22Oct

Opportunities for an IT Student in Tartu – Tetiana (Ukraine)

You have decided to become an IT student at the University of Tartu and now you are wondering what other activities are waiting for you here? Or are you an IT student at UT already and having trouble finding a job? Then this blog post is for you! Keep reading to learn about TOP-3 opportunities for IT students in Tartu. I hope you can find something fascinating for you!

Industrial Master’s Programme 

I am a second-year student of the MSc in Computer Science programme student in Tartu. When seeking a Computer Science programme at different universities, one of the main factors I was looking for was the practical orientation of the programme. I wanted to be able to apply theoretical knowledge gained in school to real-life problems. UT was one of the few universities that offered such an opportunity. One may ask why I couldn’t simply find a job and combine it with my studies. The answer is simple: I wasn’t really sure I could manage this. When I found out about Industrial Master’s Programme (IMP), I was incredibly happy because it seemed like just the right thing for me. The programme works in such a way that you can spend 20 hours per week at the company and the other 20 hours at the university. When it comes to finding the right company, you have a list of them and you can choose whatever seems interesting for you.

Meeting of IPM students in STACC
Photo credit: ATI Blog

Moreover, the programme offers a monthly scholarship and you can write your master’s thesis with the company you chose. Sounds pretty good, right? I also thought so, and made a decision to apply for this programme already 6 months before arriving in Tartu.

Last autumn semester was my first semester in UT and honestly, it was not easy: lots of homework, lectures, projects. I even started doubting my decision about IPM since, in order to apply, you need to submit a motivation letter and CV, and I did not have time even for this (my inner perfectionist would die if my motivation letter was not good enough). Yet, I knew that this programme was an opportunity that I could not miss. The application deadline was on the 15th of October and this was the day when I wrote my motivation letter. I have spent 15 minutes in total on it (lifehack: use WriteOrDie site when you feel like your writing can take the whole day and you don’t have time for this!) and I submitted the application. There are two application rounds. In the first round, they assess your CV, motivation letter, and your admission score to the university. And the second one is the interview!

In November, I got an email that I made it to the second round (woohoo!), and I was invited to participate in two interviews: the first one was with Eesti Statistica and the second one was for a collaboration project between Bolt and UT. Frankly, I was very nervous as it was my first interviewing experience. But eventually, it was fun and interesting.

Then it was a waiting period again. At the end of December, I received an offer from the Bolt-UT project and that is how I ended up in IMP.

Now I have been working in Autonomous Driving Lab for 10 months, and I сan tell that I made the right decision applying for this programme. I have gained practical skills, I have learned many new things, I have met inspiring people who are experts in their fields, I have become more confident. In addition, we have regular meetings for IMP students, where everyone presents the companies they work in. Also, these meetings are very useful as they are directed on self-development (soft skills, understanding your goals, etc.)

IMP seminar on soft skills development
Photo credit: ATI Blog

Research Groups

Except for IPM, there are some other opportunities for you. For example, different research groups. There are about 20 of them in the Institue of Computer Science. For example, BIIT – Bioinformatics, Algorithmics, and Data Mining research group. It focuses on analyzing biological data and developing novel methods and applications for easier data analysis for the wider public. Recently, UT researchers including members of the BIIT, have released a set of online tools and documents related to the COVID-19 epidemic. If you are an IT student who is also interested in biology but afraid that they have not enough knowledge, that group is exactly for you!

BIIT researchers party
Photo credit: Dmytro Fishman

Another example is a Computational Neuroscience group. Researchers study how information is represented in the human brain and improve artificial intelligent systems. If you are interested in why sometimes your brain acts in a strange way, probably you can find some answers by joining this group.

Being a part of a research group is not only about research: you will also find friends and like-minded people. It will definitely make your student days more interesting and memorable.

If you feel like joining a research group at the Institute, check out this page to find the full list of opportunities.  

Hackathons

If you are full of creativity and willing to try new things, what you might also like is participation in hackathons. During hackathons, different people get together to create an idea and build it into an awesome product or prototype in a short period of time and intense atmosphere. It is the best way to challenge yourself and showcase your skills. If you are curious, check out Garage48.

As you can see, the University of Tartu is definitely not a place where an IT student can get bored. IPM, research groups, and hackathons are the best ways to not only apply your skills but also find friends, be creative, and get an unforgettable experience. What are you waiting for?