From the moment I used my first computer at the age of 7, I knew I wanted to progress my career with an IT related course. Having this strong mindset along with full support from my family, there was nothing that could change my mind.
I had to move from my hometown to the capital city of Mozambique to study BSc (Hons) Computer Science at the Instituto Superior de Ciências e Tecnologia de Moçambique (ISCTEM). After my placement year as an intern at Bytes & Pieces, I was offered the role as an IT Technician, where I was involved in tasks from configuring network peripherals to being part of several network projects for small and medium organisations in Mozambique.
I started to research universities that could enable me to take a step further in my career while opening doors to new opportunities, and realised that the University of Sunderland was the best option. The course is structured in such an attractive way that covers basic aspects to key network solutions. In addition, reviews from previous students, lecturers and the University itself also helped in my decision to apply for MSc Network Systems at the University.
The course was tailor-made for students who are looking forward to investing their career in a network-related field, covering all the most up-to-date technologies. There is a good balance between theory and practice; we deployed real-world prototype networks so that we could gain the skills that are required to prepare, plan, design, implement, operate and optimise large scale networks. In addition to the network laboratories with real equipment, the University also offers network simulators such as Cisco VIRL which enabled us to configure and troubleshoot networks without having to touch a single cable and running large networks within a few minutes. The University is accredited by the Cisco Network Academy and offers its students full support in terms of study material and actual hands-on experience throughout the course to successfully qualify as a Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching (CCNA).
I never expected the warm welcome I received when I arrived at the University of Sunderland. All the staff were very supportive, particularly my lecturers with their extensive knowledge which has inspired me in different aspects of my career. I would advise prospective students to keep asking for feedback regardless of your mark; this approach enabled me to reflect upon my mistakes, and therefore, identify my strengths and weaknesses in order to improve in the future. I enjoyed using all the facilities and services offered by the University including the ability to borrow books from the library, having access to the University IT system, being able to freely download a range of Microsoft and VMware applications to support my studies and having a free bus card that enabled me to move around the city.
I have learned a lot and gained a lot of skills during my studies which have opened doors to new opportunities. When I returned to Mozambique, I was given the opportunity to start a company that offers network and managed services in my local city. My aim was always to join Cisco, and fortunately, I managed to secure a job with them as a Customer Support Engineer. I was also given the opportunity and full support by a lecturer to progress with my PhD. Since I also want to progress professionally, I am planning to gain more practical experience and after a few years cooperate with Cisco with an innovative idea to use in my PhD research.
I would encourage everyone to study at the University of Sunderland because it is a well-known institution in the UK and it values students voices to provide a better learning and social environment.
I would say that it is a life changing opportunity because I could not imagine a graduate with a background like mine would ever get a job in a giant organisation such as Cisco, and all the credit goes to the University of Sunderland which shaped me to face challenging tasks."
Published 30 August 2017