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RGU student awarded the ‘Student of the Year’ by Amazon Web Services

Melina Dimitrova
Melina Dimitrova, an RGU student who has been awarded the ‘Student of the Year’ accolade from Amazon Web Services writes about her accomplishment.

I have been interested in computing from an early age. My favourite subjects at school were Information Technologies and Informatics because this area has represented a lot of opportunities.

It all started with graphic design and video manipulation on the old Windows XP computer when I was younger. My curiosity and interest only grew with time and soon I learnt more, I also signed up for advanced Maths courses.

Furthermore, I realised how important technologies are nowadays and especially how essential they are for our future development. This led me to study BSc (Hons) Computer Science here at RGU where I am in my final year working towards my Honours degree.

The AWS Educate Challenge was an inter-university initiative where students from UK and Ireland built cloud computing skills and competed for a chance to win prizes. There are two types of winners: The top 30 students with the greatest number of points and the top 10 universities with the greatest number of student points accumulated during the challenge period. I came first among the top 30 students and RGU was placed sixth.

I signed up to participate in the AWS competition early due to my passion for computer science. I found it exciting completing many different pathways and badges on different topics. It was a way to test or in cases, refresh my current knowledge. The topics varied from subjects like cloud computing, software development, cybersecurity, data science and web development with varying levels of difficulty – from fundamentals to quite intermediate topics.

The badges were focused primarily on Amazon’s services such as RoboMaker, Sumerian and Gaming covering some very exciting tools for robotics, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and gaming development offered by Amazon.

It was challenging to balance my successful completion of the pathways and badges alongside my studies but quite useful experience in time management and multi-tasking. Nevertheless, I kept on going as I really wanted to accomplish the tasks, never even thinking about winning the whole competition. Eventually, as it turned out, my passion and dedication helped me in achieving this amazing accomplishment.

Aside from gaining additional skills, I was able to benefit from meeting Amazon student recruiters based in London and Dublin who provided insights into developing resumes and preparing for interviews. I was also pleased to win an Alexa device and an Amazon voucher as part of the prizes.

As I enter my final year at the university it gave me a valuable experience of understanding my future career options. Overall, I decided to take part mainly for the knowledge as any extra activities are valuable. I enjoyed doing the tasks, but I never dreamed of coming in first place. I am just happy with this accomplishment and to have contributed to my university too.

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