Nick Bailey recently completed his BSc in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) and won the Study Plus Employability Points award for 2018/19, as he logged the most points by completing Study Plus courses.
As a computing student at Kent, I have learnt a wide set of skills to allow me to create products and services to help, entertain and educate people. However, the degree course did not help with one key element – what to actually work on. As such, the freely-available Study Plus classes on offer to Kent students have played a crucial role in my time at university and have inspired me to pursue career paths which I truly care about, and which I may not have considered when I first began.
When I first started at the university, I was quickly made aware of the range of free, extra classes available to students from all disciplines. I felt that these classes would look good on my CV and give me something extra to talk about in an interview, so I entered classes which I thought would fit in well with my degree. These classes were based around the role of science in society, and the perception of scientific progress from social, legal, ethical, and democratic standpoints. Due to the fact that students from all subject areas can take part in these classes, the conversations were interesting and often surprising, helping me to develop empathy and understanding with people of different backgrounds and views. As such, I began to change my approach to extra-curricular learning from being depth-focused (where I would only choose classes which I thought would augment my existing skills) to breadth-focused (where I would choose a broad range of classes in topic areas with which I had little experience).
Despite my second year being very busy with coursework, I managed to find time to take part in a four-week philosophy class, as I believed that this would offer an opportunity to critically discuss interesting situations, and be exposed to different philosophical perspectives based on different life experiences – however, there were more classes which I would have liked to take, but was unable to find the time for. When I returned to do my final year after doing my industrial placement, I attempted to sign up for as many Study Plus classes as I could, covering topics including business start-up, pilgrimage in the middle ages, and environmental and economic sustainability. It was the classes in this final year which have had the greatest impact on me, inspiring me to follow my passions and giving me the foundations and knowledge needed to succeed. Through taking this broad range of classes throughout my time at Kent, I have ultimately been able to identify the career I would love to pursue in helping to solve the environmental and social problems faced in the world today, and now feel optimistic and excited by the years ahead!
I would urge everyone to sign up for Study Plus courses – in my opinion, the Study Plus courses which I took were the most important elements in helping me understand what I want to do with my life. The content and teaching is of a very high quality, and it may help you to develop your skills and understanding of the world, so that you can link your degree skills, life experience, and interests together into a clear future path.
Find out more about the Study Plus courses we offer on the Study Plus website!