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My Success Story: How VBC Students Became Lecturers
Is it possible to become a lecturer when you start your studies in college? How do entrepreneurs transition into the teaching profession and leave their business behind? When does the moment come when your studies lead you to inspiration to learn more and have the courage to take on new challenges? In this blog, we present two real stories about Vilnius Business College students who became college instructors. How did they make it?
The only one without a diploma among everyone with degrees
“When I first entered the lecturers’ room, it felt strange. I entered not as a student but as a lecturer. I was equal amongst them. I will never forget it,” says Vytautas Šulus, an alumnus of Vilnius Business College who became a lecturer more than five years ago.
After a high school, Vytautas dived straight into the business world, and he first sat in a student’s desk at almost thirty. The reason was his employees, who all had an education except for him, the business owner. Understanding that he felt out of place and that he needed to study, Vytautas decided to study programming as he was already seriously interested in computers at that time. He chose extended studies at college as the best option for him.
“I came to study, and I never regretted it for a second because it gave me a lot in life and education and became a strong reason to continue learning. Studying at an older age benefited me because I knew better what I wanted,” said V. Šulus.
Photo from the personal archive by V. Šulus
Education and career shift
Studying at Vilnius Business College inspired Vytautas to open another company dealing with computer maintenance and sales, which was the business he always wanted. Motivated by his studies and his favorite IT field, he later studied business informatics and cyber security studies and obtained a master’s degree. While still running his business, Vytautas regularly took on many interns who he had to teach quite a few things. That’s when he realized that he had a lot of knowledge and the desire to share it. This naturally led to the idea of becoming a lecturer.
“I wrote to my thesis supervisor, Violeta Jadzgevičienė, who is also the head of the IT department, and thus, I returned to Vilnius Business College, but this time as a lecturer. Vilnius Business College is a very friendly institution that cares about its students. I have a lot of respect to my college and all the community there, so I feel a strong desire to give back since it gave me an opportunity to learn,” he commented his career turn.
Vytautas Šulus: “The students don’t let me to get old “
Currently, Vytautas Šulus teaches courses in cybersecurity and operating systems at our college. Teaching has become his main job, pushing his business to the background. He takes great pleasure in sharing his knowledge and experience, and is a popular lecturer amongst students. He is thankful to the young people for not letting him to get old. “Teaching is constant self-improvement. I have to be ready to answer all students’ questions, so I need to be curious, stay updated on innovations, and think deeply. When I interact with students, I am not just their lecturer; I am their friend and helper. I believe everyone has the potential to learn and succeed. The key question is whether the student wants it, and that’s very clear when standing in front of the class,” Vytautas Šulus notes.
Transitioning to teaching after receiving the professor’s approval
Laimonas Matukas is another alumnus of Vilnius Business College who studied programming and returned to the college in the autumn of 2023 as a lecturer. An experienced programmer, he received an offer to teach Java programming at our college and decided to give it a try after consulting with his father, a professor at Vilnius University. “I received the answer that teaching is a wonderful experience that has much to offer. I decided to give it a go. Although only a short time has passed, I can confirm that teaching at the college is genuinely interesting,” says Laimonas Matukas.
Photo from the personal archive by L. Matukas
Understanding that experience alone is not enough
Laimonas Matukas, in his earlier years, did not rush to get a diploma and instead, dove headfirst into programming, not caring about his education. He developed a lot of experience, and various courses helped him along the way. However, there came a time in his life when it was evident that he needed education. After finding a kindred spirit and his fate-friend, he started looking for where and what to study. Extended studies and an appealing program (Programming and Internet Technologies) were the reasons why both chose Vilnius Business College.
“I knew a lot about programming, so studying wasn’t difficult. What was new and change my perspective of thinking was the projects and their management. These skills were truly beneficial for me in my job,” recalled the alumnus. After receiving his diploma, he continued his work and taught in one academy.
