Work smart and learn how to think, not what to think

When information is put to practical use, it becomes knowledge, and the Applied Computing major within the Computer Science and Engineering programme, in my experience, ensures that this is the case. In this blog, I will be discussing “the how”.
A cross stitch design

The opportunity in the journey

The discipline of Computer Science and Engineering is home to a plethora of occupations that are interesting and varied and have significant potential for advancement.

In the chosen study programme, some studies are required to be completed as part of the selected programme of study; however, some studies are elective, allowing students to select classes from a variety of other majors offered by the same or even other study programmes. This makes it possible to delve deeper into a specific area of focus within the field, or even to investigate how other fields are leveraging a specific area of focus within our field. As a result, one's knowledge of the subject area is strengthened, and one's ability to work within the subject area is accelerated.

This allows the opportunity to grow relationships by connecting with a larger circle of individuals as the people in every course are not necessarily from the same field, making it diverse the same way it would in a working environment.

For instance, in my own experience, I took management courses offered by other programmes as part of my elective studies. This allowed me to combine what I studied in those courses and what I studied in my field, and tailor them to add to my practical work experience.

One of those courses was provided by the Industrial Engineering and Management programme, known as Product and Project Management. Although my group members and I could have used examples from industrial engineering given that the course is mainly targeted at their programme, we decided to use examples from computer science instead. This demonstrates how you can modify and adapt different courses to suit your needs, and it also demonstrates that you are not required to think in a particular way; rather, you are expected to think in a variety of contexts.

Finding a job is a choice, not a challenge

Because technology makes things faster and more efficient at the same time, a graduate of this area may work in practically any sector.

One thing that makes this programme and major unique at the University of Oulu is the guaranteed workplace since it is mandatory to complete a two-month advanced practical training during summer.

You have the option to search and find work in the industry or work at the university within the faculty. I chose to work in the industry at a big automotive company that develops software for some of the fanciest cars in the world.

In my situation, I was able to complete all the required credits early on, and as a result, I had the time to look out for a job and start earlier than is typical. This experience demonstrates that as long as you can manage your time and resources wisely, you will be able to do what you want when you want to do it. I was presented with a variety of employment opportunities across Finland, and I chose to go with the one that seemed to best meet my needs at the time.

Work, study, and life balance

Because choices and opportunities are meaningless if there is no sense of equilibrium in one's life, it is critical to have the ability to strike a healthy balance between the many facets that make up one's existence. As I have noted previously, this ability is directly tied to time management skills.

When you first begin your studies, you will be prompted to create a personal study plan (PSP) for yourself. You will then submit this plan for approval by the programme coordinator and adviser, at which point you will get helpful comments and support, if necessary. This helps you guarantee that you are moving properly and taking the appropriate number of credits, while also ensuring that you are not taking more than necessary, and in the end, it is entirely up to you to decide what you want to do.

To wrap things up, I will mention one more thing that is not related to school and work at all but your overall health and wellness, and that is to play sports and invite other people to exercise with you. The activity itself is enjoyable and pumps your body full of positive energy, which helps you bond with others and make new friends.

Aside from the fact that it is enjoyable, participating in sports may help you improve your academic performance, learn to stress less, relax more, work more effectively with others, and boost your energy levels. Which will, in turn, guarantee that your balance and performance are maintained.

About the author

Ali Heikal is currently completing his master's degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He is from Cairo, Egypt, the same city where the historical ancient Egyptian pyramids and the sphinx are located. He has received multiple awards demonstrating globally recognized technical community leadership.