What Our Students Say

Diana Sarai Hernández Manzo

Diana Sarai Hernández Manzo

Former MSc Cyber Security and current PhD Virtual Reality (Computing) student from Mexico.

What attracted you to your course at RGU?

My studies at RGU began thanks to a scholarship I obtained from the British Council to pursue a master's degree in the UK. Thanks to that opportunity, I was able to complete my Master’s degree in Cyber Security. During my course, I fell in love with RGU, its excellent professors, and its beautiful facilities.

Consequently, I decided to further my studies and pursue a PhD in Virtual Reality (VR) at the School of Computing.

Before coming to RGU, what was your expectation of it - and how has the reality been?

Before coming to Aberdeen, I researched the school to gauge the university's ranking and teaching quality, as well as the University’s facilities and employability record. I was impressed to learn at that time it holds the first position in Scotland and the second in the United Kingdom for Graduate Employment Rate measure. This fact made it my top choice for professional development. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD and working as a part-time lecturer in the School of Computing. This role has not only allowed me to continue my academic growth but also to start developing professionally.

What's the best thing about being an RGU student?

What I love most about studying at RGU is the sense of belonging which fellow students, professors, and the entire RGU community make you feel. Getting to wear RGU’s historic colours of purple and white and being part of every event that takes place, such as international festivals and RGU UNION events, is truly special. I also enjoy participating in pizza and paint sessions, Christmas decorating and being a part of student societies (where I am the Vice President of "La Sociedad"). There are so many cultural and sports activities for every taste and person, making it the best part of being an RGU student for me.

Describe your favourite memory of RGU so far? 

My favourite memory of being an RGU student has been participating in the ceilidh dance organized by RGU Union with ERASMUS as part of the Fresher’s Week, experiencing first-hand the importance of a traditional Scottish dance. It was quite amusing to learn the steps and take part in these dances that I had only seen in movies. However, having the opportunity to practically live and enjoy them was incredible and a lot of fun.

Tell us about your most challenging/rewarding project/assignment/module. What did you like/ dislike about it and how has it helped you? 

For me, the most challenging experience at RGU was a module in my Cyber Security Master's program, where I had to hack into a computer using “Kali” and “Metasploitable” to pass one of my coursework. It took several attempts and many late nights, but the satisfaction of finally exploiting a vulnerability in the virtual machine was incredible. It motivated me to study even harder and aspire to apply what I learned in my courses someday in a real-world environment.

What is your favourite way to spend your time when you are not studying? Why is that important to you? 

I love visiting the castles of Scotland and exploring all the natural wonders it has to offer. Camping and engaging in various outdoor sports, whether it's visiting Aviemore or hiking in the Bennachie mountain, brings me immense joy. I am so passionate about visiting castles and learning about life in the past that I have a National Trust for Scotland membership, allowing me to explore numerous cultural heritage sites in Scotland, England, Wales, and other regions.

What would you say to someone considering studying at RGU? Any advice you would share? 

I would tell them not to hesitate in choosing RGU. The University will welcome them with open arms, and Scotland, with its diverse landscapes and outdoor activities, has a charm that captivates every visitor. Just like me, who initially planned to study a one-year Master's program and ended up pursuing a four-year Ph.D., they might find themselves falling in love with the country's cultural richness and natural beauty, making it a place where they want to stay and continue their professional journey.

What do you enjoy most about living in Aberdeen (city, food, people, entertainment, travel, etc.)?

What I enjoy most about Aberdeen is the tranquillity of the city, where you can navigate its streets without much traffic. I appreciate the ability to go for a run in the park at any time with a sense of security. Above all, it's the perfect balance the city strikes – being a small town with animals, rivers, and seas, offering many camping spots to enjoy nature, while also being a well-developed city with cinemas, numerous restaurants, bars, and places for entertainment and shopping. Most importantly, the people here are very friendly and respectful, making you feel welcome even if you're an outsider, allowing you to feel at home.

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