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An exciting world

Alumni talk

We welcomed alumnus Jonny Telford (2002 - 2007) to talk to pupils about his career in IT consultancy with IBM as part of National Careers Week 2019.

Over 40 IGCSE and A Level pupils gathered in the Andrews Hall to hear about how Jonny’s career has developed.

He described how a Mechanical Engineering degree led him initially into consulting and eventually to his current role as a Managing Consultant. He is attracted by the wide variety of projects that he has been able to work on, within the same company, as well as the opportunities for travel and team work.

Pupils were interested in his comments about the need for a team to have a balance of people with highly technical skills and more customer-focussed skills.

Jonny was able to give us some details about his current project working for a large bank on developing an artificial intelligence system to respond to customers’ questions in an online chat. He described how IBM’s Watson is used as a basis for many different systems which are then trained using real customers’ questions with feedback from human bank staff so that the system can learn and improve. He was careful to avoid mentioning his client by name, but it was clear that he is excited to be at the cutting edge of such developments.

Head of Computer Science Alice Pinches said: “I think it’s safe to say that his enthusiasm was contagious and our pupils were taken with the idea that they, too, could be involved in the development of ground-breaking products in only a few years’ time.”