Ask Tatiana questions about KTH and read more about her decision to study at KTH, thoughts about Sweden, advice to prospective students and her plans for the future.
Hi all, my name is Tatiana Barrios, I am 26 years old, and I come from Barranquilla, Colombia. I am currently studying my master's programme in Information and Network Engineering at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Before my master's, I did a bachelor's degree in Electronic Engineering at Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia. I mainly enjoy reading, dancing, and knitting as hobbies.
Why did you choose this master's programme at KTH?
When I finished my bachelor's degree, I found it so vast that I did not know which subject I wanted to specialise in. However, after a couple of years of working in the IT industry, I realised I wanted to dig deeper into Networked systems. So I started looking for universities in the world university rankings which offered a master's programme in that subject. That is how I found out about KTH.
Networked systems are the foundation of the internet we have today. I have always been fascinated by how the internet works, and more recently, about how cloud computing works. When I saw the programme offered at KTH, I liked the structure and the closeness to industry. Furthermore, KTH is well ranked in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Information Systems, so it is a privilege to study here.
What are the best aspects of your programme?
I think that the best aspect of my programme is the closeness to industry. I have had a couple of lectures from people who work at companies such as Ericsson, Netnod, and the Swedish Defence Research Agency. I like them because they give me an overview of the topics you will be treated after finishing the master's programme. I also really like the structure of the programme, the emphasis on security, and the flexibility it offers to select courses from other departments.
Besides, I find it very nice that the majority of lectures are very hands-on. The projects involve real-life problems that we can get to work on, and I think that is amazing.
Have you chosen a specialisation track within the programme?
I am very interested in Networked systems, so that is the name of the track I chose. The other tracks are very interesting as well, but this one is closer to what I already know and what I wanted to do, plus the emphasis on security is the cherry on top for me.
What are some of your favourite courses so far?
So far, the courses I have liked the most are Networked systems security and Digital communications. Both courses were very interesting for me, the former being more about security threats and how to address them and the latter being more about information technology and the fundamentals of communications systems. Even though Networked systems security was not very practical, it still made me think about the security of every digital system I have come across with. And as for Digital communications, both the professors and the projects were a big part of why I liked this course. It reminded me of a course I had in my bachelor's but better and more practical. With that being said, I still find all of my other courses very interesting and challenging.
How is student life in Stockholm?
I would say that even though COVID-19 took away from me a great deal, student life in Stockholm is great. Stockholm is stunning, and it has plenty of interesting landmarks. The city was on my list of top places I wanted to visit, and I knew it was very beautiful from movies and TV shows, but when I saw it, I was surprised at how gorgeous it was. It is very chill and dynamic, but it also can be cold and expensive so having a strong network is something you would want to do as a student. It is good to join THS, the student union at KTH, and it helps students connect by organising cool events. My first winter in Stockholm would have been sad if it weren't for them, but they made it enjoyable. Now in 2021, the experience has changed very much since the Covid situation is different, and I can say that student life here is very energetic and fun.
How would you describe your time at KTH so far?
So far, it has been great to be a student here. I have zero complaints. I can also say that the unique traditions of the student life at KTH have blown my mind: The overalls, the Gasques, among other fascinating perks. Although I am used to remote study, I enjoy going to the buildings on the main campus and meeting other people there from time to time. I like their architecture and ambience, and I feel like they help you focus. Besides that, I am also on exploration mode now that the restrictions are over and student life is going back to normal.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master's studies?
I can say that this is the best decision I have made in my entire life, and if I could, I would study here again. It has been better than I expected in terms of academic and social life, and I hope it continues like that. If you are reading this, it means that you are considering applying for a master's degree. I was there in late 2019, and I know it can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you come from other continents, which is why, as a student ambassador, I am here to help you with any inquiries about the student life at KTH.