Computer Systems Engineering

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Having finished high school in Palestine with high grades in the scientific stream, I was able to enrol in the Computer Engineering department in Al-Quds University. Three years later, I won a scholarship to study at City University London for a BEng (Hons) degree in Computer Systems Engineering.

This degree programme at City University London was designed to meet the need for engineers who can work on both the hardware and software design of computer systems.

As of enrolling on the course I found the work involved stimulating and challenging and am pleased to say that my enthusiasm, dedication and motivation were rewarded when I achieved a 1st class with Honours and ranked top student in my department at the end of my first year.

My university project, entitled “Web Services Systems”, involved researching Web Services, their components, architecture and benefits. In order to discuss the theory behind web applications and the architecture of web services, my objective was to develop a web application entitled “Currency Converter” that receives input from a client application and sends a response from the server side of the application. My project also discussed other distributed technologies and compared web services with other computing approaches.

Some courses I have taken such as “Web Technology” and “Networks Engineering” encouraged me to undertake a final year project on “Web Services” in which enabled me to understand my field in even greater depth, and increased my interest in my specialization.

It is now my ambition to further my studies and undertake an MSc in “Analysis, design and management of information systems”. My motivation is partly fascination and partly a belief that information technology and communication can contribute significantly to a secure economy in advanced countries and at the same time help the developing countries. Information systems are not only prevalent but essential for development and feature in almost every facet of life. To flourish, businesses now expect to have an I.T. department; and for this to function well; a well designed information system is absolutely vital. I also think that successful management of information systems is a key factor in shaping a strong business environment.

My current profession as a Teaching and Research Assistant at Palestine Polytechnic University has given me the opportunity to pass on the knowledge I gained from my previous studies to a new generation of students. My main focus is on two subjects, computer fundamentals and computer programming. I am investing the teaching techniques and attitude I learnt during my studies in the UK, encouraging students to ask questions and reflect on their own learning. For me, education is more than a one-way process; students should be given the freedom to choose their own resources; discuss and debate with the teacher; critique the teaching methods; and to examine the received information. This profession gives me the satisfaction of working for my country and helping my people which is a commitment before all.

My previous job at the Carphone Warehouse as a sales consultant has developed my communication and interpersonal skills through interaction with customers with different needs and interests. It has also given me a solid understanding of the managerial structure and ethos of the company. As of my last three months at the company I have taken on responsibility for managing a team of three people, which included behavioural and performance management.

After I successfully completed my degree in summer 2007 I started a work experience placement at Blue System, a financial software company in central London. Working within a small company allowed me to directly interact with the CEO and CIO of the company. At Blue System I developed the self-learning skills which helped me take initiatives and suggest new ideas for the company's software which I was testing. My three-month work experience at Blue System also gave me the opportunity to further my understanding of the financial markets (i.e. FTSE100, EUREX and NASDAQ) through research and carrying out daily duties.

In pursuit of my interest in financial organisations I secured a summer internship at Investec Bank (UK) Limited in my penultimate year. During my internship within the Central IT department I was involved in developing and maintaining SQL databases, troubleshooting problems with servers and running back-ups. Meanwhile, I also had to provide desktop support for office units such as printers, fax machines and computer devices.

During my (3/5) years studying at Al-Quds University in Palestine - which I cut short in order to take up the scholarship offered to me at City University London- I obtained many software and programming skills in different languages, such as C, C# and Java. As part of a team of five students I participated in the development of a computer programme for a dental clinic which included a database with a GUI created in Java.

I am keen to study the techniques of analyzing and managing information systems in order to equip myself for a career in my chosen field of knowledge and about which I am passionate. I believe that having the opportunity to do this Master's degree will be very beneficial in many respects such as strengthening my academic record, opening my mind to new skills and increasing my chances to contribute in the job market.

I am aiming to work in the kind of large financial institutions where my skills in developing the essential IT departments will be needed and enhanced. Effective departmental IT capacity is essential for the effective performance of any business structure. I would like to combine my own career advancement with a role in building and developing a major finance house or company.

I have the drive and motivation to take on the combination of technical and managerial tasks associated with information systems. My ambition is to have the knowledge and skills of the managerial side of information systems so that I can become a project manager with the ability to effectively operate within organisations. My interest is to have a balance between the management and technical themes that have an impact on the practice and theory of information systems.

The BEng degree I completed at City University London has equipped me with the technical background of information systems in terms of systems development and software engineering. I have studied how to include computers in larger systems, making sure they operate in a reliable manner, enabling the users to speed up computational processes and make more efficient use of time. So, what I lack is the managerial aspect, this is why I am enthusiastic to apply for this programme.

The LSE's reputation for excellence is global and the achievements of LSE alumni are impressive and recognised worldwide. The cosmopolitan feel of the campus is also an attraction. Thus it is that I hope and aspire to be accepted to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science - it would be the realisation of a cherished ambition.