Mehdi, an MSc Internet Computing and Network Security graduate of Loughborough University talks us through his journey, what initially attracted him to Loughborough University and his thoughts on being an international student in a UK university.
So Mehdi, which MSc programme did you study?
Well, I graduated in MSc Internet Computing and Network Security and now I am a PhD student in the Computer Science department here at Loughborough.
What first attracted you to Loughborough University as your place of study?
First and foremost it was the lecturers’ research interests which were the biggest contributing factor in my decision. I was extremely impressed by some of the lecturers; what work they had had previously published, what projects they had been involved in and finally the course's content. All of this even led to me deciding early on who I wanted as my potential supervisors once I had started my MSc studies at Loughborough. In reflection, I am so happy with my decision. The university is so well organised and efficient with respect to registration and additional help for international students. My experience with Loughborough prior to taking up my studies was a lot more pleasant too, especially as other experiences with different UK universities had been bad, and this ultimately swayed my choice.
What sort of support and help did you receive to help you adjust to living and studying in the UK?
The Student Support Centre helped me a great deal with my visa extension application. The people working in the Student Support Centre were kind, considerate and professional which helped make the process a lot easier.
Were there any challenges in living and studying in the UK?
Initially, it was quite difficult to adjust to living in a completely new environment but studying has been great from start to finish.
What did you like best about studying in the UK?
Studying in the UK, in particular, at Loughborough University has been great. At Loughborough everything is well organised. The members of staff are friendly and professional, the lecturers are very knowledgeable and the content of their material is at the cutting-edge. To be honest, it’s everything you would expect from a world-class university.
What did you enjoy most about your MSc programme?
The aspects that I enjoyed most about my MSc programme have to be the choice of modules I could study, completing work in various network labs sessions and completing my own computing projects. Two modules that I enjoyed the most were Internet Architecture and the Network Security & E-commerce module. I also found my final project really fulfilling. During the project, due to the fantastic support of my supervisor, I had a chance to undertake research on a real industry's problem with one of the largest UK internet service providers. The experience also helped me to network with other researchers and to find my position in the research community.
What did you think about the facilities and teaching at Loughborough?
I thought the facilities at Loughborough were good, in particular the classroom space on offer within the department. The library is also a great place to spend time outside of contact hours to read around the modules that I was studying.
What were/are your career goals and how has studying an MSc supported these?
Looking forward to the future, I want to stay in academia and continue my career researching. My biggest goal is to become a university lecturer. Before starting my studies for my MSc at Loughborough I spent 10 years working in industry but decided I wanted a change. It is Loughborough and the people I have met along the way that I have to thank for deciding to pursue my passion in the academic world rather than going back to work in industry.
What would you say to someone considering studying at Loughborough?
I would say that quitting a well-paid job as a principal engineer, leaving friends, family and a comfortable life back home was the biggest risk I could have ever taken, just to follow my dreams. However, I am happy that I made the right decision and it definitely has been worth it. Loughborough has helped me to realise my true potential and what I really want to do in the future.