Philip Sewell

Middleware Software Developer

  • Computer Science BSc
  • Leeds, University of
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • Totalmobile

What was the interview process like?

After submitting my application online I was invited to an assessment centre where I was given three exam-style papers to assess your abilities. Following this there was a technical and a personality-based interview. There was also a fun group exercise involving Lego!

How much responsibility were you given?

I was given as much responsibility as any other member of my team - daily activities included working on bug/data fixes, implementing new features and providing support to other teams. The workload doesn't dry out and you're expected to complete work to the same standard as everyone else.

What advice would you give to someone applying for your role?

Make sure you prepare in advance, as the more time you have before a deadline the less panicked you will be. Also, don't forget to relax on the assessment day or ask any questions you may have - they're only too happy to answer!

What has been your biggest challenge?

It was definitely during the first couple of months where you get bombarded with so much information that it does take a while to process. There are so many technologies being used that I didn't even know about, and the complexity of the code base was staggering.

Where has your experience exceeded your expectations?

My experience at Cognito has exceeded expectations in all areas really. I did not expect to learn so much of not just technical skills, but also my soft skills too! I've got on really well with everyone that I've worked with and couldn't ask for more.

What did you most enjoy about your role?

It would probably have to be the general atmosphere within the team - the camaraderie was awesome where we had plenty of laughs, but also everyone was willing to assist if you came across any sort of issue (it was great absorbing all the knowledge!).

Describe a situation where you surpassed expectations.

The transition from me knowing nothing to most things came more swiftly than expected. My team lead was impressed with how little time I needed to get up to speed - I managed to set up my entire environment in a couple of days which would usually take a week!

What was the atmosphere like in your team?

It was quite a relaxed but professional working atmosphere - not just within my team but also across the whole company. Everyone is really friendly and welcoming and always happy to have a chat whether it be about work or otherwise.

What were the activities outside of work?

Cognito is based in Newbury which is relatively quiet compared to Leeds! However, there were still plenty of pub visits and evening socials. Sports wise, I joined the local badminton club and am part of a very strong running community in Newbury/Thatcham.

How promising are the graduate prospects?

A lot of people which I have met while here have been both recent and past graduates, many of which have been placement students. Cognito couldn't treat these students any better, and it shows with plenty returning back to the company!

More Travel & Tourism case studies

Share this case study