School of Computing and Digital Technology student, Mohammad Idrees Sulaiman shares his experiences of his first year at BCU, the importance of immersing yourself in the student community, and grasping extra-curricular opportunities that come your way!
Did you always know you wanted to come to BCU?
One of the key reasons for me choosing BCU was its location. I am a father and have family commitments, so not having to commute too far to university is a huge plus for me to fulfil my dream of completing my education, while being close to my family at the same time. The fact that BCU is located directly in Birmingham city centre means it is easily commutable from all over the country and to those in Birmingham and its surrounding areas.
What is the community like in the School of Computing and Digital Technology?
It's diverse and very friendly. The first time I came to the university, I spoke with Charanjit Marwaha and I found his advice very useful and I'm happy with my progress at university. BCU is a true reflection of the community. It is diverse and almost every member of society can see themselves in the BCU community. I can say from personal experience that I have received support and been provided various opportunities to thrive and progress.
During my time, I have had some supportive and approachable tutors who have helped me progress and I've also met other BCU staff who have encouraged me to find the courage to take part in extracurricular activities. In summary, I have been inspired, encouraged and motivated by the majority of BCU teaching community and other staff members throughout my time at BCU so far.
Did you get involved in any extra-curricular activities?
In my first year I opted to become a Visiting Student Demonstrator, thanks to my Foundation Year module leader having faith in me and recommending me. Ever since, I have participated in Open Days as a student ambassador, worked on the clearing phone line for the 2021/22 intakes, I've taken part in the BCU ChangeMaker programme, completed a micro-placement in the summer of 2021, participated in NatWest Climate Hackathon and I’m currently a committee member of the BCU Afghan Society.
I have been inspired by the BCU community so much that I want to be part of it, be it in the smallest capacity, in order to give back and inspire others.
What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on?
My most favourite activity at BCU is my time as a Visiting Student Demonstrator. I gain huge satisfaction when I help other students with their work. It pushes me to do more research and gain more knowledge about the topics that are covered in these sessions, so in the process I learn more myself as well as helping and inspiring other students. I do try to say to the students that I was in their seat just last year and they could be a student demonstrator themselves in future.
How does studying at university compare to your previous experiences?
I have never found myself more comfortable, productive, optimistic and driven than I have been at university. Every day, I look forward to coming to university and learning. I fully enjoy my time at university, be it in the library, in the company of other students, working on a group project, or in lectures and practical lab sessions.
What's the most important lesson you have learnt from your first year at university?
I've learned how important it is to be and stay organised. There is also a huge range of support available throughout the university and I encourage students to reach out and ask for help and support with anything they struggle with, be it financial difficulty, academic support, or even emotional support, do not stay silent, reach out and you will get the help you need.
What advice would you give to people starting university?
Make the most of this once in a lifetime experience. This experience can put you at a huge advantage in making the right choices and decisions for your future. It will widen your perspective and equip you with skills that will help you get more out of each day of your life. University is not limited to the subject you study, it is a much bigger experience and I believe it's a must-have experience for everyone. There are a huge range of opportunities that the university provides, please find the ones you are passionate about and get involved. This is a life changing opportunity, make the most of it.
Study a degree in Computing and Digital Technology
Take a look through our range of Computing and Digital Technology degrees and find the right one for you. Many of our degrees have Foundation Year options too.