Guest Blog by - Dominic Langmead | University of Chester, my journey from a student to educator.

My journey started in 2009, after leaving Scarborough Sixth Form College with 3 A Levels – Computing, Maths and German gaining A, D & C respectively. With this I decided I wanted to study Computer Science, initially with German and was presented two options – the University of Sheffield or the University of Chester.

After point blank rejection from Sheffield due to lacking of a good quality Maths A Level, I was accepted into Chester, accepted into now what is my home and life. I studied combined honours for my first year then switched to single honours Computer Science. I graduated with a First.

During my undergraduate studies I started working for the University part time within the Informatics Centre – a spin out company that employs students on real world projects with external clients. During my time at the Informatics Centre I picked up my MCSA in Windows Server 2008 and started working on the department’s own network infrastructure.

At around the same time, I also enrolled onto the Microsoft Student Partner programme, it was this programme that kick started my career and gave me the experiences required to stay on at the University post-graduation. I organised a Windows Phone Camp for the University in my third year which was well attended and formed part of various student assignments.

I also attended the MSP summit in London and met with leading Microsoft developers and worked on skills such as Public Speaking, Team Work and drinking beer improving technical skillsets.

Thanks to the MSP programme I was able to link Microsoft to our undergraduate programmes to, module content, lecturer skill sets, network resources and provide keynote speakers for our up and coming Compsci Conference in April 2014. We’re now introducing Windows Azure into 3 of our modules, Windows 8.1 & Server 2012 R2 into two and Visual Studio 2012 into another.

The MSP programme is a great opportunity not only for you in getting exposure to Microsoft products and their resources but also to those around you, such as your lecturers, support staff and fellow students. Remember, you don’t have to study Computer Science to have an interest in Microsoft technologies, or to be a developer!

After graduating from Chester, I now lecture on 2 modules. One in the first year (Cisco) and one in the final year (Network Management & Infrastructure). My links with Microsoft allow me to keep current (I have upgraded my MSCA to include Server 2012), but more importantly to deliver the very latest in technologies to my students!

Rock on the MSP programme – make it your own. It could take you in directions you never saw coming. The journey continues on Twitter.

More Resources

Microsoft Virtual Academy - http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com

Microsoft UK Student Facebook Group - https://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftStudentUK