Olise Okpala

Olise Okpala tells us why he chose Edinburgh to do his Masters Degree in Computer Science.

Name Olise Okpala
Degree Course Msc Computer Science
Year of Graduation 2014
Image of Olise Okpala

Your time at the University

Edinburgh was amazing! Once I decided to do a Masters degree programme in the UK, Edinburgh was automatically my first choice. The outstanding research reputation of the School of Informatics; the beauty and history of the city as well as the thriving International student population were the factors that guided my choice. I had a great time. I enjoyed a very close rapport with the Professors particularly my MSc project supervisor, made lifelong friends from all over the world and of course learnt loads of new stuff. Being a programming language geek, it was a great pleasure listening to Bjarn Stroustrup speak live and meeting Philip Wadler in person. I was privileged to serve as Vice President of the Edinburgh Uni IEEE Student body. One of my favourite memories was trying and failing the Kismot curry challenge despite the support of my friends. FYI,  the curry (probably the spiciest in the world) is not for the faint hearted. In summary, everything about Edinburgh (including all nighters in Appleton) was great!

Your experiences since leaving the University

I have sinced returned back home to Nigeria. I currently head the Engineering department of one of bigger software development firms here. I have also been involved in startups some of which hopefully will launch soon. The year spent in Edinburgh has really stood me in good stead. This is in part because of the prestige that an Edinburgh degree confers. The hours spent tuning algorithms and optimising implementations have certainly had a positive effect on my work.

Alumni Wisdom

Simple. Make the most of the opportunity. Do not be afraid of going outside your comfort zone especially with respect to course and project selection. There is the temptation to coast through Uni by picking only easy courses. However, it would only result in waste of time and money (Uni isn't cheap especially for International Students!) Also, take advantage of the great mix of nationalities represented. Learn as much about other cultures as you can. Finally, Edinburgh Professors are world leading researchers in their various specialisms. Take advantage of this, moreso as they are willing to answer all questions no matter how convoluted

This article was first published in 2015. For updates on what Olise is doing now, find his LinkedIn below.

Related links

Olise Okpala on LinkedIn