March 25, 2020

Tanisha standing in cap and gown

My name is Tanisha Thornton and in 2019, after 3 years of full-time study, I graduated with a First-Class Honors degree in Computer Science from Cardiff Met.

Truth be told, I didn’t always want to go to University, and I didn’t always want a degree. I was out of education for 3 years before I decided that I wanted to study at a higher level and contribute to one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, technology, and Cardiff Met has given me the opportunity to do so.

I grew up around technology as a child, my father was an ICT technician for the RAF and taking influence from him, I decided to take the leap into higher education and technology. Cardiff Met welcomed me with open arms as both a mature student and a female in tech. I recognized the need for more females in technology and hope that my journey with Cardiff Met will help and inspire other women to do the same.

The course covered a range of topics from programming principles and robotics to law and digital security, which gave me a secure base of knowledge that I could adapt to the needs of my personal skills and development. There was a diverse range of both group projects and individual projects that helped me to collaborate with others; an important skill going into the technology sector. Projects included creating mobile applications that fit into the medical/leisure sector, and educational robotics programming using the EZ robots (now part of the EUREKA Robotics Lab on campus!).

The first year of my course gave me the basic skills and confidence that I needed going into Year 2 where I completed a work placement with Admiral UK in their technology department, learning about the internal IT structure of big business, software testing and internet security. The placement enabled me to understand how the industry works from the inside out and gave me the experience I needed to go forward in a formal environment.

Tanisha in cap and gown
My dissertation helped me expand my knowledge on an in-demand industry topic

In my final year, I was able to complete a project on a topic of my choice. A dissertation, at first, sounded very intimidating but I was able to choose a subject that I was passionate about and interested in. I chose to write about cryptography and the advancement of Secure Hash Algorithms that protect our personal data online. The opportunity to complete a dissertation helped me to expand my knowledge on a topic that I felt would drive me forward into the industry.

I had help and guidance every step of the way at Cardiff Met, lecturers and tutors were available to contact if I had any queries or questions about a project or a lecture, I never felt intimidated and no question was too complicated to answer. Cardiff Met also stands for causes that matter to me the most such as sustainability, the promotion of reusing and recycling, and boosting Welsh business. There are plenty of chances to boost your education both by studying abroad and taking part in University events.

From working full-time to studying full-time, my journey with Cardiff Met hasn’t finished just yet! My degree and funding from the University have propelled me into postgraduate studies and into a Data Science PhD placement in Cardiff. With 3 years and a degree under my belt that I never thought I’d receive, I’m on my way to becoming a Doctor with one of the highest qualifications achievable.