Nachilila Kaluba

Name: Nachilila Kaluba
Programme: BSc. Computing With a Year in Industry
Year of Study:

How did LIC prepare you to become a student at UoL?

LIC had this great subject called skills for study. It was all about effective study strategies which are critical to success at university. It tackles the process of organising and taking new information, retaining it and dealing with assessments. A common misconception on this subject to science students such as myself is that the techniques being taught may not be directly relevant to our program, however, these skills can be applied to all fields of study and will guarantee any student a better chance of success in their degree.

What did you like most about your time at LIC?

The class sizes! We were about 20 students in a class, I would define that as a small class, and smaller classes meant every student gets noticed therefore it is easier for students to get encouraged, pushed to take part and to express their opinions, it also meant we could connect more closely as peers. Another benefit was our tutors had more time to individualise our feedback as well as customise instructions and guidance. All these factors increased my confidence which in turn enhanced my learning. The other great thing about LIC was the social spaces and game rooms, if words aren’t your forte at least you can bond over a game of FIFA.

Why did you choose computing at the University of Liverpool?

Computing is the best way to improve your problem-solving skills. The knowledge involved in building any algorithm is easily transferable in any life problem that requires steps to concur. Computers give you the power to not only create solutions to problems, but create something that can stick around for ever, and have it accessible to many people. It is easy to give up aspirations to become a computer scientist, so I believe this is exactly what I needed to build perseverance.

What have you enjoyed most about the programme so far?

I have enjoyed the teaching style of the programme so far. We have been eased into the course in such a way that the work load and content is manageable, before I started I felt well behind my peers because I had no knowledge on vital fundamental subjects such as discrete mathematics or object-oriented programming. I legitimately had no idea there was a brunch of mathematics called “discrete”. And I feared this may get in the way of my performance, thankfully the course is designed in such a way that regardless of your educational background or “capability”, it is understandable for anyone who wants to learn.

Are you involved in any clubs or societies? How do they add to your overall university experience and what skills can you gain?

A skill I wanted to develop was the ability to convincingly argue a point in a debate, I attended a couple of debate society training sessions, although I did not attend as many sessions as I had hoped, having to debate against more experienced debaters allowed the chance for me to be given informative and constructive feedback on how I could improve. Debating increased my self-esteem and improved my critical thinking skills. It also highlighted that I need to improve on my ability to structure and organized my thoughts and ideas.

What do you like most about the City of Liverpool and why?

The people are warm and genuine, I have never felt more at home. It is a big city with a small-town feel. Living costs are not high, Liverpool is a young city with a very rich culture. The city centre has many shops and restaurants, not only good for students as consumers, but a good place for a part time job. The city is constantly evolving, both in infrastructure and in its culture, for us students that has meant more festivities!  

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on doing a post-graduate programme in computer science and education at the university of Liverpool (yup not going anywhere). And my next goal is to travel. My long-term goal is to own a technical institute or program in Zambia to inspire entrepreneurship and creativity using technology. However, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails.”

What advice would you give to students progressing from LIC to UoL?

  1. Do everything that means stepping out of your comfort zone, if an opportunity scares you, it means it is only going to make you grow.
  2. Join societies! University isn’t all books and assignments. Mingle with people from different cultures and backgrounds, it is like travelling to different countries without spending money on an air ticket. Connecting with peers from different countries and cultures is a vital skill in todays globalised society.
  3. Do not be afraid to admit when you do not know something. Ask for help when you need it, I can assure you 10000% people in Liverpool are so friendly. With your academic work, never feel ashamed to constantly ask for help. Not only are tutors or lecturers happy to help, you paid for their help too. Take advantage of it.
  4. Master the art of time management. Use those 24 hours in a day efficiently. Avoid procrastination and distraction. Do not over commit yourself to extra curriculars or let your 1-hour dinner party turn into a 4 hour gossip fest.