What motivated you to pursue postgraduate study?
During my undergraduate studies, I developed a particular interest in cyber security and I felt the need to further improve my knowledge of the topic.
Taking a master's degree was also necessary to pursue a successful career in this area, so I decided to apply to City.
What were you doing before applying for a postgraduate degree?
After completing a bachelor's degree in IT Engineering in my hometown, I moved to London and spent a year working in a café to improve my English language skills. I then took an IELTS certification and applied for a postgraduate degree at City.
Were there any challenges affecting your decision to study a postgraduate degree? If so, how did you overcome them?
I had to face two main challenges: my poor level of English and the money required to take a master's degree in London. I spent a full year working in a café in London, speaking only English with everyone, to improve my English.
I managed to pay the course tuition fees through the postgraduate loan offered by the Government, so I could use the money previously earned to pay the rent and all the other living expenses.
Why did you choose City?
The MSc in Cyber Security at City covers a wide range of interesting topics and I thought it was the most complete on offer among the universities I visited before applying.
The great balance between theory and practice and the feedback received from City's students also contributed to my final decision.
How are you funding your studies – did you secure any financial support?
I requested and obtained the postgraduate loan from the Government that I am using to pay the university's fees. I also had some savings that I am currently using to cover the other expenses.
How are you finding studying in the UK – either in person or remotely?
Studying in the UK is very exciting. I had the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds, with whom I had very interesting discussions.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has drastically reduced the possibility to socialise with my peers and fully enjoy life at City, but the events organised by the university and my course director allowed me to overcome these problems.
What does a typical week at university look like for you?
From Monday to Friday I usually attend my lectures and spend the rest of the day studying and working on my coursework. In the evening I usually take some time for myself, spend time with my girlfriend or play video games with my friends.
The weekend doesn't have a fixed schedule. If there is a sunny day, I go out for a walk and try to explore new places. Otherwise, I clean the house, read a good book on my sofa and try to cook something new.
What has been your favourite module or aspect of your course so far?
My favourite module has been Cryptography. It was a topic that I partially studied on my own before and it was amazingly discussed by the lecturer. The theory was rather difficult in some parts, but the practical tutorials clarified every doubt.
What knowledge and skills has your course helped you develop?
The course helped me develop my knowledge of many aspects of cyber security. I am aware of how a network can be secured and which are the possible threats. I know how digital forensics experts work and I experienced it myself.
I also impersonated a hacker during the first term and a security expert during the second term, gaining skills by performing many practical tasks.
What opportunities and experiences has City offered you so far?
Each week I had a seminar on a topic related to my course, organised either by City or by my course director.
There were also many online events and fairs during the year which gave me the opportunity to meet representatives of different companies and get information about possible job opportunities.
What are your career plans and how has City prepared you for them?
I am planning to work as a cyber security expert in consultancy, since it will give me the possibility to work on a wide range of projects and further improve my skills.
City gave me the core knowledge and abilities necessary to pursue this objective through the teaching received during the course and the support given by its career services.
What advice would you give to someone considering a postgraduate degree?
Think about your passions and ambitions. Take your time and do a lot of research to find the course that better suits you.
Attend open days to explore the university and talk with current students to have some insights into the course you want to apply to.