Paulius Staugaitis, BSc Computer Science

Paulius Staugaitis

Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?

The combination of an excellent academic reputation of the University and a vibrant city is what initially motivated me to start considering it as a possible choice. The courses in the School of Computing looked very high-quality, which would give the students a solid understanding of computer science. In addition, the resources online also gave me an impression of a university that is very welcoming of EU students and can offer them a great university experience. The single-site campus was another influencing factor since I knew it would be easy to get around and the city centre is only a short walk away. Of course, the active students' union and the wide range of clubs and societies only strengthened my opinion that this was the perfect place for me.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University and why?

For me, the best aspect of doing this course is the opportunity to spend the majority of your time immersing yourself in a subject that you find truly fascinating. The environment here is perfectly suited for students who want to improve rapidly because the facilities are excellent. Everyone in our course has access to dedicated computer labs with dual-display Linux workstations, which is very useful when you are working on a challenging project. The staff members in the department are experts in their fields and can help you every step of the way. If you have any questions about a certain concept or are struggling with an assignment, you can always expect to receive helpful advice.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?

As part of my Programming Project module, last year I developed an application used to benchmark the most popular sorting algorithms. It visually illustrates the difference in speed between the algorithms by showing how the time taken to successfully complete the task changes based on the size of an array as it grows. The project was a wonderful opportunity to test my understanding of some of the most essential topics in computer science and learn how to correctly structure a relatively large and complex project written in the C language.

The most interesting project I have had the chance to work on to date is probably the one I am currently completing in my Web Application Development module. I am building a fully functional social media platform using Python and the Flask framework. It will have most of the standard features one would expect to find in a social media website nowadays, such as the ability to post status updates on your profile and connect with other people on the network.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

I believe that the city can offer something to everyone who comes here. Leeds has it all: a thriving student community, amazing live music scene, restaurants to suit every taste, and a variety of cosy cafés. If you are interested in art, there are plenty of museums and art galleries in the city centre. There is no shortage of places where you can see great films, plays, and stand-up comedy either. For the times when you simply want to get some fresh air, there is most likely a park with beautiful nature somewhere nearby. You should certainly be able to find something you are keen on here, no matter what your interests are.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Since I am most fascinated with the programming aspect of computer science, I would like to continue to focus on this in the future, continually getting better as a developer. It would be great to work on exciting projects that could benefit from this skillset. Ideally, I want to be involved in projects that can make a significant positive impact on people’s everyday lives and contribute to the best of my ability.

What experiences gained at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

The teamwork skills developed while completing group assignments will certainly be useful. The employability lectures come to mind as well, as they have given me a better idea of what skills employers look for in recent graduates. As an EU student, I have also had an opportunity to improve my English while studying here. I think this is an added benefit that improves career prospects for any non-native speaker nowadays.

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

I would say that you can expect to have an excellent university experience regardless of your background. If you are prepared to work hard academically while having the time of your life outside the lectures, you will thoroughly enjoy the course. Most importantly, keep an open mind and be prepared to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.