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.