1) Why did you select this school?
My university has a very strong school of sciences. I knew some graduates of this department that had a successful start to their careers.
Also, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my education abroad, so it was the perfect match as this was a government University and I studied hard to pass the entrance exam.
2) Generally, what were your college years like?
My college years were stressful and challenging because we had to deliver a lot of assignments and at the same time we had to study for midterms and final exams. But this helped me to handle my stress and keep myself calm in high-pressure situations.
The first thing that is coming to my mind is the department’s lab where we spend most of our evenings and the friends that I met in college, with whom, most of them, we are still friends till now. I never missed a class and I was always taking notes during the lessons.
Also, I had the opportunity to be involved with a volunteer project ‘Stop Cancer Cyprus’ to inform users about cancer prevention in cooperation with PASYKAF. Through this project, I learned the software development life cycle and gained the experience to work closely with a real customer.
During the summer period of my third year, I did an internship at Marathon Distributors, which was a learning experience that taught me invaluable skills about the corporate environment.
Lastly, I put a lot of effort into my thesis both in BSc and MSc. I was very passionate about the research I was doing. Both became papers and were cited by other researchers.
3) How would you describe your study habits during college?
Every day I had lessons until the afternoon, so I used to do my assignments, between the lessons, in the evenings, and on the weekends.
I used a calendar to plan which task I should focus on each day based on the assignments and exams I had. Through this, I learned to use my time productively and efficiently.
I was studying the presentations after each class so that I will be prepared for the exams and I won’t have a ton of material to study. Also, reading some parts of the lesson’s book, made things clearer for me.
In general, I was trying always to have a plan and finish my assignments/preparation for the exams before the deadline.
4) What were some important career influences?
During my summer internship at Marathon Distributors Ltd, I was directly working with the IT Manager-CIO of the company, Mr. Marios Georgiou. I admire him for his hard skills, as well as for his soft skills. He was always trying to help his coworkers, despite his heavy workload and he had very good relationships with the partners of the company.
In addition, when I was working there, one of the hard drives in the server room failed and the company’s internal system wasn’t working. I remember the way he handled this crucial situation very efficiently on his own and in the following days he created and executed a plan to prevent this situation in the future.
5) What were the best and worst times in your college years?
Best moment: Officially finishing my degree and getting an offer for a master’s degree
Worst Moment: I had a team project of 3 people for the Databases course. We had a meeting at the beginning of the project and split the work into 3 parts. The project was for creating a database model for a supermarket with multiple queries and a UI. One day before the deadline I called the two other girls to meet in the labs to do the integration of our parts. The girl that took the UI part, just said to me that she didn’t have time to work on it due to the other assignments and she will start working on it now. That, of course, was very frustrating and disappointing for us, because we finished our part and we were about to lose points if we delivered it without the UI. So, I decided that we all meet in the labs to do the UI part. We were so exhausted, but we stayed until very late and finished it.
That taught me that when you are assigning a task to someone, you need to constantly check for the status and not only asking the last day before the deadline. You cannot expect other people to share the same responsibility as you do, in order to complete their tasks on time. Also, you cannot expect that other people will feel comfortable asking for help if you don’t ask them.
6) What were your career aspirations at the end of college?
My career aspirations at the end of college were to develop the hard and the soft skills that Mrs. Marios had, my ex-manager in Marathon Distributors Ltd, and get a similar role in a big company.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and could take away something with you. I would really love to hear your opinion on 5 Lessons I’ve learned as a Beginner Developer.
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