Successful computing graduate celebrates hattrick

A dyslexic student who created a tool to help others has won a prize for his work, a job offer before graduating and a first-class degree

Joseph Findlay in his graduation robes receiving his award

Joseph Findlay secured at job GradEX before graduating

It is great to know that straight away I have a job and don’t have to spend loads of time doing interviews. I have friends at other universities who are still trying to find jobs.

Joseph Findlay, BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Joseph Findlay studied BSc (Hons) Computer Science and impressed judges at Staffordshire University’s graduate exhibition GradEX where he was offered a job by Stafford-based technology company Synectics Solutions.

Joseph dedicated his final year project to helping fellow dyslexic people read online text more easily. He explained: “I wanted to do something that was important for me because I know it's a project that lasts for a whole last year.

“I thought of something that would help with people reading online because of the amount of people reading online or using the internet, especially during Covid, to do all of their work, all of their research. I thought I had to do something to help.”

The product scrapes text from websites and displays them in a way that can be customised for the user, with different background colours, text colours and shapes and sizes of words to make it much easier for dyslexic people to read.

At the GradEX exhibition students are invited to showcase their final year projects and network with industry judges and potential employers.

Joseph said: “I’d never demonstrated something in front of people before and especially considering I spent so much time on it, it was nerve-wracking because it's like, well this is my baby.

“I ended up winning first prize which I didn't expect. It made me feel like everything was worth it, all the work I put in was worth it all.”

After talking to recruiters from Synectics Solutions at the event, Joseph was offered a role as a Software Developer and has now graduated with first-class honours.

The BSc (Hons) Computer Science course offers students the opportunity to do a placement year and Joseph worked with software company Zuken which he also thinks played an important role in securing his job.

“It is great to know that straight away I have a job and don’t have to spend loads of time doing interviews. I have friends at other universities who are still trying to find jobs.”

He added: “Experience is so important, way more important than other things because with experience you can tell other people about what you've done. You've got proof that you can do the things that you're selling yourself for, so I think it's invaluable, it's really needed.”

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