There’s a lot to think about when making the decision to start postgraduate study. We spoke to Charity Onyemelonu about why she chose to study with us and what she enjoys most about postgraduate life at Essex.

Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?

After completing my undergraduate course in mathematics and statistics, I decided to pursue a Masters degree to advance my knowledge and skills in artificial intelligence and its applications.

Why did you choose Essex?

I learnt that Essex has a strong reputation for teaching and research in artificial intelligence and that its facilities and resources are among the best in the UK. Also, due to my curiosity, I thoroughly researched the University’s lecturers. After checking their LinkedIn accounts and going through some of their research works via Google Scholar, I knew I wanted to meet with them and learn from them.

What do you enjoy about postgraduate study at Essex?

The quality of teaching and the level of support provided to students. The academic staff are approachable and helpful, and they are always willing to answer any questions or provide guidance. The course is well-structured with a mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions which ensures that students have a deep understanding of the subject matter.

What’s postgraduate life like outside of the classroom?

There is a huge range of extracurricular activities available on campus, including social events, sports activities, and volunteering opportunities.

Essex attracts students from all over the world, and as a result, the campus is a melting pot of cultures and ideas. I have met students from different parts of the world, and it has been fascinating to learn about their cultures and perspectives. Essex is a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and included.

I am a member of several societies and clubs on campus, including The STEM Society, Women in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (WCSEE), and the Coding Club of the Volunteering Team. The STEM Society provides opportunities for students to network with industry professionals, attend talks and workshops, and collaborate on projects. The Coding Club offers volunteering opportunities, where students to give back to the community by visiting secondary schools and training children in basic programming languages.

Living on campus has also been a significant advantage for me. I live in the South Towers which is within walking distance of all the facilities, which is convenient and timesaving, and I tend to get more involved in extracurricular activities and social events, as I am close to the action.

What are your plans for the future?

Studying at Essex has provided me with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in artificial intelligence. The course content has exposed me to various areas within artificial intelligence and I have been able to explore my interests and passions, especially on how to infuse AI into digital marketing, leading to my burning desire to complete a PhD on the Metaverse.

The course has equipped me with the knowledge and skills that are in high demand in the industry. Essex has strong industry links and partnerships that provide students with practical experience and job opportunities. The University also offers career support services, including CV workshops, job fairs, and networking events, which help students develop their professional profile and secure employment after graduation.

What advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study at Essex?

If you are considering postgraduate study at Essex, I would encourage you to do your research, thoroughly talk to current students and academic staff to gain a better understanding of what to expect. For international students like me, I’d suggest considering the accommodation facilities available on campus. Settling in upon arrival may be tough but doing so within the University community with other students can help you get over the culture shock easily.

What are other benefits does Essex offer postgraduate students?

Alongside your studies there are lots of opportunities to broaden your skillset, such as learning a language or immersing yourself in emerging fields like data science – all at no extra cost. If you’ve completed a degree at Essex before or if you’re currently studying at Essex, you could be eligible for a discount of up to 33% on your tuition fees.