Travel broadens your career prospects – as well as the mind

15 December 2021

Travel broadens your career prospects – as well as the mind

Matt Dowley graduated with a BA in International Business and Spanish just two years ago, but he’s already forging ahead with a career in IT – and staying connected with the University at the same time.

Originally from Stamford in the East Midlands, Matt chose Sheffield Hallam as it offered 18 months abroad, including six months of study and a 12-month placement in industry, and it’s an experience that had a huge impact on where he is today.

“I absolutely loved my time at Hallam. My professors were great, and I just love Sheffield as a city, so my overall university experience was brilliant. I still meet up with my mates from Hallam every Bank Holiday. We play golf in Sheffield and walk past the University and talk about what a great time we had.”

Heading over to Spain in his second year of four, Matt studied at Universidad de León before moving to Madrid where he worked as a Business Development Trainee for NH Hotel Group.

“It was my first time spending an extended period away from home, without family and friends close by, so I had to learn to be truly independent. The language barrier was an added challenge, but it was also a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

“Going to a different country and immersing myself in a new culture helped me grow leaps and bounds. It helped me become more organised and having to adapt to a new working environment in a completely different country was a challenge, but helped build resolve, character, confidence, and a desire to learn.”

This experience meant that when he was offered an opportunity as a Service Desk Analyst at fast-growing IT consultancy start-up, CloudStratex, he jumped at the opportunity – even though it wasn’t directly related to his degree subjects.

“My placement helped me build transferable skills that could be used in a wide range of industries. The main benefits were in the journey rather than the outcome.”

When Matt joined CloudStratex in April 2020, the company was around one year old, and he was employee number 13. Now, the company has around 150 employees and consultants and Matt has recently moved roles to work in helping to manage operations in the Enterprise Service Management Practice.

Having graduated less than two years ago, Matt was invited back to the University in October this year to talk to current students about opportunities for language students in different industries, where he spoke about the technology and IT sector.

Matt has even helped grow the partnership between the University and CloudStratex since then and returned in November to talk to students about career opportunities and recruitment within the company.

“Ever since Cristina [Lopez Moreno, Languages Course Leader at Sheffield Business School] invited me back to talk, I’ve wanted to stay as involved as possible, and keep that connection with the place I enjoyed so much for four years.”

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