Marius Miknis, 22, from Lithuania, graduated with first-class Honours from the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development degree in July 2012.
I always enjoyed playing computer games, even from a young age. During college, I began to think that I could do more than just play the games. I wanted to create them.
I chose the University because they offered a games development degree, rather than a games design degree, which was the more commonly offered. Furthermore, two of my lecturers at college had studied in at the University and spoke very highly of it.
The computer labs were very impressive with all the latest hardware. In fact, the main games development lab was probably too powerful for the tasks we were doing! The best thing about the facilities was that you could go into any computer lab and work, and that gave me a great flexibility over how and when to study.
The most memorable part of the course was the third year project. It was the hardest and the most challenging thing that I have done. Countless hours of work were put into it, doing research, planning and programming. As hard as it was it was, the end result was very rewarding – all that hard work paid off at the end!
The most surprising thing for me was how much I was able to learn. When I started the degree, I didn’t know any programming at all and now I can program for many devices in several different programming languages.
Inspiration and help came from more than just one person. Firstly, from the lecturers. I was amazed how much they knew and it encouraged me to learn more. Every time I needed help, the lecturers were always willing to help, even after teaching hours.
I learnt a lot from my classmates too. Quite a few assignments were group based and they allowed me to see how productive people can be when they work together. Also, when someone is better at something than you, it makes you work harder. Everyone wants to be the best!
My biggest achievement was obtaining the degree after three years of hard work. But I also believe I have become a more independent thinker, and a better researcher and learner.
Graduation was the defining moment. It represented three years’ hard work, the ups and downs, enjoyment and frustration.
University has taught me that you can always go beyond the limits of what you thought possible. Just because you have done something, it doesn’t mean you have done it to the best of your ability. To succeed, you always have to work that bit harder.
Going to university has helped me to know myself a bit more. The main thing is that now I know what I want to do with my life.
Alongside my course, I worked as a Student Ambassador. I worked at events on campus, such as Open Days, and went into schools teaching kids computing and programming as part of the Technocamps project.
For the near future, I will be coming back to The University of South Wales do a PhD. After that, I would like to teach. Through my work on the Techno Camps project, I discovered a love of sharing knowledge with others and I think I would really enjoy teaching.