Roofiya Koya - MSc Data Science and Analytics
My name is Roofiya and I’m a postgraduate student studying MSc Data Science and Analytics with the Department of Computer Science
Strolling down the bustling city, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, noises and the finest collection of Georgian and Victorian buildings, I remember the pleasure of being in a city I didn't know well, and left to get myself lost. It always felt worth walking onward, just because you don't know what you're going to stumble upon next in this action-packed city. Right from my stay at Sheila's inn, first day at UCC campus, with its well-maintained historic charm, every person I met was welcoming, I strolled among them, feeling for the first time that I finally walked into the place I belonged, not having to pretend to fit in. If I were to describe to UCC in 3 words, it'd be: "My Best Decision". I experienced the much-talked about hospitality after losing my way around campus during my first week. Fellow students accompanying me to the right building and describing everything on the way, and I remember walking home, grinning cheerfully.
Picture: At the Shakey Bridge in Fitzgerald's Park
I’ve had my doubts on how I would cope with the course, but my friends and above all, my educators have made it a smooth ride ensuring I was never doing it alone. Teamwork is a huge part of this course, though my class is small it contains the most supportive system of students. We work together to complete practical work and while spending hours in the library meeting rooms, I ended up having the most fun, as thankfully, I had my best buddies along to share and overcome the challenges. Though the feeling at the end of the day is hugely rewarding, I recommend building a strong, sustainable relationship with the Boole Library at the earliest.
Picture: Future Data Scientists
As challenging as it is, the one thing that makes you better is a motivator who pushes you to grow beyond what you thought were your limits. Every so often, it felt like professors were pushing us too far. Yet when the semester is over, I cannot help but reminisce and smile because I know that they pushed to the point of growth in a direction I didn't know I could grow in. The classes made feel me enlightened to talk about a subject because I have a foundation to fall back upon.
Picture: The remarkable Ogham Stone Collection
Not only did the classes broaden my world view, I attended seminars, student groups, societies, career services, and most importantly clubs to enrich my free time. There is so much going on around me, I could go anywhere on campus and find something new to enrich my already growing perspective. Being here is like gaining a quick intellectual growth spurt that no other passage of time in your life can give you. I joined the Archery, Table Tennis and Fencing clubs, and with the best trainers and facilities, all that I had to do was show up, and the willingness to put in the effort.
Picture: A glimpse of modern art from The Glucksman Gallery
We're all here to pursue some talent, refine and market it. I've met someone gifted in almost every discipline. Athletes, Scholars, Dancers, Artists, Musicians, students who have travelled across the globe to be together on one campus, our campus and I love how diversity is created and most importantly, upheld here in UCC.
As glad as I am for the wondrous things that happened (and there were many), I can’t shake off this niggling sense of disappointment at not having done all that I could have. Going into the next semester, all that I could do now is to thrive in the excitement and embrace the unpredictability of the entire semester.
Roofiya Koya - MSc Data Science and Analytics
Blog Post 2
Having successfully completed 2 terms of my Masters, one thing I have learnt from doing a full-time Masters is time flies by and you really do have to just go all out from the second you start the course. I remember going to the first lecture of the second semester and before I knew it I was beating the clock for assignments and projects and I’m guilty of spending much more time on the assignments I enjoy and rushing the others. The workload has been heavy, and like most of the students I had a feeling that I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but self-doubt is inevitable and all you can do is ignore it.
Now that the exams are done, it feels amazing! It’s a strange feeling to think that this might have been the last exam I will ever take, but despite the hard work it has truly all been worth it! Although the first few weeks of April were the busiest for me, I really enjoyed the second semester because I got to select elective units that I’m interested in.
Picture: Hike to Mahon Falls
The next step for me is term 3, to thesis and beyond. Even though I don’t have it all figured out yet, I haven’t always planned out everything very efficiently. But I am glad as I have some rest and time to organize my schedule before I dive into my dissertation. I haven’t completely pinned down what I will be doing yet, but I have my fingers crossed as we get ready for research topics and some primary data collection. This is another skill I have found my CV is severely lacking, so the thesis will be a great opportunity to develop it. I hope to pursue my interest in more depth – conduct independent research and develop my thoughts and ideas regarding a field that deeply interests me and with help from supervisors I hope to engage with my subject from multiple angles. This would also be a chance to fulfil my desire to become a contributor, and not just a learner.
Picture: Hold on to your inner child as you grow older.
I’ve also started attending careers events and finally set up my LinkedIn profile. Hopefully I will end this course and hit the ground running in terms of job applications or pursue a PhD if I am adventurous enough. No matter what happens in the future, I have no regrets because I can’t put a price on the contacts I’ve made and the areas of interest this course has opened up for me.
The whole experience cannot be described in a few words, but it was rich because I met some of the people who I consider my forever friends without whom, I honestly cannot even imagine what I would be doing otherwise. It was welcoming because I was accepted for who I am, it was exciting and challenging because I never had confidence in myself to do something like this before- to study abroad and it was remarkable for the life skills I’ve learnt and things I never thought of doing earlier. I am grateful for the new experience, new friends, new life experiences, and a new degree. I’ve had the opportunity of interacting with so many people who are just as driven as me. Driven to share the same experience as me and continue to overcome obstacles together throughout our year abroad and beyond that. So, thank you for everything UCC, because I think I have found the exact ‘reason’ I came over here for.
Picture: Years from now, I hope we are still in each other’s lives.
For everyone looking forward to future studies in UCC, come with the most open mind you could and indulge yourself for new experiences. Look forward to new opportunities. Look forward to meeting new people. To travelling. To group projects, study groups, sitting next to random people in class. Look forward to the new you that is meant to be discovered when you’re here. Look forward to doing whatever excites you and scares you at the same time. Be yourself, do what you want, dream, believe, achieve, explore, experience and excel!!