Ola Lawal took some time out from his course, Business Computer Systems (Top Up) BSc (Hons), to tell us about his year at London Met and why its central location means so much to this football fan.
What makes the course a valuable degree for you?
My ambition is to become a business analyst after graduation. As the course contains modules relating to the management of support systems, e-commerce and e-business, it really helped my understanding of the applications of computer-based information systems used in business for the support of management.
What are your lecturers like?
My lecturers have been so helpful. They’re always there whenever I call on them and they even follow up with me. In the first week of lectures when I was struggling to configure an Oracle server on my personal laptop, I asked a lecturer for help. He met with me in his office and he helped me with the configuration. What I found amazing was that he later made a video of the configuration steps to help students who were struggling with the same problem.
How do you find the facilities at London Met?
I have been privileged enough to have visited some computer labs in London but London Met’s Cisco Lab is one of the most advanced I’ve ever seen. There are also many rooms all over the campus with fully-equipped PCs with the software I needed for my studies.
What did you find supported your course here?
I would say my favourite is the blackboard application (Weblearn), which I can use on my mobile phone. This way I have all the information about my modules at my fingertips. As my travel to and from the University takes almost four hours everyday, this application gives me the opportunity to go through my lecture slides all over again. I find it helpful to re-watch lecture videos in case I’ve missed some points in the lecture.
What do you do outside lectures when you have free time?
I am an Arsenal football club supporter and I love watching football, so I regularly visit the Emirates Stadium which is a stone’s throw from the University. There’s always good food, live bands and a roaring match-day atmosphere when a game is on.
Can you tell us what your career plans are?
I am looking forward to a career as a business analyst. With the assistance of the University’s Career and Employability team, I’ve already secured two interviews for a graduate scheme.
You're a mature student – how have things been for you?
As a mature student, I thought I was going to struggle when I started my top-up degree but luckily at the course pre-enrolment, we were given special tuition on how to manage our time and study resources effectively, and even how to write essays and reports which I found later to be really helpful during the course of my study.
What led you to choose to study in London, and at London Met specifically?
I would say the cultural diversity. London is undoubtedly the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Also, a recommendation from an alumni made me apply; he told me about the support students at London Met receive from their lecturers and academic mentors. On the open day, what I saw at London Met compared to the other universities I had visited totally convinced me that this was the right place to be, as I could see how knowledgeable the lecturers were and how the staff were all ready to help.
Have you had any work or industry experience as part of your degree?
I have been working as an IT support analyst during my studies. I have a Cisco Network Analyst certification and am also a Microsoft Certified Professional. I am also working towards achieving my Oracle SQL certification as this part of my Advanced Database System Development module.
Have you any advice you'd like to pass on to new students?
It’s important to manage your time properly when studying. You don’t need to be a genius to finish with a first-class degree. The University has all the necessary facilities and staff are always here to help, so make the best use of these resources.
Did anything surprise you about London Met?
The level of support was incredible. Every student is assigned an academic mentor who helps you to achieve your best during your course.