Teaching motivates ongoing self-improvement
When asked how it feels to teach at the same educational institution where he studied, Laimonas Matukas first mentioned the motivation of the students: “College students put in a lot of effort, even if they don’t always show it openly.” The challenge for him was to make the lectures engaging and beneficial for students with different levels of expertise. “It seems like I know a lot, but the questions students ask force me to follow the latest trends, delve into nuances, and think critically. I’m glad that working at the college forces me to continuously improve my knowledge in the field,” Laimonas Matukas concluded.
I am an International Student Studying at VBC
Mannh Kamble came from India. Business management and marketing are already the second study programme which he studies in Lithuania. Who brought him from hot India to Lithuania, where he is counting the sixth year of his life? Mannh talks openly and honestly about his studies, cultural challenges and why living in a foreign country so strongly teaches us to live in the present. For your attention – an interview with our college student from abroad!
How did you end up at the Vilnius Business College?
Engineering studies brought me to Vilnius, but my old dream of working for myself and creating my own business did not leave me. I decided to take a break and once on my way to work I saw the inscription “Vilnius Business College” on a huge building. I got interested, read more, went to talk and…I was hooked. I was attracted by the study program, informal, warm communication, and an environment that does not resemble standard classrooms. The gap year I had planned ended very naturally before it even started. It felt like everything fell into place by itself.
And what is the study experience like after the first year?
Great! The first semester was very addictive because the studies are interactive. Instead of constantly reading a pile of books before, here the learning process is gradual and with a lot of practice. You need to read books, but the teacher can give you the task of finding the desired literature on a certain topic. We also pay a lot of attention to what is happening in business and in a particular field, not just in general, but at the moment, how it relates to the subject of study. And this is the case in all lectures, so studying is interesting.
My group mates are smart and cool, I really like them. I even work with some of them in the same job.
How did you manage to adapt in Lithuania, a completely new country for you?
I have been living in Vilnius for six years, so I am no longer a newcomer. When I was preparing to go to Lithuania for the first time, I was not too interested in the country, because the most important thing for me was my studies. Now it’s fun to remember when family members, just 30 minutes before leaving for the airport became interested in the climate of Lithuania and, seeing -20 C, rushed to look for warm clothes. Men’s or women’s jacket – it didn’t matter anymore! The housemates were also worried about the Indian food that I am used to.
I like Vilnius. I made friends from my previous studies, and later, in order to get to know Lithuanians better, I tried various methods, for example, talking to a stranger in the city every day. And I was successful! I also found friends with the help of my girlfriend. Currently, my circle consists of Lithuanians and foreigners, I have no friends from India.
When I could find a job, I found it on the Internet, social media with the help of networks. The fact that I am trying to learn to speak Lithuanian helps me a lot. I can now talk about simple everyday things.
What cultural challenges did you face?
What was new was that people in Lithuania value personal space much more. I like that Lithuanians are quite straightforward people: they don’t mince words, they say it as it is. When you find a Lithuanian friend, you know that he is real and reliable.
In India, I was used to a huge variety of languages, customs, religions, etc. diversity, and this is not the case in Lithuania. However, you get used to everything, even the Lithuanian weather, because after summer the temperature does not immediately drop to -20. The weather cools down gradually, and everything is saved by the right clothes.
What would you advise to our new students which considering studying at the Vilnius Business College?
Be open. The most important thing is to stay focused on your long-term plans, to be active every day. Study as many different subjects as possible, make the most of all the opportunities – that’s how your studies in Lithuania will be memorable. If you see an opportunity, such as a job offer on LinkedIn, don’t hesitate to give it a try.
It is very important to make as many contacts as possible and to learn the Lithuanian language. Local people, seeing your efforts, will be happy to help.
When you come to Lithuania, don’t compare it with your country. It doesn’t do anything and it doesn’t help in any way. You cannot have one foot in Lithuania and the other in your home country. You have to live in the present, here, where you are now, in Lithuania.
