Let's Meet... Daiva Urnikyte

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Today we had the pleasure of meeting a student who has excelled in multiple areas of university life, including fully immersing themselves in the Graduate+ award and the different resources we have to offer. Let’s go & meet Daiva…

Hi Daiva, it’s great getting to chat with you today! Please tell us what course you study & a little bit about what you get up to?

“I am currently studying undergraduate Computer Networks and Security. 

I got an opportunity to get involved in Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ900) cloud computing Bootcamp; hopefully, I will be taking the exams soon. Since cloud computing will be a big thing in the future, it is a fantastic qualification to have handy and explore more in a potential future career.  Once I pass AZ900 exam, my main focus will be on continuous learning and getting Cisco Certified Networks Associate (CCNA) certified.” 

How many of our award levels have you completed, and when did you achieve these?

I have completed all four awards: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. I started on the Graduate+ bronze award and finished in my 1st year of university. But I made my personal mission to complete Silver, Gold and Platinum awards in my 2nd year.” 

Out of all the online resources we offer, which of them were your favourite & why?

“I found many different resources extremely useful that Graduate+ provides. I found CV360 tool and STAR Technique the most useful.

CV360 tool is my favourite because this tool makes multiple checks, scores your current CV and it provides instant feedback with what needs to be amended. I also liked the fact that you can create your CV from scratch and check the history of your previous CV score. 

I found the STAR Technique to be useful not only when completing awards for Graduate+ but also I use this tool for my everyday life and in some university assignment submissions. Not only does it allows you to focus on the situation that requires you to solve a problem, use a skill or come up with a new idea; task to explain the action that it requires for that specific situation; describe the action that has been taken; recording and explaining the results that happened at the very end; but also finds out what your strengths and weaknesses are.”

You tell us you have worked for your faculty as a Student Academic Leader? Tell us about the different responsibilities you had. 

“Being a SAL is a great way to notify the university of students’ needs and share ideas of how it could be improved. But, there are a few responsibilities that are involved when being a Student Academic Leader. The main responsibly is to get the feedback/concerns of the students that does not let them to use all of the equipment or resources (it could be something to do with the lecturer, equipment missing in specific rooms etc.) that they need for their courses. All of the feedback is given to the School Rep, who will then raise the concerns of the students to a higher authority and try to solve as many problems/concerns as possible. 

Attending to all of the SAL council meetings and Student Feedback Forums to receive feedback on the issues raised, what has been fixed, what’s on the process or what issues cannot be fixed and reasons behind it. All of the information gathered from the meeting, update the students from your faculty.” 

You told us during our chat that you’ve gained a lot of new skills from the voluntary work you’ve undertaken? Tell us more about the experiences you had.

“Majority of the work experience I undertook was in charity shops. Volunteering in a small shop that could get very busy, both in the background and on the front, which could be hard to manage sometimes. But spending majority of the time volunteering over the summertime, I had to deal with many people with different needs and issues. Over the time, I have learnt how to be more flexible, how to approach and deal with different people, have more patience, get out my comfort zone and many more. However, whether it has been a good day or bad, I always learnt new skills or developed my current skills further.”

We hear you took part in Innovation Fest in 2019 and even won an award? This sounds exciting, tell us about what happened. 

“Of course. In 2019, for Innovation Fest, we had to get into groups from different courses (max 5 students in the group and only 2 from the same course allowed) and showcase the project to the judges and other guests. The project idea was about smart doorbell and fingerprint scanner to get into your house. The product was not 100% working even spending endless hours on it, however, after explaining the vision of the final product and how it would work with more time and with better resources – they were quite impressed. After demonstrating how everything will work and answering their questions, my groupmates and I were quite worried that our project wasn’t good enough because other teams had made better progress and had amazing ideas of their projects. 

Going to the awards ceremony, the feeling of winning anything was 50/50 but genuinely we were happy when other teams won awards for different categories. No one from the group expected to win “Microsoft – Computational Award”  and every single second that was spend on the project was so worth it and we couldn’t be happier to win it.  If given a chance, I would be delighted to work with the same team members in the future.” 

If you had to give one piece of advice to a new 1st year student who was interested in starting their Grad+ award, what would you say?

“Take every opportunity that Graduate+ provides and put yourself out there. You will not only gain experiences from doing different activities or societies but meet great people who are interested in the same subject as you and at the same time, get awards and certifications. You will hear many people say that it will look great on your CV and it will because you can always talk about what those awards represent and what did you to achieve it. While looking for placement, graduate or any other type of job, majority of the employees will be interested to know what you been up to besides university and Graduate+ activities are a great way to talk about.”

Finally, what does the future hold next for you Daiva as you progress into your third and final year?

“Going into my 3rd and final year this September is a bit frightening, but I am very excited to see what the future holds for me. After graduating, I am planning to take another scary step in my life and continue education in Master’s Cybersecurity.”

It was great being able to chat with Daiva about her BCU journey so far, we wish her all the very best of luck for her 3rd year in September with us! Would you like to speak to us about your Graduate+ & BCU experiences? Email us at graduate+@bcu.ac.uk & we can arrange a chat.