Study and work: how to find the right balance

As a rule, many of the student ‘s ITMO University begin to combine work and training already in the first year. How do they succeed, what advantages do they see in this experience and what difficulties do they face? We decided to discuss all this with our hero today, 1st year student of the Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics Bekoy Mikaya. Beka not only copes with the training load, but also manages to conquer new career heights, working in a large international IT company .

Please tell us a little about yourself, why did you decide to combine study with work?

Hello! I introduce myself again, my name is Beck. For the fifth year now, I am studying at ITMO and at the same time I am looking for myself. As it turned out, when you grow up, you have to answer for your expenses yourself during the search. Therefore, at one point, I decided to find a job.

Was it scary to start the search? Were there any guidelines: what to do, how to do, where to go?

Having filtered, compressed and rethought all the accumulated knowledge, experience, hobbies and just your desires, it turned out to cook up some resume. Next, I decided on a list of companies that interest me. And finally, he started the mailing list. I responded to a number of vacancies through, I sent resumes personally to some companies, as their vacancies were not presented there.

What information did you miss in the process of finding a job (how to create a resume, how to go through an interview, etc.)?

Fortunately, I already had experience writing resumes for international exchange at the university, and I also attended a wonderful Soft Skills course, which helped me to better prepare for the interview. I would not have got both benefits without ITMO.

In what area were you looking for work and what kind of work did you manage to get in the end?

My search began with very banal and simple vacancies like “assistant repairman for electronics” and gradually increased to interns and junior positions in programming. I moved from the niche professions of my competencies to the secondary professions of a related specialty. Spent a lot of time studying the IT sphere, learned to program a bit, and also listened to a friend’s advice and just started going for interviews for the sake of experience.

And so I came to Veeam software quality control. The lack of specialized education made it a little difficult to get into programming, but I managed to find a place where it was important and needed a balance between accumulated knowledge in the technical field, experience with computers, a passion for electronics and a love of technology in general.

It turns out that you settled in the place you dreamed about? Was the process complicated? Or was it easier than you thought?

We can say that as close to this! The process was very unpredictable and complex. The selection was tough. But I can’t say that I suffered. Most of the tasks seemed to me intuitive and simple. A few weeks of selection and now the long-awaited call with the offer 🙂

Was it difficult to join the new team? What skills were missing?

Many skills were lacking: applied device knowledge and software development, general theoretical knowledge in IT. But I was extremely lucky with the team and I quickly joined the work. A few weeks later he began to help solve real problems. At the same time he studied at work and at the university.

Is it difficult to combine study with work?

As it turned out, if you plan your time wisely, you can catch two birds with one stone. In my first semester of studying at a magistracy, combining with my first job, I first went to everything “excellent”.

Photo courtesy of Bekoy Mikaya
Photo courtesy of Bekoy Mikaya

Does the work provide any advantages when studying at the university (new skills, faster mastering of subjects)?

Yes. More extensive technical knowledge, experience in a well-coordinated team, technical English, and much more have appeared.

What are your prospects for working in the company for yourself? Are there any flaws that you have to put up with?

There is work, a lot of work. No matter how much I like my tasks and how to solve them, sometimes I get tired. Looking at older comrades who linger at work and give all of themselves away, you try to match them, but youth sometimes takes their toll and you want to relax, take a walk, forget at least temporarily work and do something else.

In the company, I am developing rapidly and plan to keep this level further. Also, I am a little insured in case I no longer be interested in my type of activity. The company has developed horizontal movement in structure and it is easily possible to change a product / team or even a profession.

What recommendations can you give to students who are also ready to study and work at the same time?

Take your career choice seriously. Get ready. Perhaps you just lack the basics to start trying yourself in the dream profession. Go for interviews, this is an invaluable experience where they will point out your mistakes for free, and sometimes they will give very important tips. Just look for work, smart guys are needed everywhere. For example, to us at Veeam 🙂

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