Thanks to Mannh Kamble for the interview! We wish you success in your further studies!
“Fintech” Specialist: Who is it for and What are the Prospects?
What do you know about fintech? That it is about the financial market and technology? That it is viable and modern? That’s all? If you see yourself in the IT field, read this text to find out more about the fintech niche and to see if it is the right study and career path for you.
Why is Lithuania called a fintech paradise?
The fact that Lithuania has created very favourable conditions for the development of the fintech sector and that this is recognised and appreciated globally is still a little known fact. Meanwhile, the numbers are telling:
- Lithuania is among the top 10 most attractive countries for fintech worldwide (Global fintech index, 2021).
- Globally, Lithuania is known as the centre of this market in Europe and the EU is leading the way in terms of the number of licensed companies (“EUCLID register”, European Banking Authority, 2022).
- There are currently as many as 265 licensed and unlicensed fintech institutions in Lithuania (Invest Lithuania, 2022).
- The number of professionals working in the financial services sector is growing by as much as 11% each year (Invest Lithuania Fintech, 2022).
- Lithuania has a friendly and highly collaborative fintech community to support young/existing companies and professionals.
Who is a fintech professional?
A programmer who understands how the financial market works, the technology it uses and the products it requires. They have knowledge of financial market risks, regulation, security, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, cloud engineering, money laundering schemes, even the prevention of terrorist financing, etc. Employers highly value knowledge in these areas, so it makes the entry into the fintech market much easier and quicker.
The ability to learn continuously, to show initiative, to communicate, to plan work and time, to be patient and attentive – developing these personal qualities is equally important for the success of projects and for teamwork.
Working in fintech is seen as the profession of the future, with jobs in areas such as digital banking, cryptocurrencies, insurance, mobile money transfers, personal finance, stock trading apps and more. There is no doubt that other new job opportunities will emerge in a constantly evolving market that are only just being considered today.
How do I become a fintech professional?
The steady and rapidly growing fintech market in Lithuania and around the world creates a strong demand for new professionals, but there is a severe shortage of higher education institutions in Lithuania that can train such professionals. “Vilnius Business College is one of the first higher education institutions to prepare a study programme that focuses on the development of financial technologies,” says Dr Violeta Jadzgevičienė, Head of the Department of Information Technology.
According to the data of the magazine “Ratings” in 2023, Vilnius Business College is ranked first among colleges in the IT field of study. With a strong team of experienced lecturers, in close cooperation with social partners and knowing the real market demand, Vilnius Business College has launched a new study programme in 2023 – Programming for Financial Technologies.
“This study programme does not require prior financial knowledge. We are training a programmer who acquires knowledge about the specific financial market,” emphasises Dr. V. Jadzgevičienė.
Priority to practice and knowledge based on real market needs means that students who have obtained a higher education diploma and started their career in fintech have a good understanding of what is happening in the market and successfully apply the knowledge they have acquired, rather than re-learning in a new workplace because their studies were too theoretical. Employers appreciate this, as Vilnius Business College has been consistently leading in terms of the added value created by alumni and in terms of employers’ evaluation every year since 2013.
Students Realise their Dreams Through Business
Still studying and already have your own company? This is the daily life of Team academy students. After coming up with a business idea, setting up a company and warming up their feet in the first year, they study business management and marketing in the second year to develop their own businesses. So what are the Team academy students’ businesses and how are they doing?
G. Baltmiškytė after several attempts, established itself in the field of beauty
Gintarė Baltmiškytė knew she wanted to earn money and work for herself. On her own terms and on her own schedule, not on someone else’s. Having tried to work at beauty industry several times since leaving school, this time she put her knowledge into practice and gave a new lease of life to her studio, where she provided manicure, pedicure and eyebrow correction services.
“I learned about business during my studies. I started working for fun, not for money. I focused on quality and diligence. It’s not so much about the number of clients, but how and what kind of manicure or other service I give. And I started to succeed. I have regular clients who are happy with the results of my work,” says the student about the changes in her business.
