DOT testimonial

Mariano Benito Hoz

How one man’s desire to improve English and become employable encouraged him to train in digital abroad

You can’t get left behind

In the job world, having strong digital skills is becoming more and more necessary, useful and sought after. As technology further cements itself, companies want employees who are able to understand the digital requirements of the job.

Taking initiative: learning new digital skills

An example of how digital skills can help improve career prospects is Mariano Benito Hoz, who recently finished a HiPEAC (European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation) internship programme, which focuses on high performance computing.

Having previously worked in a corporate environment, Mariano returned to university to undertake a doctoral programme. Wanting to get back into the corporate world, he leapt at the chance to apply for the HiPEAC scholarship, and was sent to work abroad in the Netherlands.

I wanted to get out of university and spend a few months (three, in this case) working for a company… My secondary motivation was to improve my English.

At the company, the majority of training was focused on the tools the company had access to – he was trained in their computer system and project management methodology. Mariano learned how to simulate a testing environment for real-time data analytic devices (such as Ethernet technology with high bandwidth). He helped test for performance and functionality, giving the company valuable information of ways to improve their product. Mariano says that while the system he worked on was specific to the company, the ecosystem and way in which it is used can be translated to other open source software.

These are not basic competencies, it’s not like learning to use LinkedIn… The internship was about learning the ecosystem and learning how to use it with the product… and, in fact, I’ve subsequently used the same concept but with open source software.

The reason Mariano decided to learn more about digital was “because the world is becoming ever more digitally connected, whether we like it or not, that's the direction we're going in, and if you want to participate in this digitised world, at the end of the day, you've got to get on board - you can't get left behind”.

What advice does he have for potential trainees?

University students often lack the practical side of things – experience – so going into the workforce without this can be a problem. Mariano thinks one of the most emphasised points he noticed was around the need for a connection between universities and companies, so it is essential that students go out to work at companies before the end of their studies. Going abroad to do this, he says, also allows students to experience all aspects of a different culture.

He would recommend a digital traineeship programme as “there’s a gap that needs filling. At least that’s the case in Spain, all companies ask for experience, not only in digital skills…so if they ask you to have this experience, you’re confident that you have it”.