Masi with Huw and Sian

From Afghanistan to Anglesey: Masi makes an impact through graduate skills-matching internship

Employers seeking out talent in Anglesey, Gwynedd and Flintshire are being given a financial boost thanks to a new skills-matching graduate internship.

It really is a win-win situation. Masi is bringing a lot of innovative thinking to our business development, and using his background in both languages and computer science to help us prioritise our focus when it comes to how we develop our business.”
Huw Watkins,  Executive Director of BIC Innovation.

Before arriving in the UK in 2021, Masi studied an English undergraduate degree in Afghanistan and worked in linguistics, with an interest in language technology and how computers support and manipulate human languages. After settling in North Wales with his wife and young son, he joined local language technology company Pai Language Learning through M-SParc’s Skills Academy, and subsequently decided to pursue an MSc Computing Generalist course at ŷ԰Ƭ’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, which allows graduates from any discipline a route into Computer Science.

Masi said, “At first it was a challenge. My background was languages, so I hadn’t done much computing since high school! But I had a lot of support from my excellent personal tutor Mohammed Mabrook, and in the end and with a lot of perseverance I managed to complete my Masters with distinction. At the same time, I was working with a company called ‘Say Something in Welsh’ which furthered my interest in language and tech, so when I graduated I knew this was an industry I wanted to be part of.”

Following graduation, Masi contacted ŷ԰Ƭ’s Graduate Support office to update his CV and get support with looking for work - a service available to graduates for up to three years after finishing their studies.  

“ŷ԰Ƭ’s Graduate Support Programme Manager Sian Shepherd matched me up with BIC Innovation using the Talent Voucher through the SIV Scheme. When I joined BIC Innovation, almost everything was new to me – but I’ve been able to apply my knowledge of SQL, Excel, Python and data analytics to the project I’m working on with the company’s Business Development Manager, Hilary Centeleghe. We’ve been digging deeper into the data analysis on potential business development opportunities, so that the company can focus their effort on those areas that offer the best growth potential.”

Masi emphasises that schemes like the Talent Vouchers are of huge benefit for new graduates and employers alike,

“I think schemes like this are greatly beneficial – I like to call them ‘golden boosters’. Those of us who are newly graduated really need this kind of stepping-stone to move into the graduate job market, because it is a very competitive field and getting a job is a worry, especially with a young family to support. It’s an opportunity to use my energy and put everything I’ve learnt into practice, which is vital for a good future. It’s given me a taste of the career I want.”

The Talent Vouchers (with a value of up to £5K) is one of three types skills and innovation vouchers available through the SIV scheme. The vouchers support local businesses to access expertise, facilities and skills at ŷ԰Ƭ and are funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, North Wales on behalf of Gwynedd Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council and Flintshire County Council.   

For more information about the scheme, please contact e-mail: SIV@bangor.ac.uk or complete the online Expression of Interest form.

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