With more than 10 different certificates proving her professionalism in her chosen field of beauty. “I might not have created this business if the very principle of the training method did not require it. In my second year, I got the courage to find out that a solo business was my preferred option. I realised from meeting different entrepreneurs and companies that it is often difficult to get started, that I am not alone, and that I just have to put in the effort and not just rely on bad experiences,” the young entrepreneur shared her discoveries from her studies. In the future, she wants to expand her business and employ other people.
Baltmiškytė offers her services in a studio next to the college campus (Kalvarijų g. 127). Book a service and see examples of her work on her Instagram account @polarnails_.
M. Šalkauskas seeks to change attitudes towards cannabis products
Mantas Šalkauskas is a cannabis product enthusiast who has been dreaming of selling cannabis products for about 10 years. The change was prompted by favourable legislation and… studies at Vilnius Business College. Setting up an e-shop, selecting products, starting up – the student had to work hard to make his dream come true. Education is also important to him, as Mantas aims to change people’s attitudes towards cannabis. For this, he used his e-shop and invited another business study programme student, Kipras Išganaitis, to manage his social networks.
“During my studies, I developed a different attitude towards many things. I realised how important it is to plan your agenda, to learn how to work in a team (which was harder for me before), to understand human psychology. It’s interesting to be able to apply the knowledge I’ve gained right away. We recently learned about surveys, we did them in our own business and it turns out that everything works,” shares M. Šalkauskas.
Doing business in such a changing field, with a lot of changing information and laws, is both challenging and motivating. In the near future, the students plan to recruit a third person, and their future plans include a physical store and expansion in Europe.
For cannabis products sold by M.Šalkauskas and K. Išganaitis, visit www.cbdpasaulis.lt
R. Aleškevič: through sweet gifts to the work you love
Robert Aleškevič is also an e-commerce entrepreneur, selling personalised festive chocolates. “I want this business idea to survive and the business to grow,” says the student. One of the first in his course to boldly and responsibly start his own business, Aleškevič had to set up an e-shop, take care of various permits, find a warehouse and other tasks. While in his first year he and his classmates used to argue for three weeks about the name of the company, today he gets much more done in the same time. “We had to get to grips with what the main jobs were, as well as obtaining and applying knowledge about sales and business development,” recalls the boy, whose solo business has now moved on to the next stage.
The student is working hard on a new version of the website and will offer more choice to customers looking for personalised gifts: in addition to chocolates, he will also sell albums, puzzles, souvenirs. In order to have more finances to expand his business, he found a job and entrusted the administration of the social networks to another business field student, Ugnius Gedžius.
“Owning my own business is a dream I’ve carried for many years. I want to have a job that I enjoy,” says Aleškevič.
For personalised chocolates and other gifts, visit www.ardovana.com
We are proud of our students and invite you to support their businesses!
Why am I studying the Interactive Media and Technology programme?
How do I know what to study? Some people search for the answer to this question until the last day of admission deadline, others use their feelings, and others find it all clear from the start of school. Augustinas Bulbenko had a feeling of what attracted him, but decided to put his choice into practice. Today, as a second year student, he knows whether this decision was the right one, whether the studies were what he imagined and shares what he will do after graduation. Augustinas story is on the college blog!
At the age of 18, I was scared to make big decisions and decide what to study. I decided to do some work to find out what I liked and what I didn’t. This experience confirmed that I want to study what I was attracted to when I was still at school – creativity using different forms of media and technologies.
I started doing this at the age of 12. At first I was just playing, making jokes to my friends. As time went on, I realised that this could be my activity and career, so I started to take it more seriously. After three years of doing all kinds of work, I realised it was time. Studying interactive media and technology was the obvious choice.
