An undergraduate student from the Department of Computer Science will celebrate her first class degree at the summer award ceremonies on Thursday 11 July, having already secured a job at a Bath-based company where she spent her placement year.

Hollie Baker, who is registered blind as a result of a visual impairment, spent her placement year with Mayden, a company which develops digital technologies to support their healthcare clients, and will join them after she graduates.

She spent her time on placement working on iaptus, a web-based patient management system. The work was varied, ranging from small bug fixes and support tasks, to larger projects such as redesigning the diary, used for patient appointment bookings, to allow the booking of repeating events and improve its overall user experience.

During her degree Hollie attended the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, an annual one-day conference for women students studying computing and other related subjects. With one of her fellow students, Hollie entered the poster competition, securing joint second place.

Hollie said: “I initially decided to go to university to improve my job prospects, however I quickly realised that I have a passion for learning new things and enjoy the process of studying. As part of my course, I took a year-long placement at Mayden where I worked as a software developer. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement and, as well as learning a lot of practical skills, I met a lot of lovely people. I was offered a graduate job there, and am looking forward to starting work full-time.

“Although I am looking forward to working, I feel that I'm not quite done studying and one day hope to return to university to do a PhD.”

Dr Fabio Nemetz, Hollie’s Director of Studies and Personal Tutor in her first and second year, said: “What is remarkable about Hollie is her can-do attitude. She interacts extremely well with her lecturers, tutors and classmates. She is truly an inspirational person. Having been her Director of Studies and her personal tutor, I couldn’t be prouder of her.”

Professor Nicolai Vorobjov, Hollie’s individual project supervisor, said: “Hollie is a talented mathematician, one of the very best in her year. She understands complex definitions and theorems even when they are discussed informally, over a cup of coffee. I hope that one day she will return to our, or another good university, to get a PhD in maths or theoretical computer science.”

Suzanne Baker, on behalf of Mayden, said: “We feel very honoured that Hollie chose Mayden to do her placement year. She certainly educated us in many ways and is a great role model for any aspiring software developer. We are looking forward to welcoming Hollie back to Mayden as a full-time employee after she graduates.”