After considering her higher education options and talking to some friends who already lived here, Ilze Poca chose to pursue her computer science studies in Glasgow. When she graduated and was considering her future career, the decision to stay in Scotland was easy.
Why work in Scotland?
I was thinking about studying abroad and had friends already living in Scotland. They were positive about it and I liked the idea of coming to a country where English was a native language.
The decision to stay in Scotland and pursue my career here came naturally. I had done a placement in a small company in Glasgow during my third year at university. I began to look around at where I might stay and thought that Glasgow was as good a place as any.
After graduation, I joined Morgan Stanley. Initially, I didn't know that much about the company. However, I talked to a number of people and found out more, and I really liked what I discovered. When I got to meet people at the company they were very friendly and welcoming, and I really appreciated that.
Working for Morgan Stanley
I work in a team that looks after clients' money. Every day, the company needs to segregate all the money that we hold on behalf of our clients. My team creates software that allows the computers to calculate that. I do the front end developing, which means that I design the look and feel of the application. Often that involves talking to users and figuring out what they need.
I really like the interaction with the users and creating the application. I like spending time thinking about how it will look and making it attractive and easy to use.
Although my plan is to develop my career at Morgan Stanley, there are a lot of opportunities in software development in Glasgow and Scotland in general. I know of other large investment banks that offer a lot of technical jobs in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
I would recommend to anyone that they come to Scotland, especially if they are looking for jobs like mine.
Living in Scotland
I like the people the most – they are exceptionally friendly. Also, it's easy to access nature. Although I live in Glasgow, if I want to go hill walking at the weekend I can easily get to Loch Lomond.
Last summer I started to do wakeboarding in Loch Lomond with some of my workmates – that was really good fun. And in the winter I tried snowboarding at Xcape at Braehead.
I like the active social life. I go to gigs regularly and I really enjoy going to the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe.