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Žaneta - Version 1 Computing Scholarship recipient

Name: Žaneta Sobotková

Course: MSc Computes Science

Scholarship: The Version 1 Computing Scholarship

What was it about Northumbria University that made you want to study here?

As an international student from Czechia, I was on the lookout for a university that could provide me with an excellent academic experience, a chance to improve my language skills, and an opportunity to meet new people while enjoying new challenges. I wanted to study in an environment that would encourage my personal and professional growth while also giving me a chance to explore and travel.

Northumbria University offered a range of programs that aligned with my interests, and I was impressed by the university's focus on real-world learning and industry connections. Furthermore, the university's location in Newcastle upon Tyne, a vibrant city, appealed to me, as I knew it would offer me plenty of opportunities to explore and discover new places.

Additionally, one of the moments of inspiration for me was visiting London during my studies, and I was excited about the prospect of studying in the UK.

Did you face any barriers to Higher Education, or was there anything that made you doubt your decision to come to university?

Fortunately, I did not encounter any significant barriers. However, one of the factors that did make me doubt my decision to come to university was the financial aspect. I knew that studying abroad could be expensive, and I was concerned about how I would finance my education and living expenses.

Thankfully, Northumbria University offers a range of scholarships that together with student loan, helped ease my financial worries.

What is it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria has been an incredible experience for me. In terms of using the campus facilities, I try to make the most of them! I am a member of the gym and attend various classes, which has been a great way for me to stay active and healthy. Additionally, I often use the library for studying and research. Working at the student union as a bar staff also gave me a chance to develop customer service skills and multitasking. I had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and interact with students from all walks of life. I am grateful for the opportunity and would highly recommend it to other students looking for part-time work during their studies.

I did a placement year abroad, as a part of my undergraduate studies which was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to gain real-world experience and learn about different cultures. I am grateful for the opportunities that Northumbria has provided me, and I feel that I have grown so much as a person during my time here.

What is your favourite part of your course/ what do you enjoy the most?

One of the best things about studying MSc Computer Science has been the chance to meet new people. I enjoy collaborating with them on coursework and projects, as well as I appreciate the external opportunities that university provides to MSc students, such as taking part on the women in STEM event. Overall, I feel like studying MSc Computer Science has been a great decision for me. It's challenging, rewarding, and full of opportunities for growth and exploration.

Are you in any societies?

I have had the opportunity to be a part of many different things on campus, including playing on the ultimate Frisbee team, being on the committee for the team, and joining the languages and dance society. These activities have allowed me to meet so many new people and make lasting friendships that I will always treasure.

What benefits has the scholarship provided?

It has given me a huge confidence boost and has allowed me to pursue opportunities that I might not have considered otherwise. Knowing that someone believed in my abilities and wanted to invest in my future has been incredibly motivating and validating.

The scholarship has also provided me with the freedom to explore and take risks. Financial concerns can be a significant source of stress and anxiety for many students, but with the scholarship, I have been able to focus more on my studies and extracurricular activities without worrying about finances as much.

Finally, the scholarship has offered additional benefits such as access to workshops and networking events. These resources have been invaluable in helping me to build my skills and professional network and to prepare for my future career. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that the scholarship has provided me and feel confident and excited about my future.

What are your future goals? Has your course or the scholarship helped shape/influence this?

While I'm still exploring my options, I'm excited about the many possibilities that my MSc in Computer Science has opened up for me. I'm open to exploring new and challenging positions where I can apply my skills and continue learning and growing in the field. Ultimately, my goal is to use my knowledge and abilities to make a positive impact in the world. I'm particularly interested in opportunities that involve using technology to address social and environmental challenges.

The scholarship has definitely had an impact on my goals by providing me with more opportunities and resources to pursue my passions. It has allowed me to focus more on my studies and extracurricular activities without worrying as much about finances, and it has given me a boost of confidence that I can achieve great things.

My course has also played a role in shaping my goals by exposing me to new ideas, technologies, and applications in the field. I'm constantly inspired by the work of my professors and peers, and I'm excited to see what new innovations and breakthroughs will emerge in the coming years.

Overall, my future goals are to continue growing as a professional, to stay open to new and challenging opportunities, and to use my skills and knowledge to make a positive impact in the world. I look forward to the personal and professional growth that lies ahead.

If you could give advice to somebody considering university, what would it be?

If someone is considering university, my advice would be to do your research and explore your options thoroughly. Look into different courses, universities, and locations to find the best fit for your interests, goals, and lifestyle. Talk to current students and alumni, attend open days and events, and read reviews and rankings to get a sense of what each university has to offer.

Once you've decided to pursue a degree, my advice would be to fully immerse yourself in the university experience. Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you, from academic programs to extracurricular activities and social events. Make new friends, try new things, and challenge yourself to grow and learn as much as possible.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. University can be a challenging and sometimes overwhelming experience, but there are plenty of resources available to support you, from academic advisors and student services to mental health counselling and peer support groups. Don't hesitate to reach out if you're struggling or need guidance.

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