When I was looking for a place to study, I wanted a higher education institution that met a number of essential requirements. Firstly, I wanted to study at a college rather than a university, because colleges offer more practice and the tuition fees are more attractive to me personally.
Secondly, I wanted to study a broad range of media science. It was not enough for me to study only graphic design or only web design. I wanted a complete package, which I found in the Interactive Media and Technology programme at Vilnius Business College. I noticed that here I would learn about all the main types of media, as well as business management, law, communications.
The third reason is the convenience of having the college close to home. I don’t like to be in a hurry and waste time sitting on the bus. Now I can get to college in 7 minutes. Fabulous!
Before I started studying, I had an idea of how things would go. As it often happens, my imagination did not match reality. Everything is better than I thought! The College provides all the necessary tools and support for a student to shine in their studies.
I really like the course of study. I don’t really like to hammer out the theory just to get a test on a paper and forget it. I find practice much more helpful in memorising, so I am very happy that this is the only way we learn.
I have been studying at Vilnius Business College for a year and a half now. I think attitude is very important. I combine my studies with work and sport, so there is little time for laziness. Before I joined, I thought it would be too hard to balance everything, but when I do what I like, it doesn’t matter if I have to work all day – I don’t get tired and I am really proud of myself. That’s important to keep up the pace. So combining study and work has allowed me to learn a lot about myself.
I would like to work in an advertising agency after graduation. I dream of working in the Netherlands, as most of my closest friends live there. I want to work in interactive media and my big goal is to open my own advertising agency. I think that’s where I will use the experience I have gained from working in different companies and understanding how this business really works.
How to Learn Effectively? Advice from Lecturers
How can you learn to balance your life, to make your knowledge last and become your own, and to avoid a chaotic and debilitating phase with last-minute tests? When December and January are full not only of holidays, but also of all kinds of tests and exams, seemingly any advice is useful. Not just any advice, but practical, tried-and-tested and workable study tips from our College lecturers.
Aušra Gaivenienė, Team academy coach and trainer
- Schedule time for learning and include it alongside all other activities.
- Make a plan for each day, or at least each week, and implement it.
- Look for interesting ways of learning that work for you: maybe it’s a different location, maybe it’s learning with a few friends in a group, maybe it’s a different format (listening or reading).
- Use the Pomodoro method of learning: 25 minutes of very intensive learning and 5 minutes of rest, 25 minutes of learning and 5 minutes of rest. During the rest time, do what you like, what you feel like doing: lie down quietly, talk to someone else, make some tea, etc. The most important thing is to change activities after active learning.
Assoc. dr. Gitana Neverienė, Director of Vilnius Business College
- “Repetitio est mater studiorum” (Latin for “repetition is the mother of learning”) is a highly effective way of learning that reveals the essence of the whole learning process and has even been proven by scientific studies of brain activity. Our brains tend to forget a lot of things, which is why it is essential to repeat all the information we receive during our studies. This is the only way to prepare effectively for an exam or other form of reporting.
- The absorption of information is also enhanced by the emotion attached to it and its association with something (dance, action, object, etc.). This is very individual, so search, try, discover and find out which connections work best for you to assimilate the information.
- Test different ways of absorbing information, e.g. you remember more when you hear or read information. When you find your preferred method, it will be much easier to remember.
- Resting before an exam is very important as it gives the brain time to process everything, so don’t sacrifice sleeping hours for other activities.
Julius Balčikonis, lecturer in computer graphics
In each discipline, look for subjects, topics, practical applications, etc. that are of personal interest to you. When you find an angle that engages and interests you, learning will become a powerful motivation, a pleasure rather than a torment.
Violeta Jadzgevičienė, Lecturer, Head of IT Department
- Put into practice traditional learning techniques that many students have tried and found effective: e.g. underlining important points in notes or texts, writing down key points and reading them later, telling a friend what you have learned, asking a friend to tell you what they have learned themselves.
- Learn with a friend. It’s motivating, supportive, and much easier to find out the information you’re missing or to go deeper into topics you don’t fully understand.
