Kurdish student Tarina Ako tells us what her time on the Business Computer Systems (Top Up) BSc (Hons) was like and how her year with London Met helped her integrate into London life.
What makes the course a valuable degree for you?
Before I transferred to London Met, I had some basic web-development skills. I found the exercises that were being practised in the workshops helped me with acquiring additional skills such as web design. I came to realise I have a passion for web design, which supports my other passion of developing e-commerce websites. I found I was learning something different every day in the different modules.
What are your lecturers like?
The lecturers are very supportive, especially when they know you’re putting effort in class. My lecturers realised I was new to London Met as a top-up student, so they gave me special guidance on how things worked around London Met. They are really friendly too; sometimes I have conversations with them that isn’t related to my studies – it’s comfortable communicating with them. I have also noticed that the lecturers help their graduates as much as they can, in getting the right jobs.
What do you think of the facilities at London Met?
The facilities in London Met are great; the labs came in very handy during my days at London Met. The PCs were always really fast and I had no problems completing whatever tasks I had. As a standard, there was also other software installed which was surplus to requirements for our modules, but came in handy for me. I found the IT service desk staff to be really helpful. They would respond quickly and would resolve my issues as soon as they could.
What did you find helpful?
The Student Zone on the London Met website was very helpful in my year at University. It listed all the facilities I needed and I could view my modules online. Weblearn was the second tool that was a great help throughout the year in keeping track of all my deadlines and submissions.
What do you do outside of lectures when you have free time?
I love going around London take photographs. Central London has always been my favourite place to visit, every part of it is so interesting, from the classical and extravagant buildings to the vintage shops and cafés. I like taking pictures of nature and people. I’ve taken my best pictures in gardens along the River Thames, in Hyde Park and in Primrose Hill. London has so many areas with exquisite buildings.
What are your career plans?
I plan on starting as an IT consultant and making my way into UI design. I feel this will allow me to combine my passions and strengths in creativity, business logic, and computing. Web design is part of my coursework and helps me with my plans for a career in UI design; I get to experiment with many different layouts, colours, and other components.
What led you to choose to study in London, and at London Met specifically?
Since I am a transfer student, I had to look for what matched or was similar to my previous course of study. In my first two years, I majored in information technology, with a minor in business administration. I found the Business Computer Systems (Top-Up) BSc to be the best fit with my previous learning and the best chance to catch up with my studies. The location of the University was also a major positive as it was central and also close to where I live and ce side since it was somehow near to where I live. My module leader was very friendly, as was my academic mentor, who I met on my very first day. I left all my friends behind in Iraq but London Met made me feel comfortable in no time.
What surprised you about London Met?
The number of labs available is astounding. We can see that a lot of effort has been put into building a comprehensive computing department that has all the equipment and tools the students might need.
Have you any advice you'd like to pass on to new students?
I would encourage you to keep ahead of your work where possible, and start your coursework early, especially with projects, as you will likely encounter some challenges and will need the additional time to achieve a complete success.
Do you have a favourite memory of your time at London Met?
Since it was my final year, I was studying and working on my coursework most of the time. My friends and I would stay at the library until late to get our work done. Since we were developing a website together, it was easiest for us to use the PCs in the library. It came to be midnight and we decided to pretend we had fallen asleep, so that they wouldn’t kick us out, hoping we could stay through the night unnoticed, but security found us and forced us out. That is when we knew we were true IT nerds!