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Lewis Aston

Career Path: Associate SAP Retail Consultant, Retailsolutions
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

I actually fell into the line of IT Consulting by accident. During my time at university I wasn't aware of SAP or any of the fields of work relating to it. I was recommended the job by a relative, who worked for Retailsolutions at the time, so I thought I would just go for it. After submitting my CV with little-to-no hope, given that I had never even heard of this line of work before, to my surprise I was offered an interview. After I mentioned to my Dissertation Supervisor, Andrew Turnbull that I had an interview, he asked in what field and so I explained as much as I knew about the job. It then turned out Andrew actually had experience from previous jobs with SAP and showed me loads of old books and manuals he had for various SAP systems.

It was after this chat that I knew that this is the route I wanted to go down and, thanks Andrew's positivity and praise, it helped me to complete the interview three weeks' before my dissertation was due. On the day my dissertation was due I got a phone call telling me I had the job! It all felt like even though I started off with no knowledge of this field of work, something like this was meant to happen.

What are you doing now?Lewis Aston

I still work for Retailsolutions, as a Junior SAP CAR and PMR Consultant and I am currently on a project based in Stockholm, Sweden. I travel out every week and so far I am loving it!

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Not only was it was close to home, but it also came across from the open day that Northumbria have your best interest in mind! For me, the Computer Science course was the most interesting and got you the most involved of all the other universities I looked at.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I had an even mix of lectures and seminars and had one team project per year. The lectures were very helpful as they provided all the information you needed for the seminar that followed. Participation in the lectures and seminars was always encouraged and we got feedback two weeks' after every project or write-up.

How connected was your course with industry?

My tutors always tried to keep us up to date with what was going on in the industry, as well as having guest lecturers over the three year course.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about the course was definitely having physical things to use for our studies like the robots in Pandon Building and the Quickstart boards we used to make various games on.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

It made me more aware of what was going on in the industry and helped me to pin-point exactly which route I wanted to go down in the ever-expanding world of computing.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I have used some of the knowledge of programming I built up over the 3 years, but now as I am a consultant I definitely use the social skills I gained from group projects and presenting the most.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Northumbria is a very social university that encourages you to go out and live your best life whilst also providing you with the support and resources you need to be comfortable in your course.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Don't even consider anywhere else, you won't regret going to Northumbria.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Eye-opening, amazing and unforgettable.

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