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Ilona Tanaga


BSc (Hons) Computing Systems PT

Why did you decide to study part-time?

The main reason is that I have a full-time job which I could not gave up due to the financial circumstances.

How would you describe yourself to someone who had never met you?

I like challenges and if one goal is achieved, I am looking for the new one.

I am very passionate at what I am doing in personal and professional live.

I can easily adopt to any circumstances/new environment.

I am very open and honest person.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

Originally from Latvia but born in a Russian speaking family. Growing up in a diverse environment I can communicate in 3 languages:

  • Russian
  • Latvian
  • English

In 2010 I have graduated from University of Daugavpils (Latvia) with a BSc in Teaching. Same year I came to Northern Ireland with a thought it will only be a one summer length adventure. 1

1 years later I am calling Northern Ireland my home.

My first job was as a production operative in the local factory.

I went to South-Eastern Regional College in Bangor for 2 years to study Business and Administration after which I was working as a Legal Secretary.

What obstacles or challenges did you overcome?

Software Development is a completely new subject to me. I have very good but basic computer skills required to work as secretary.

Although I was always interested in learning more.

It was a great challenge to overcome my fear of whether I will be able to keep up with my studies, as I am also a mum to 9 years old.

Although, my wish to study was very strong and I have applied to study in 2018. I did not get accepted as I have not met the criteria required.

To achieve this, I went to Belfast Met to take GCSE in Math. I re-applied again the next year and my application was accepted.

I do not qualify for the apprenticeships programmes due to my age (33).

Since I have no previous experience, I was not able to get a job in the industry just yet. Although I am convinced that I will be able to find it after graduation.

How has your life changed since beginning your study – if you did not take the opportunity, where would you have been?

Probably I would be working as a secretary/office manager but still will be looking for a career change.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I think that all my small achievements put together will be that one biggest achievement.

I am facing various challenges but so far, I was able to overcome them all and I am pretty sure I will be able to do so in the future.

What are your future goals and aspirations?

First and most important is to graduate, then to find a job in the industry. After that will be a process of practice using the knowledge gained from the studies as well as learning more.

Due to the technological progress accelerating its speed, I will have an opportunity to learn something new all the time, which is great.

I am also thinking of possibly doing a master’s degree. Most likely will review that next year.

Why would you tell a prospective student to study part-time?

This is an excellent opportunity for those who are working, having a family or have any other live situation.

Student finance is available from the Government. The University will provide any support needed and an experienced advisers will guide you through the application process.

Yes, it might be challenging, but it will be worth it, and I am pretty sure you will enjoy your studies and time spent in Uni, as I do.