After spells in education, the whisky industry and his own business, Frenchman William Nyffeler retrained in computing. A placement at a local technology company helped his new direction.
What’s your background?
I am French, and grew up in Montpellier where I graduated with a qualification equivalent to an Honours Degree in English Linguistic and Literature. I came to Keith as a language assistant to teach at Keith Grammar School in the early ‘80s. I decided to settle and after two years teaching part time at Aberlour House, preparatory school for Gordonston, I got a full time job at the local distillery. I worked my way up to Still Operator, but left to start my own business as a cabinet maker. Illness unfortunately put an end to my woodworking career.
My next move was to join the HNC computing course at Moray College, went on to HND Software Development, and eventually graduated with distinction: BSc Computing from UHI.
Why did you apply to the graduate placement programme?
It was exactly the type of job I was looking for. A small company, operating from the north-east of Scotland, specialising in software development.
What project were you involved in?
Several projects, in fact. I contributed to enable the company's flagship product ‘MovieSite’ to be used on mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. I also researched usability for Web Applications - as an example, the development of an interactive interface using google map programming language to enable users of our client’s website to view data to filter information according to their location.
What did you learn on the placement?
Well, just a few examples. Two new programming languages, and how to use what were academic skills in a real working environment.
What did you take away from the training course you attended as part of the programme?
It was really enjoyable. It was nice to get some new angles in the world of business analysis which enhanced my existing experience. Bouncing ideas around with the other graduates does open new horizons.
Any advice for other graduates?
Even if some placements are very short, they are still important stepping stones in your career. Make the most of it, and get as much as you can from it.
Having had the experience of being stuck in well-paid, but otherwise boring jobs for years, more or less just for the money, I would strongly advise to choose something you love doing as a matter of priority. If you have a dream, go for it and don’t look back.