<> SILENCE YOUR CRITIC: Charles's Story | Arden University


Silence Your Critic

Having moved from Nigeria to pursue higher education, Daukenumwerimi Victory Charles is studying Computing at Arden University. 

Now in his third year at Arden, having studied for a foundation year with another university, Charles is enjoying his blended learning programme, following a passion for computing that’s been with him since he was a young child. 

Having overcome his inner critic and doubts, Charles is now grabbing his opportunities with both hands. Opportunities which have included the chance for him to take to the skies and earn a private pilot’s licence. Read more about his story below. 

For anyone who's not necessarily familiar with your course, what kind of things have you learned about and what have you enjoyed learning about?

The thing I enjoy the most is the programming part of the course. I’ve always had a passion for learning how to write code, to develop applications and websites, and things like that. So, those have been the most amazing things I've learned so far. 

When did you first get into computing? Where did your love for it start?

My passion for computing started when I was seven years old. I was so curious to learn how everything was created. Not as much with the hardware as I was with the software running inside the computer. I wanted to know how someone had made all of that. 

How have you found the experience of blended learning?

It's interesting and also it's really comfortable for me. I decided to go for the option of blended because it means I get to interact with my fellow students. I needed that physical communication with my students and lecturers.

What have your lecturers been like?

They are all such professionals and knowledgeable when it comes to computing. Most of them have loads of industry experience, so they're teaching us based on what they've seen. That makes it very practical and easy for anyone to understand. 

How have you found your experience in the UK as an international student?

I mean, compared to where I was the UK is like heaven. I really enjoy the education system, and that’s why I moved to the UK. Where I come from opportunities are very limited, especially with education. You don't get to practice what you have been taught. But in the UK, there are a lot of opportunities for you to actually have a practical understanding of what you've been taught. That’s amazing. 

What were you doing before you came to the UK to study?

So, I was living in Nigeria, where I come from, and involved with the activities of my church. The church had an IT department and a TV station where I worked as a video editor for about four years, before I got my admission here.

Did you feel any doubts about travelling this far for your education? 

Yes. I was really nervous at first. Most times you try to make decisions for yourself, but you also have to face the question about whether you can actually succeed, or if it's the right decision.

So, the doubts were there. This was my first time moving away, and I was also considering how competitive it would be in order to succeed in an environment like this. But I was also optimistic. I wanted to succeed and I needed that challenge. I was really too comfortable where I was. 

Now, I'm really happy I made the decision because I can see the positivity and the results. I've learnt a lot. I've seen a lot of opportunities and I'm really happy I took them. 

What would you say to anyone else that’s in a similar position to where you were a few years back?

Whatever you want to do in this life, there are always setbacks, and you will always have this voice in your head that’s trying to pull you back. 

But if you don't try, you will never know. It's good to have the experience, even if it doesn't work out how you expected. If there’s something you want to do, go ahead and do it. 


What's been your proudest moment during your studies so far?

My proudest moment was being able to build my own website. I could see how I can practically use my knowledge in the industry. I'm proud of the fact that I was able to, you know, also decide for myself what I wanted for myself and work towards it. I mean, it's also a good thing for me in making good use of this knowledge. I mean, it's one of the proudest things I've ever experienced.

What are your three favourite things about Arden University?

First, it would be my lecturers. My teachers are amazing. 

Second, I’ll go for the student support. They're really supportive. 

And third, it’s the environment and the hospitality and diversity in how everyone has been welcomed. Wherever you're coming from, everyone is appreciated, and everyone is given an equal opportunity to explore, learn, and to advance themselves. 

You were involved in a programme called Fantasy Wings. Would you mind just explaining what that was?

Fantasy wings is a programme which brings young people in from different backgrounds and cultures to study aviation. I got a call from one of the lectures in the computing school asking if I’d be interested. I’ve never studied aviation, but I said yes and went for it. 

The programme was for 10 months, we started last year October, and different pilots and captains have been there to teach us what the whole aviation industry is all about. I tried my best throughout and I was lucky enough to be one of the three selected to do ten lessons towards getting a private pilot licence. 

This campaign is about silencing your critic. What would you say is your biggest self-criticism or thing that was holding you back?

So, I come from a poor background, and I’m almost the first person in my family to study at university. My parents never had this privilege, so when I made up my mind, to go and get a university degree, the doubt was there over whether I would succeed and I was going back and forth on whether this is something that I actually need for myself.  

What's motivated you to keep going and silence that critic?

My biggest motivation in life is the fear of failure. I don't like to fail. I'm very competitive as well and I always want to be the winner. That’s a major motivation. I like to say yes to opportunities though, so I said to myself it doesn’t matter if others do not succeed, I should be the one to succeed. 

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