Working part-time: Ivan Gerov

Guest BloggerFinal Year, First Year, Part-Time Jobs & Volunteering, Postgraduate, Second Year, Work Experience

Full name: Ivan Danielov Gerov

Degree title: BSc Psychology and Sociology

Year of graduation: 2020

Organisation name: Conigital Ltd

Job title: Python Developer

What does a typical day in your part-time job look like?

As this is a Software Developer job, the day typically starts with a daily meeting where the team discusses ongoing and future projects, and everyone shares what they are up to. Then I normally have my morning coffee and I proceed with researching a task I am currently working on or I have meetings with team members, or I simply code. Sometime midday I have my lunch break. Afterwards, I might have another meeting or so. I normally spend the rest of the day working on some new components or functionalities and/or writing documentation.

Has coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown affected your role at all?

I was working half the time remotely from the very beginning. The only difference now is that I am fully remote. It has not impacted me that much, as I normally feel more productive at home, as there are less distractions. However, I feel a bit lonely sometimes and having planning meetings with people over Zoom and Microsoft Teams is a bit difficult at times.

What has been the highlight of your job so far?

I developed a proof of concept project almost on my own – a virtual voice helper web service (e.g. iPhone’s Siri).

What skills have you developed?

Python coding, Web developing, JavaScript and CSS skills.

Why did you decide to get a part-time job?

Since the very beginning of my time at Aston University, I have been self-sustaining myself financially almost 95% of the time. Coming to the UK to study for a Higher Education was a personal decision that I made.

How do you juggle working and studying?

Coming from a guy that has managed to juggle two part-time jobs and working on a final year project for about a month – it is very possible. You just have to be good at planning your day and week and try your best not to slack from work. Also, in my case, IT is a very flexible field and jobs usually do not rely on developers to spend an X amount of time working per day. You can be very productive and achieving results by working intelligently.

How have the skills and experience you’ve gained from your part-time job helped you in other areas of your life?

I believe my job has helped me immensely, as I managed to get a job as a Python Developer at another company. Furthermore, my plans are to do a MSc in Data Science in the near future, and having this experience will also help me with getting on with the material of the Master’s programme and getting admitted (such programmes usually are for a person from a Computer Science background or relatable work experience).

What advice would you give to other students thinking about or looking for a part-time job?

There is a phrase from my native language I really like, that has somewhat shaped my mentality about work and jobs – “There is no embarrassing job”. The idea behind this is that work is work, money is money and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about working something you don’t like or feel it is subpar to your expectations. At the end of the day, if you need the money or the experience, you can’t be picky. However, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for a better job.

Also, I believe working and self-sustaining yourself financially builds up a mentality and discipline that shapes you and makes you a better person. It’s also very good for the CV.

What are your plans for the future?

My current plan is to work in the IT field for about 1.5 to 2 years, to develop my skills in coding, mathematics and data analytics and then to enrol onto a MSc Data Science programme.