Maria Koukiali, who moved to London from Greece, is a student on our Mathematics BSc (Hons). She talks about life as an undergraduate student balancing part-time work and study, and gives some solid down-to-earth advice for anyone interested in studying at university.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to London Met?
My parents are Albanian, but I was born and raised in Greece. I came to London when I was 16, because Greece was going through an economic crisis, so my family decided to move to the UK. I chose to study at London Met because it's a multicultural uni and I believe that's a must for our society.
What's been your favourite part of the course so far?
I enjoy the group courseworks because I get to study with other students and in turn I can expand my ideas.
How do you find the facilities at London Met?
I'm studying at the Holloway Road campus and I really like the library, which has so many different rooms for both group work and quiet study. I also like to use the gym, which is free for students and has all the equipment you could need.
Sounds like you're making the most of everything! And do you have a favourite piece of equipment?
I was very happy to find out that there are so many rooms with PCs that you can use, and they all have Maplesoft maths software installed.
Have you gained any work experience while at London Met?
In the final year we have a work-related learning module so we can actually gain work experience before we get our degree qualification. I’m also a student success coach at London Met. I started while I was in my second year and it’s actually great work experience for me as I want to become a maths teacher.
Was there anything you found surprising about the University?
I found it (pleasantly) surprising that the maths classes are kept small so you really get to know your lecturers.
Have you felt supported by the lecturers on your course?
Lecturers at London Met are very supportive. They will actually spend hours outside the classroom helping you understand everything. Nino, our course leader, supports everyone and makes personal recommendations so that all students can succeed.
What made you pick London Met and particularly this course over other institutions?
I picked London Met because I liked that the course that I wanted to study was not only based on statistics, which is not my favourite subject.
We heard you're hardworking both for your studies and your free time. How does that look?
I’m doing two part-time jobs while studying. I work part-time as an optical assistant and as a student success coach at the University. Sometimes, especially during exam period, it can be stressful, but it’s doable. It’s very helpful that the timetable is the same for the whole semester, so I can manage my time. I think I’m balancing both well as I get As for most of my assignments.
Any tips for new students?
Don’t leave for tomorrow something you can study today. Uni can be stressful if you’re not consistent in your studying.
Nicely put, we couldn't agree more. What’s been the best part of your time at London Met?
My favourite thing is that I meet people from all over the world. My group consists of people from the UAE, China, the UK and the EU (Greece and Albania).
Thanks for sharing your experience, Maria! Any words of wisdom to finish on?
If you’re going through a hard time there are so many services to help you get through it at the Uni, so please ask for help. There are always people to speak to in the first place; lecturers, academic mentors, success coaches. At London Met we’re like a big family.