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Meet our Student Digital Leaders

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Did you know Computer and Information Services (CIS) employs a team of Student Digital Leaders who work on projects and initiatives that improve Durham’s digital experience?

This CIS initiative is currently giving over 30 students valuable work experience at the University, helping them gain experience and knowledge, while contributing to the success and aspirations of the University. The team has access to a range of opportunities, from a single large initiative to multiple smaller scale pieces of work, including:

  • Hosting student focus groups for one of the CISE projects, which was looking into a student app. This allowed the project team to gain insights into what students wanted and helped to provide guidance on next steps for the project.
  • Supporting recruitment within CIS from helping with admin to organising interviews and meeting candidates.
  • Developing a communications campaign for the PaperCut printer change. The students were responsible for designing the posters that you will have seen all over campus.

But it hasn’t stopped there! One of our Student Digital Leaders, Thomas Williams, won Student Employee of the Year 2023 for his work as a Student Digital Leader, supporting My Digital Durham.

Amy Hedges, IT Business Partner, oversees the Student Digital Leaders. She said:

Our Student Digital Leaders add so much value through their perspective, providing great ideas and lots of enthusiasm to CIS. It’s been great to have a sounding board for things that impact students so we can get early feedback on what does and doesn’t work. I’ve been so impressed by the work they’ve done, and it’s been a pleasure to work with the group more widely and also work closely with them on individual initiatives and projects.

Meet some of our Student Digital Leaders

Thomas Williams (he/him)
Second year student studying Physics, Faculty of Science

What’s your area of expertise as a Student Digital Leader?

I work on reviewing and updating My Digital Durham and support with Audio-Visual across the university.

What are your interests?

I love watching F1 and finding out about new tech and running.

What’s your favourite part of being a Student Digital Leader?

It’s great to meet both staff and students that I wouldn’t normally interact with, and there’s a huge variability of work to get stuck in with — there’s always something new going on to keep things fresh.


Zhenhao Zhao (he/him)

Third year student studying Computer Science, Faculty of Science

What’s your area of expertise as a Student Digital Leader?

I support the IT service desk.

What are your interests?

I enjoy playing badminton, computer games and musicals.

What’s your favourite part of being a Student Digital Leader?

It’s really valuable work experience, where I’ve learned a lot about being in an office environment.


Alex Hiles (he/him)

Third year student studying Psychology, Faculty of Science

What’s your area of expertise as a Student Digital Leader?

I’ve been supporting the user testing for “Durham on Demand”, which is looking to create an online user experience in line with Durham’s Digital Strategy. I’ve helped with planning testing processes, documenting test steps, and logging results for updates and new releases.

What are your interests?

As a 3rd year psychology student, I have a variety of interests that keep me busy in my spare time. One of my passions is swimming, and I currently serve as the captain of the Chads swimming club. I find it both challenging and relaxing, and it helps me stay physically fit and mentally refreshed. Another interest of mine is music, and I enjoy writing and producing songs in my free time. I hope to pursue this interest further after university and see where it takes me.

What’s your favourite part of being a Student Digital Leader?

The flexibility this job provides has allowed me to develop my IT skills, which is something completely different from my degree. I feel that this experience has given me a valuable set of skills that will be useful in any future graduate opportunity, should I decide to pursue that route. Also, the people I have worked with have been super helpful and kind along the way. Overall, being a Student Digital Leader has been a great learning experience for me and has helped me to grow both personally and professionally.


Luca Huelle (he/him)

Second year student studying Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science

What’s your area of expertise as a Student Digital Leader?

User Acceptance Testing for the new Durham on Demand portal.

What are your interests?

I was on the exec for DUKIS, CompSoc, and K-pop Soc and am a member of DUEG. I enjoy walks, programming and gaming.

What’s your favourite part of being a Student Digital Leader?

Gaining real world project experience and what works well, as well as what doesn't. Gaining knowledge of the Azure development platform has also been helpful.


Isaac Holt (he/him)

Second year student studying Mathematics, Faculty of Science

What’s your area of expertise as a Student Digital Leader?

User Acceptance Testing for the new Durham on Demand portal.

What are your interests?

Piano, chess, tennis, table tennis, programming.

What’s your favourite part of being a Student Digital Leader?

Learning new skills that will be useful in future full-time jobs and experiencing working in a corporate setting.


 

 

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