While scouring the internet for a student placement vacancy that complimented my Maths and Computer Science course, I was fortunate enough to find NAG had exactly that. After making my application, I got an interview which was very straightforward and relaxed. I was given an office tour, discussed my CV, answered a few questions and was given a quick lesson on the inner workings of NAG (which gave me the opportunity to express my interest and enthusiasm). Opportunely, I got the job!
One year later and I couldn’t be happier with the placement NAG has provided. I’ve been given a plethora of tasks which has allowed me to develop a comprehensive set of skills. As a software developer at NAG, tasks I was given include: certifying the NAG Library; producing VBA excel examples; making an implementation of the NAG Library; enhancing existing code; working with embedded systems; and developing new routines for the NAG Library. In particular, I developed a routine to interpolate n-dimensional gridded data which is currently being used by a big bank. The experience and knowledge I have gained - not only in programming and maths, but in business and working life – will be an extremely valuable asset to the rest of my future career and I couldn’t recommend the placement highly enough.
The typical day for me involved commuting to Oxford and arriving before 10am. After checking my emails and making a fresh cup of coffee, I proceeded to work on the tasks I had been set. For my lunch break, I headed to the cafeteria or ate my lunch in the development kitchen, this was a good chance to socialise with my colleagues. I then continued to work until sometime after 4pm. At NAG there are core hours of 10-12 and 2-4, the time working out of core hours is flexible as long as I worked 37.5 hours a week. This flexibility is a great positive for working at NAG, as it allowed me to leave earlier on days I wanted to. Upon request, I was also allowed to work from home which proved to be very useful. Also at NAG there are other activities that separate the working week, for example I attended many internal seminars that take place which provide an insight on the newest numerical and HPC technologies which I found very interesting.
The friendly and welcoming staff at NAG allowed me to feel comfortable and like a valued team member. Over the past year, I have asked a LOT of questions, and not once have I not been given the information and help I needed. Everyone at NAG is always willing to take the time to help and explain something. I believe this to be a key factor in my productivity and personal development throughout the year. Overall, my time at NAG has been amazing, I’ve learned so much and met so many clever and friendly people. This year has flown by and I’m sad to be leaving.
Andrew Lawson, NAG Student Placement 2017-2018