Courtney looking into the camera

Courtney Cox

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I studied a Bachelor of Arts degree in Digital Media at the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds in 2017, I am the first person to go to university in my family and came through the Access to Leeds programme. I studied Media, English Language and Geography at A-level and media was my favourite subject.

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?  

I am a Girlcode Ambassador, Code First Girls Alumni and Fellow. I completed the Code First Girls Intro to Web Development course which inspired me to pursue a tech role. I then went on the Code First Girls Fellowship Programme which is a 2-month programme that aims to develop the next gen of tech leaders. I taught the Introduction to Web Development course to a class of women along with 2 other CFG fellows. As well as, completing a research project, developing leadership skills and receiving mentoring to help with my career in tech. After completing the Intro to Web Dev course myself, it was great to give back to the community by becoming an instructor this time around.

What company are you working for, what is your role, and what does it involve?

After graduating, I joined Sky in September 2020 through their Software Engineering Graduate Scheme. This scheme was for 7 months with a 5-week boot camp and then an educational project before moving into a delivery team at Sky. I then joined the Sky Sports Web team where I was a Software Developer for 2 years and more recently completed a secondment into test and I am now a Test Engineer. My role is to maintain the quality of the Sky Sports web applications where I liaise with product owners, define and create automation test scripts and collaborate with the team to ensure quality is considered at every stage of the lifecycle. I work across both the UK and German sites for Sky Sports where I am always learning so it is deffo a role you will never get bored of!

Alongside my role, I am also a Sky TECHWomen Rep where I co-lead the Building a Community pillar which includes organising events, the newsletter and comms on our website and socials to build an active community of women in technology and male allies – both locally and across countries. I am also a part of the Diversity and Inclusion group where we plan and organise a range of activities and initiatives to create an inclusive environment at Sky.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?

Through my studies in Digital Media, I found my love for technology, my module ‘Working in Digital Media teams’ featured some guest lectures from a web design agency in Leeds called Mixd. I was super fascinated by their talk and the work they do so I decided to email to ask about any opportunities which resulted in me being offered a summer internship as a Junior Developer.

Also, the Plus Programme events of include a visit to Nestle offices, an insight day to Vinspired in London, networking events and motivational speakers. These events were amazing and I was able to gain connections after the insight day at Vinspired I got inspired to do some volunteering for Leeds Young Film Festival where I earned my first V10 award.

Why did you choose to study your particular course? Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I decided to study Digital Media as the course is very broad covering a diverse range of content and it was 50% theory and practical. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do so this course was perfect to try different modules as well as the University of Leeds being a highly recognised Russell Group uni. I felt that the broad spectrum of skills that the course offered would set me up for an exciting career.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

The practical side of the course and how creative it was such as the Design for Digital Media,  Interface Design and Motion Graphics modules. The networking opportunities were excellent with guest lectures and career fairs. The wide range of topics and modules I covered in the course were really interesting and engaging.

Did you work closely with a particular tutor or member of the University’s academic staff? Tell us about that experience.

The Plus Programme at Leeds took away the barriers from an under-represented and low economic background and gave me an equal opportunity to access everything university has to offer. The Plus Programme team were so helpful and supportive during my time at university. Also, Kate Watkins was very supportive and gave me some great advice and increased my confidence.

What activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

I was never in any societies actually as I worked 2 jobs alongside my studies so didn’t have the time to join the societies. I attended plus programme events and went to the Leeds Media Ball every year which I loved.

What would you say to students thinking about studying your course?

Go for it! It is a fab course and there is no doubt you will learn a lot, develop your knowledge and meet new people with similar interests to you. You will cover both theoretical and practical work so have the perfect balance. I would recommend this course if you are unsure of what you want to do as this course has a range of topics that you are exposed to so you will definitely find something that is of interest to you!

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

I was born and raised in Leeds and decided to stay in Leeds for Uni as it is a fantastic place. Everyone is really friendly, the nightlife is great and there is lots to explore both in Leeds and nearby too. There are also some fab companies in Leeds so it is a great place to start your career.