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A look back at my time at ARU College

What has your overall experience been like at ARU and ARU College?

My overall experience has been great. I have always found support and a friendly face ready to help with my queries.

How has your final year been through the pandemic?

The final year was hard. For the first time I had to request a few extensions to submit my assignments as I was not 100% good, in terms of mental health. Being at home all the the time affected me, as I was always an active person. However, the support I had from my supervisor to every single lecturer was helpful. I was able to submit all my assignments, my final project and graduate with First Class with Honours.

How did ARU college prepare you for your degree?

I was reluctant by doing the foundation year at CRIC, now ARU College, because I wanted to start right away in the first year. However, doing the foundation gave me the basis of how it would be from my first year and onwards. Submitting assignments to a deadline, doing presentations, exams – all at a pace that would prepare me for my first year. When I started my first year with ARU I knew how it was going to be.

What’s your fondest memory of ARU College?

My very first presentation. I had been assigned to a group of people where I did not know and I was having my first presentation in a second language, which is English. One member of the group, started to cheer me up and now we are best friends.

What’s next for you?

I am currently doing an internship for a cyber security company, 6 months’ probation, possible renewable for another 6 months. Then I plan to get into a master’s degree at ARU, just to consolidate my knowledge.

In a short future, I want to launch my start-up. I went to the Big Pitch Competition this year, presenting my business idea. I went through the bootcamp but unfortunately, I did not go to the final Big Pitch. It was just an idea and I needed to create a prototype first and needed to have more people on board. Those factors are not favourable if the intention is getting investors.

Do you have any tips or advice for students coming to ARU College in Septmber?

Enjoy ARU and everything that University offers. From the gym to Books Plus card. Thanks to it, I got 3 laptops. Take advantage of the library. It is a wonderful place to study and to meet other people.

Start doing your assessments, lab work, reading from the day one. It is intense!

Joao Marques 
BEng (Hons) Computer Science with Foundation Year
Portugal

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