- Before going to bed, repeat in your mind the key points you have learnt that day.
Aušra Kandola, Lecturer in Content Development for Media
- During the lectures, outline and then work on your notes: read, underline important points (use different colours to mark different important information), write short notes in the margins (this can be done on the computer). It is very important to read your notes at least a few times and to repeat them to yourself or a friend without looking at the notes. If the information is complicated or you find it difficult to remember, read your notes more often and repeat what you have read.
- Before an exam or an important report, think in advance about what you will reward yourself with after you pass the exam and make sure you do it. These can be simple things that you always run out of time for: a lazy day at home, a trip to another city, a long meeting with friends, a hobby day, etc. Let this be your motivation for learning, especially when you get lazy, lose your temper, get overwhelmed by doubts or lack of confidence. Reward yourself not only for significant achievements, but also for smaller ones, especially when you are studying a subject you find more difficult.
Good luck with your studies!
Project-based Learning: More Opportunities to Experience Business Reality
What is project-based learning in the study programmes of Vilnius Business College? It seems simple: you get a task, you do it and you check it off with a calm heart. But is what sounds simple really easy to implement in education? Andrejus Račkovskis, Head of Learning Innovation, and Virgilija Zinkevičiūtė, Associate Professor and Project Based Learning Manager, talk about the development, results and benefits of project-based learning.
Project-based learning is about designing business ideas here and now
Project-based learning is learning from the concretization of an idea and its development using project principles, with a clear goal, deadline, timeline and outcome. The project is carried out by a team of students from different disciplines and is supervised by lecturers. “Each member makes a plan of what they will do and in what time frame. Together they learn how to communicate with the team, share responsibilities and plan. In this way, project-based activities bring students much closer to the reality they will face when they graduate, because this way of learning is based on practice,” explained Mr Račkovskis.
Project-based learning is used by the world’s best business schools and has been consistently applied at our College since 2015, following the adoption of the methodology by Finnish educational leaders. Implementing an idea, attracting business, learning how to work in a team, the opportunity to experience change management in business, applying knowledge, the opportunity to go beyond the boundaries of a single subject, stepping out of the comfort zone – these are the reasons why project-based learning has become an effective way of teaching.
Raczkowski observes, “There is a lot of uncertainty in the implementation of a project: whether you will manage the process, whether you will get along with your team members, whether you will calculate the finances correctly, whether you will be able to divide the work, and, if somebody has not done their job, to take over, because a project is considered to have been implemented when the result is achieved. In this activity – as in business – students experience being dependent on others. It is a rewarding experience.”
How does it work?
According to Associate Professor Dr Virgilija Zinkevičiūtė, at Vilnius Business College, the project activity is combined with the teaching of subjects and lasts for 3 months.
- Students choose the topic, the problems their project will address, and clearly formulate the idea.
- A teamwork agreement is signed. It defines the contribution of each member, sets (and then scores) a percentage of the goal each member has set, so that the students are assessing each other.
- A project where students learn to integrate knowledge and skills from different subjects, work in a team and get practice.
- Presentation and public defence of the project results. This is a real-life skill, as at work it is often necessary to present and defend the results achieved. For students, it is also a rehearsal for defending their thesis and future projects. The project is marked by teachers from different disciplines.
- An individual reflection, written by each student after the defence, on their contribution to the project. This helps him/her to understand what went well/not so well, what could have been done better or differently, etc.
Successful projects become functioning businesses
Vilnius Business College has a number of students who have turned project activities into real businesses. A group of Business Management and Marketing students opened a summer café in Palanga, A. Rubinsky prepared a project for his own business – a smart phone repair shop “Can’t stop”, and the owners of the bakery “Crustum” prepared a project for their business. A successful social project “Consolation” (an event for children with oncological diseases) was implemented by IT students together with the then tourism and events students. Students studying business and management under the Team academy method successfully collaborated with the solar energy company Saulės grąža.
