I’m Irina and I am an Applications and Operations Manager in the Admissions team at our London office. I’m originally from Latvia but I’ve lived in the UK for over 5 years. During my time in this amazing country, I’ve studied, worked hard and learnt a lot, and now I want to tell you how I’m following my path, my way.
Falling in love with the UK
In 2013, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Information Technology, specialising in Project Management, at Riga Technical University in Latvia.
I had worked really hard during my final semester and I decided to treat myself by visiting an old friend in Dundee, Scotland. I completely fell in love with this small, welcoming city and my 2-week holiday turned into a 4-week trip, and then that turned into “Mum, I’m staying here”.
I started a job at the University of Dundee doing some basic administration. Working there allowed me to meet lots of people from all around the world, familiarise myself with the UK education system, and get involved in student life. It was the first step on my path towards a career in higher education.
Choosing higher education
Working in a university environment inspired me to start studying again, and I decided to do a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Travel, Tourism and Destination Management. I chose that subject because I was fascinated by all the cultures and nationalities I was surrounded by, and I wanted to learn how to apply academic knowledge to my career.
Now, in my role in the Admissions team, I can draw upon my experience as an international student, and I really understand how students feel when I speak to them about studying abroad.
That’s because being an Applications and Operations Manager doesn’t simply involve reviewing students’ documents. In fact, it’s much more like a review of a student’s profile, their personality and the opportunities available to them. Quite often, I offer students helpful insights into their future study destination, their educational journey, and the different paths ahead them.
Irina's path to success
I believe that the higher education industry is as essential as medicine and engineering; it transforms people’s lives. Being a part of it reminds me that I am doing something valuable.
My goal is to always listen to people and learn from them so that I can apply those lessons to my own life. I believe that to succeed you have to motivate yourself, move forward, and occasionally take risks, so I have never regretted my decision to move abroad and try something new!
This has been my path so far.
If you’d like to learn more about how to follow your path to university, you can explore the links below.