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Ben Bennett

Career Path: Founder, Luminous Group
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

I've always been fascinated by IT, tech and video games, so it only seemed natural to follow this path to a degree in Computing for Business at Northumbria University. Since graduating, I've worked in coding and as a Streaming Media Consultant before moving to my current role at Luminous Group.

What are you doing now?Ben Bennett

I'm currently the Managing Director at Luminous Group. We specialise in creating 3D technology solutions for a range of industries, including digital surveys and bespoke virtual reality training for commercial clients all over the world.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

There were a number of factors behind my decision to study at Northumbria, but the key reason I chose to study there was because of the content on the course. I was attracted to the breadth of skills and knowledge in the syllabus, as well as the potential for placements and hands-on training.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria was informative, practical and, above all, varied. The syllabus included a mix of lectures and hands-on lab work, and we also created our own software solutions and projects.

How connected was your course with industry?

As part of our course, we had the opportunity to do a year-long placement with a local business. It ensured that what I was learning wasn't purely academic, so I was better prepared for the world of work after graduating.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

I undertook a placement with Orchard Systems, which was an incredible opportunity to get some practical hands-on experience with processes inside a real workplace. The placement gave me some really useful insights into how a business operates, which was invaluable when I moved to my current role at Luminous.

What was the best thing about your course?

The Computing for Business degree encompasses a huge range of different subjects, but by far the best aspect of the course for me was the chance to study human-computer interaction and user experience in depth. I found this really fascinating and the skills and knowledge I learnt here really laid the groundwork for the sort of research and technical development that we do at Luminous Group.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The computing industry is constantly evolving so if you want to create market-leading solutions, you need to stay on top of new developments and research. For me, the best thing about the course at Northumbria was how it gave me the skills to do the research myself, so I could adapt my training to suit an ever-changing industry where innovation is everything.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The course taught me a lot about human computer interaction and user experience, and in particular the study of how people interact with 3D environments and augmented reality spaces. At Luminous Group, we're specialists in virtual reality, so I refer back to this training on a daily basis.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Aside from my course, I would say that the friendships I made were the highlight of my time at Northumbria. Although I already lived locally before starting university, the thing I enjoyed most was making friends with a whole host of new people from all over the country who I would never normally have met.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

I would definitely advise them to take the plunge and apply - if you do decide to study at Northumbria, you're sure to have an unforgettable time. Make the most of the fantastic facilities and clubs the University has to offer and use these to get out and see the region as much as you can. And, of course, don't forget to spend some time enjoying the buzzing nightlife Newcastle has to offer.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Memories for life!

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