Another model of project-based activities is the continuous project, where students carry out the same project in different phases throughout the academic year. Each phase is related to the learning subjects that the project complements. The e-Business study programme is distinguished by the development of project activities in this way. If a student has a business idea, he or she has a fully developed or even functioning project after the studies.
Student projects bring significant benefits to businesses
“The College strengthens project-based learning and aims to have as many outsourced projects as possible, where a business approaches us with a specific need, the students create a solution and are rewarded. In this case, teams compete to see whose solution wins. This way, learning becomes part of the business, the value of the projects increases and the motivation of the students increases, the funding is available, and the students are working under real conditions,” explained Andrej Račkovski.
Vilnius Business College regularly cooperates closely with entrepreneurs, whose projects help them to find solutions, new ideas and even potential employees. There is always a mentor teacher who supervises the students’ work, advises them and guarantees that the project results are of high quality. And for the students, it is an opportunity to act, to be noticed and appreciated outside the college, to get a placement or a job.
Diploma and Career: Do They Need Each Other?
Imagine: you’re 30 years old, you have a job you love, a great personal life and… You start studying. What are the reasons that bring someone who is successful in their field to a student’s chair? Sigita Daščioraitė, a sophomore in Business Management and Marketing who studies with us on weekends, explains why she decided to study, what happened once she started applying the knowledge she gained, and answers who needs a diploma anyway: her or her employer?
Many would say that a diploma is not essential, but I’m staying on the diploma’s side. In my lifetime, I have met people who pursue their careers or develop their businesses without any diploma or university knowledge, but most of them go back to study because they want to become better professionals in their field and to gain valuable knowledge.
That would also include me. A person that has been involved in music, art and dance all my life. However, life has turned upside down and I have grown with the idea that I want to achieve more, to get to know and to learn valuable things that will help me to stand on my feet even stronger and to have more confidence in myself as a professional, as well as a person. I took a completely different path – Business Management and Marketing (https://www.kolegija.lt/studiju-programos/verslo-vadyba-ir-marketingas/). It may not seem like the artistic field in which I know myself entirely, but it just so happens that I am rediscovering myself here. I’m starting to see other sides of myself, and sometimes I can even surprise myself. The artistic spirit is not lost either – the college lectures are full of ways to self-express artistically, even in this study programme.
So the question is, why am I here? Let me be clear – I was young, it wasn’t really on my mind, and besides, how can you choose your career when you are eighteen? It’s crazy hard to decide when you’re not sure what you want to be and who you are. So after my first year I understood that it wasn’t for me, that I wasn’t going to be a music teacher. I want to pursue a career in another field. And it took me 6 years to realize that! The older you get, the more difficult it is to think about studies and a diploma, and the harder it is to combine everything at once.
I owe my daily trek to Vilnius Business College to my best friend, who encouraged me to keep going and fight for my place under the sun. It’s great that the college is a place where I can study on weekends and combine everything with work. I catch myself already applying some of the knowledge I’ve gained or tips I’ve picked up to help me perform even better at work. It’s a paradox, because before I started studying, I thought I really knew everything about my job! That there is no room for improvement anymore. With the introduction of different principles and new systems, I have fallen in love with my job all over again!
The baggage of life experience makes you see things with different eyes. Not the fearful ones that don’t know what they want, but… with the eyes that are hungry. Hungry for knowledge and for the goal I want to achieve. We often hear today’s naïve attempts to ridicule diplomas as just a piece of paper and nothing more. Yes, essentially it is just a piece of paper, but the most important nuance isn’t a proof that you have one, but a general understanding of the benefits of the lectures, of all the information I get from the lecturers or from my course mates who share their experiences. The most important thing is that I would know my worth even without a diploma. After all, you don’t carry what you learn on your shoulders. And a diploma is like an old, barely visible scar. It’s a reminder, a proof that I’ve had a memorable journey and learnt something.
