience and enhance our understanding of the subject.

From the very start of my course, I have had the opportunity to speak to leaders within the industry to gain insights into the different career paths within the AI field. The events have helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the sector and the skills employers are seeking.

How has the course helped you for the future?

The course has played a pivotal role in helping my transition from a Software Test Engineer to a professional within the dynamic field of AI. Having come from a slightly different background, the course has helped to give me the knowledge I need to make the career shift. Not only will this knowledge help my immediate career prospects but it will also give me a strong foundation for continuous growth in the field.

Arunima at a Faith Centre event

What real-world skills have you gained from your course?

Throughout the course I have been involved in hands-on projects which have not only enhanced my technical skills but also provided me with valuable lessons in project management and teamwork. Collaborating with my peers has taught me how to effectively work in a team, manage timelines and deliver quality outcomes, which will be very beneficial to me in my future career.

I have also acquired practical experience in many areas which are crucial to be successful in the sector including implementing machine learning algorithms using industry standard frameworks, learning essential programming languages and experimenting with big data technologies and cloud computing platforms.

Have you been involved in any clubs or societies?

I have been an active member of the Indian Society, which has been particularly meaningful to me as it has allowed me to connect with other Indian students and participate in important celebrations for my home country. These events have been really important in reducing homesickness and helping me settle into my new life.

I am also the course representative for my programme and I am very proud to hold this position. This has allowed me to make connections with other course representatives, help to shape the future of the course and allowed me to work closely with the University of Salford’s Students’ Union.  

An Indian Society event

What are your plans for your remaining time at Salford?

For my remaining time at Salford, I want to make the most out of all the opportunities available focusing on my academic and professional development. I am excited about working on a live project for my dissertation and I believe this hands on experience will not only deepen my understanding of the subject but will also help me to apply theoretical concepts to a real world scenario.

I am also going to prioritise attending networking events and career workshops. I want to build more connections within the AI community in Salford and Manchester to open doors to future collaborations, mentoring and potentially career opportunities. Attending these events will also help me to keep updated on industry trends and advancements.