Software Engineering for Business Degree student work shadows Telefonica CIO

Nineteen talented undergraduates earned the opportunity to work shadow a digital business leader at the South event for students, universities and employers organised by the Tech Partnership.

As one of the unique benefits for students of industry-accredited Tech Industry Gold degrees, each of these students will spend a day with a CEO from the IT industry, or the head of technology (CIO or CTO) from leading companies across the economy.

The shadowing opportunities were awarded as spot prizes to individuals who particularly stood out for their talent and motivation at the Tech Partnership event held in Reading last month.

More students are set to benefit over the next few weeks, thanks to the support of DWP, Fujitsu, Jaguar Land Rover, Telefonica, Capgemini, OpenReach, Network Rail, Digital Catapult, Accenture, DXC Technology, National Grid, Quicksilva, NHS, IBM, Met Police, Mullen Lowe Group, BT, and TATA Consultancy Services.


Sudhanshu Malla is studying the Software Engineering for Business degree course, accredited by industry and the Tech Partnership, at the University of the West of England (UWE). The degree course has given him the opportunity to work shadow Brendan O’Rourke, CIO of Telefónica UK.

Here Sudhanshu explains what he learned from the experience.

“I was really fortunate to receive this wonderful opportunity to work shadow Brendan O’Rourke, CIO of Telefónica UK. I learnt a lot and gained  many inspirational ideas and suggestions from spending time with experts in their fields. Being able to sit alongside a CIO within a top company and hear about his wealth of experience gave me a great insight into the day-to-day running of a company and the range of advanced technologies in place. I was impressed to see the huge network which Telefónica UK has developed. It was truly breath-taking.

The day started with a short introduction and some background information about the company followed by sitting in on meetings, a job interview, and a conference call. The day offered a variety of opportunities which really gave me a unique experience. One example, which has really helped me, was observing a job interview as it gave me a perspective of what the company expects from candidates and what they’re really looking for in new recruits. Attending another type of meeting, more tactical this time, taught me about the factors to consider when negotiating.

I really appreciated these experiences to see work-life in action.

Telefónica UK scheduled some time for me to visit the laboratory where I met the lab experts who bring concepts to development. They gave me some great ideas about my future career providing me with good advice and direction. Working alongside them was another great experience as they had so much expert knowledge.

The work shadow experience was made possible by the Tech Partnership and Telefónica UK. The experience has enriched my views of the workplace and made me focus on my future career path.

Thank you, Brendan, Jo, the lab team, and rest of Telefónica UK for making the experience so memorable.”