Right now, I look at the diploma as a tool that should be of interest to you, not so much to your employer. It is to know your worth, to know that you can do it again because learning or refreshing your knowledge is the most wonderful source of development. I firmly believe that a career and a diploma go hand in hand and need each other if you want to move up the career ladder, be a professional in your field or just become even a more confident person. I know that I will experience both black and white, but I will go to have a scar in my life’s history that will remind me of an experience that has truly given me much.
First-year Student K. G. Rakel: “These Studies Are Like a Gift From Heaven!”
First-year Student K. G. Rakel: “These Studies Are Like a Gift From Heaven!”
As September is bursting with new students, we are curious to get to know them and to learn about the generation that is joining our large college community. One of the newcomer is Kamilė Gabrielė Rakel, whose journey to Vilnius Business College was marked by some fateful choices. What is the start of her studies and what else does Kamilė Gabrielė do at our college besides studying?
To College – Through Trials and Tribulations
Kamilė Gabrielė Rakel’s path to studying at Vilnius Business College confirms that what is meant to happen will happen. After successfully enrolling in the TEAM ACADEMY method of studying Business Management and Marketing back in 2021, she had to… collect her documents. After a close relative, her grandmother, suddenly fell ill, Kamilė Gabriele had a difficult decision to make. “My family is small: it’s me, my mother and my grandmother, so it goes without saying that I would stay to take care of her. This period has matured and brought me up. The anxiety I felt and the increased responsibility have given me a life experience that has changed the way I look at many things”, she recalls.
Studies by Team Academy: More Practice and Opportunities
Exactly one year later, Kamilė Gabrielė is now a real TEAM ACADEMY student. Being active and enterprising, she said she didn’t want to study only dry theory during her studies, so when she heard about the Finnish TEAM ACADEMY method, she was immediately fascinated by it. “I liked the fact that practice plays an important role here – it’s where you get your knowledge. Along with my diploma, I will get three years of experience. This means more opportunities,” comments K.G. Rakel.
While experiencing slight nervousness while waiting for September, the first-year student now says that the start of her studies brings her a lot of good emotions. “These studies are like a gift from heaven! I am very happy about the start because so far everything is going as I expected”, says Kamilė Gabrielė. Interesting lecturers, a balanced study/work schedule, lectures and group meetings, which, according to the student, can be described as a workplace that prepares young people for excellence. And this is not her first experience. Kamilė Gabrielė has been working since she was 15, and has had several different jobs, from waitressing to assisting in an event organisation company. She is looking forward to working on social projects with TEAM ACADEMY students in college, and for her second year she has her sights set on a permanent job in a company with an interesting activity, such as an advertising agency. Perhaps she will set up such an agency together with other TEAM ACADEMY team members?
New Experiences Include Coordinating the Student Representation Office
Student Representation at Vilnius Business College is another new activity for Kamilė Gabrielė, where the energetic first-year student has been appointed as the coordinator. Having already held her first meeting with students interested in participating in the Student Representative Office, she is very excited about her new team. “We have met active people who are full of ideas, sincerity and are eager to act. We communicate a lot, share ideas and create plans. Our first event will take place on 24 October – a meeting and a motivational talk with a famous person. Upcoming plans include getting to know international students, a welcoming event for freshmen, integrated lectures with sophomores, promotion of physical activity and a Christmas party for students.” – says the coordinator.
The Student Representation particularly welcomes second and third year students, their experience and creativity. K.G. Rakel is convinced that participation in such activities is meaningful and useful. “Being involved in the Student Representative Office together with the students is all about the community and the friendship that binds us all. We spend time together, we create, we share. It’s good for everyone. Working together as a team helps to acquire different skills, such as problem-solving, which will definitely be useful in the future,” motivated the new Student Coordinator of Vilnius Business College.
If you would like to join the Vilnius Business College Student Representative Office, please click here.