Tomas Sabat graduated in 2013 in international Politics from City, after which did an MPhil at the University of Cambridge. He is currently a COO/Founder of Grakn Labs.
Grakn is database software that enables developers to be more productive and build applications from drug discovery, cyber threat intelligence, fraud detection, Machine Learning and many more.
Founded in 2015, Grakn has received 7m in funding and has an open source community of thousands developers worldwide.
Why did you choose to study at City?
Well its funny actually, I initially decided to study Sociology but after much consideration and conversations with my father I decided that I wanted to study International Politics. I also really wanted to study in London, and City was a place that really stood out to me as being centrally located. I was born in Chile and lived there until I was 9, after which I went to school in the Netherlands.
I went to an open day session for my course and found that everyone I was meeting at City was very articulated and serious about their profession and field of work. I was very impressed by this and realised City was the place to study for me.
What was your experience of studying at City?
Studying at university, especially in London was a big change for me. I came into first year and my grades were not good. But the academics at City were able to push me further and give advice. This ultimately helped me to get a 1sts in my second and third years. In my second year I was also heavily involved with other things both outside and within City, such as societies.
Some of my favourite academics were, Dr Sara Silvestri, Professor Inderjeet Parmar and Professor Anastasia Nesvetailova. All of them pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. I think it’s a real honour to be in their positions, in power and having the ability to influence and encourage students. In fact Professor Parmar offered us optional 500 word weekly essays. These were vital to me as it kept me engaged and geared me up for when I would eventually study at Cambridge University.
How was life after City?
Well, as with many other students I decided I was going to study further. I ended up getting into Cambridge University and I attribute this largely to my tutors from City. Whilst at Cambridge I was heavily involved in AIESEC, a student run organisation for parties and networking. I was also the president of a society, which was great to work on something collectively bigger than the sum of its parts.
What advice would you give to students starting out at City?
Get involved with as much as you can. University, especially City, is more about doing stuff outside of your course with people you don’t see normally. City is great for that, there are so many interesting people doing interesting things. Join societies that interest you, or that is out of your comfort zone.
Speak to PHD students who are at City. They are the future of industry and academia, pick their brains. Treat your tutors as your friends and don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to ask questions. Also get involved with the marketing team! It’s a great way to make a bit of money doing campus tours, but you also learn more about your own university and everything that you may have not known is on offer.