Sometimes we encounter difficulties in choosing which field of studies is best for us and what we wan to do in our future career. Balancing our dreams with something that can provide financial security is vital for achieving success in the future. One important advice that I would like to give everyone is to firstly listen to your heart. Think what you would like to do in your life and what skills you have which you can turn into a viable career path. If all goes perfectly well, they will coincide perfectly, butunfortunately, it was not the case for me. Would you like to hear my story?

My mom noticed that I was really good at mathematics and she advised me to study programming, as IT field was rapidly developing and gaining knowledge in programming would give me career opportunities. Moreover, I really wanted to study abroad and studying programming would give me that opportunity. That is the reason why I studied my Bachelors in the faculty of Informatics and Applied Mathematics at Yerevan State University in Yerevan, Armenia. As my studies there were mostly based on theoretical knowledge and I was more enthusiastic to gain some practical knowledge, I started searching universities (for my Master’s) which would provide the practical knowledge I was lacking.

Unfortunately, there was no university in Armenia which provided a faculty with that option. Thus, I started searching for universities abroad and discovered the University of Tartu. After studying at the faculty of Software Engineering for more than a year already, I can say that I had an amazing experience, gained a lot of knowledge, made friends from all over the world and most importantly made one of my biggest dreams come true: study abroad. :)

Not everybody knows this, but the Software Engineering faculty is a joint program with the Tallinn University of Technology. This means that students study at both the University of Tartu and the Tallinn University of Technology. With the successful completion of the program, the students will attain two diplomas at the end of their studies. Moreover, there is a new program, the Industrial Master’s program, which was recently created and all the students who are studying in Software Engineering or Computer Science can apply and with the successful admission to the program, they will have an opportunity to doa 1,5-year internship with a company, get a scholarship as well as the company will help the students with their studies during those 1,5 years and also the student will do their Master thesis based on one of the company’s provided topics. This is an amazing opportunity for students who don’t have working experience or who would like to do an internship. I was one of those 5 lucky students who were accepted and currently I am an Industrial Master member and I’m doing a 1,5 year internship with Sweddbank.

The University of Tartu provides not only the Software Engineering faculty, which provides practical training and all the knowledge required to become a programmer but also as we know Estonia is known for its e-governance and developed IT field. Thus, there are a lot of startups in Estonia and Estonians encourage everyone who has an idea to try to create their own startup. I learned that there is an IdeaLab organization where people can form teams and come up with ideas and create their own startups. There are also a lot of hackathons organized where one can also work in a team and get practical knowledge. These are amazing opportunities for all those people who want to create their own startup.

I don’t regret studying in this faculty and will advise all those people who are interested in programming to also apply. The deadline for the applications is March 15.

But as I stated above, applying to study in this field and especially to study abroad was my biggest dream but not the speciality which inspires me most. I have always been dreaming of another profession, but nevertheless, the experiences my programme provided me is precious and I would highly recommend that people apply if they are interested in gaining practical experience in a developing career field like programming.

Putting your dreams on hold to focus on developing a safe career path is not the same as giving up onyour dreams! I still plan to pursue my other dream, and I hope I can encourage you to do the same.

Chase your dreams, good luck in your careers and wish me luck also. :)