Alumni profile - Neha Patel
I am the co-founder of Your999 Limited, an app/platform launched in 2015 for the general public to use in all sorts of emergencies. For example, in response to the global fight against coronavirus, we have put together a resource that people around the world can use to find the most up to date information.
Why did you study Computer Science at Queen Mary? What sparked your interest in this specific degree? I studied computer science as a GCSE subject and really enjoyed it. Technology was still evolving and I wanted a career where problem solving and learning was a core part of it.
What aspects of your degree did you find most enjoyable? What modules did you like learning about and was there anything that surprised you in your studies? Artificial Intelligence modules, lab work and my final year project were the most enjoyable aspects of the degree. AI, which is being seen as the future, was as interesting back then as it is today.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary in particular? Queen Mary offered the best course and had opened a brand new information technology lab when I was applying. This was one of my main reasons for choosing Queen Mary and being able to stay at home was another.
Can you describe your career path up to date and touch on your current role? I started my career in December 1994 as a developer with a well known software company in the UK and progressed to become a product architect during my 10 year career with the company. This trajectory provided the foundations, skills and deep understanding of what is involved in running a software business. Since March 2003 I have been running a software development business which specialises in building custom software for all business sectors. I am also co-founder of Your999 Limited, an app/platform launched in 2015 for the general public to use in all sorts of emergencies. For example, in response to the global fight against coronavirus, we have put together a resource that people around the world can use to find the most up to date information. We have been dedicating hours to following live updates to keep all of the information on our resource up to date and all in one place. So far the resource has proven very useful for everyone who has friends, families and businesses in other countries, as well as those stranded abroad.
How did your time and study at Queen Mary help your career and development? As well as providing the foundation to enter into a career in technology, my time and study at Queen Mary provided the confidence and personal skills needed to succeed in the real world, to embrace challenges and to successfully see them through.
Is there any advice you would give to current students or recent graduates considering their career options? Follow your passion and what you enjoy most. Don’t expect the career to be rewarding from day one. Dedication, hard work and willingness to go that extra mile will surely set you on a career path that will be both enjoyable and rewarding.
Why is it exciting to do what you do? Being able to help businesses automate their operations in a cost effective way provides a lot of satisfaction and is very exciting. Building a personal relationship and touch with clients is another important aspect that makes the work that we do even more exciting. Finally, being praised for the service that we offer in comparison to big multi-million pound companies is very rewarding.
What was so special about your time at Queen Mary? Time spent with friends at the ITL and restaurant was special. Playing badminton for the sports club is another special moment, however, the graduation ceremony and the way we celebrated birthdays are some of the most memorable moments overall.
Do you have a favourite spot on campus? ITL, restaurant and the badminton courts are my favourite spots on campus. This is where we spent most of our time and there are lots of good memories linked to these to cherished places.
Are you still in touch with any of your fellow alumni or have you been back to the University since you graduated? I had a close group of friends at University. I am still in touch with them all and with my fellow alumni on LinkedIn. Some of us still meet up and it is good to see one another and reflect back on what we have all achieved over the years. I came back to the University in 2015; the main building still resembles the original structure but a lot has changed on the campus since I first started in 1991…
Complete the sentence: If I wasn’t in IT then I would be in a medical field as that was my first preferred career.