During the course of 2017, EIT Digital will meet former Master School students and ask them why they chose their programme and how they see their professional future. Last week they met with Andra Lungu.
EIT Digital Master's Students
EIT Digital Master Schools offer two year programmes in 19 of the best European universities, providing ICT and entrepreneurial training. Every year, 500 graduates join the alumni network and begin a career in the best European and international companies and organisations.
Andra is a student from Romania who joined the Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master after a bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University. She tells EIT Digital about her learning and experiences during the two years of her Master's.
What studies did you do before joining the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?
I started studying Computer Science in high school as I was good at maths, so it was quite a logical path forward. I then passed my bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University in Computer Science. The content of the programmes at the University were technical and I graduated as an engineer in 2013.
How did you come across the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?
An assistant professor at the Bucharest Polytechnic University recommended the EIT Digital Master Schools programme to me when I was searching for a Master's programme after University. The Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master had all I wanted from a Master programme and offered me the benefit of studying abroad in both France and Germany.
What motivated you to join the programme?
I liked the idea of experiencing two different cultures in the course of my study. It was also a challenge, as I knew the French language but not so much German. To me, it was the opportunity to discover new cultures and work in two different countries.
Can you tell us about your experience as a student in France and Germany?
Université de Rennes 1 in France was a great start to my studies, the programme manager, Stéphanie Halochet, did a lot to help foreign students set up in France. She was a bit like a second mother, helping us with administrative work and day-to-day issues. Rennes is a small city and to me, coming from Bucharest, it was fun and unusual to have people recognizing me in the streets, like in a village.
During the Summer School in Finland after the year in France, I was able to develop a personal entrepreneurial project based on information and big data, which helped for my second year in Berlin.
My second year at the Technical University of Berlin was even busier. I didn’t suffer from the language barrier as people spoke English and Berlin is an international city. At the time, a lot of startups were being created and I felt right in the middle of the buzz.
The EIT Digital Master Schools taught me entrepreneurship as well as competences in my field of research. In the first and second year, my project was about big data, so logically I joined the startup « Flink » to work as a research assistant during my studies. It was great to work in a team of startupers and get both academic knowledge and business experience at the same time.
During the programme I liked how we could combine startup ideas with technical courses in a fun way. In Bucharest I just studied engineering, with EIT Digital I could also get into the business side of technology. It was also very interesting to compare evaluation methods in Rennes and Berlin: The French academic system is more theoretical whereas the German academic system is more practical.
What did you learn about yourself during your studies?
I learned that I can face cultural challenges, become friends with other Europeans, and I learned to become independent by working and studying at the same time.
What have you done since the Master's programme?
After the degree I came back to Bucharest and joined Orange to work for a project in big data - my job consisted of developing methods and tools to analyse data from phone networks. I am now working for Adobe on a gateway project: we develop a bot to detect anomalies and work on algorithms in machine learning.
Do you wish to move again in Europe?
Yes, I would like to travel again, but maybe not just in Europe. I can envisage America as a next adventure. Silicon Valley next, who knows?
Why would you recommend the EIT Digital Master Schools?
In this programme you meet people from all around the world, with very different backgrounds, you experience the challenge of working together in the same project.
Joining the EIT Digital Master Schools means joining a huge network of alumni and friends from all over Europe. I still have good friends and many great memories of events, the graduation ceremony and of our Summer School in Oulanka (Finland).
In conclusion, I would recommend the Master's programme as it is a great experience which allows you to go out of your comfort zone and discover new cultures, as well as study in the best European Universities. With my experience at the startup « Flink » and my year at the Technical University of Berlin, my CV was very attractive for the big tech companies I have worked for.
It is a unique personal and professional experience.
Article taken from EIT Digital. Original author - Alexis Poulin