IRENE SPREADS HER WINGS When Irene Bundi told her IT Project Management colleagues in Kenya that she was leaving her job to return to education they were quite surprised. She then explained that she was also leaving the country to study in the UK.
a nice place and the course seemed exactly what I was looking for.” With her sister still in Liverpool to show her around and help her settle in, Irene has thrown herself into her studies and is really enjoying the course. “It is very interesting and is building on what I already know,” she says. “The academic support is really nice and it is very easy to talk to the lecturers – they are not intimidating at all.”
“Everyone has been really supportive,” says Irene who is studying for her masters in Cyber Security at LJMU. “I worked in IT support and had then moved into IT Project Management but I just knew it was not what I wanted to do. Initially my friends were a little shocked when I told them about my plans but they knew it was the right thing for me.”
Studying alongside recent graduates came as something of a surprise to Irene: “At home people tend to work for a few years after they graduate before going on to masters study but it has been good to mix with such a wide variety of people and hear about their experiences.”
Irene graduated in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi in 2012. “Once I decided to return to education I realised there was no course in Kenya covering exactly what I wanted. I did look at alternatives at home but my mum, who has dual nationality, really wanted me to spread my wings and study overseas.” Irene has always had a passion for the security side of computer studies. “Everything is moving in that direction these days so it seemed like the perfect way to take my studies to the next level,” she explains.
So would Irene recommend postgraduate study overseas? “Absolutely!” she says. “I’d tell my friends to go for it! Sure, it is different and it is a change but change is a positive thing and it’s good to challenge yourself. My mum has always encouraged us to go out and experience new things – she wanted me to know what winter was, for example, and I certainly do now. Here in the UK my heater is my new best friend!”
Considering her study experience as a rare opportunity to “take a break from life”, Irene was immediately drawn to LJMU as her sister had recently undertaken a masters at the University. “When choosing where to study, I found the LJMU website really helpful and the films of students really informative,” she smiles. “My sister told me Liverpool was
Despite the inclement weather, the UK climate has done nothing to deter Irene from life here and she is still undecided whether she would like to work in Liverpool or back home when she graduates. “I just know I want to work in cyber security,” she smiles, “and thanks to my masters, that’s what I am going to do.”