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Hard work earns Deree grads places at top grad schools
Nafsika Bourma enrolled in Deree College in 2005 because she wanted to study communication. Now, as she prepares to don cap and gown and receive her bachelor’s degree on graduation day, she says the college has prepared her for her next academic challenge. She starts a master’s degree in media, gender and culture at the London School of Economics this autumn.
Bourma’s experience typifies that of other Deree students who say the college gives them the chance to excel, broadening their intellectual horizons and opening academic doors at the world’s best graduate schools.
“One of the things I liked about Deree was that you have to work hard to do really well here,” said Bourma, who has a 3.7 cumulative grade average. “Deree was the best choice I could have made.”
Lefteris Bibakis, who has just spent a year at LSE working on a master’s degree in finance, grabbed the chance the college gave him to pursue ambitious goals.
“I started with a major in management at Deree,” said Bibakis. “But then I also majored in accounting and finance to make things more challenging.” He saw every course he took as important, even selecting electives in finance so he would gain a deep understanding of the field. “Even the textbooks we used at Deree were great,” he said, “and very similar to the books we use at LSE.”
Elona Varfi, currently doing an MSc in European political economy at LSE, said one of the best things about Deree is that it gives students a well-rounded liberal arts education. “I learned to speak in public” at Deree, said Varfi, “a quality that proved very useful for the seminars at LSE.”
Dimitra Lagaki, completing her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems at Deree this semester, will be enrolling in a master’s program at the University of Sheffield this autumn. She said Sheffied was at the top of her grad school list because its MSc in information management is one of the best in the UK in terms of faculty and career development.
“I am very glad I studied at Deree, because I gained valuable knowledge here,” she said.
For Bibakis, having professors who care about their students outside the classroom has been a key to academic success at both LSE and Deree. “My professors have always been approachable,” he reflected.
Similarly,Varfi said she “cannot forget the compassion that characterizes Deree’s instructors.”
A college can support its students in ways that high school seniors may not think about when deciding where to do their bachelor’s. Lagaki and Bibakis remember the support they got from Deree’s Office of Career Services when they were going through the process of applying to graduate schools. Bibakis appreciates the time his professors took to advise him about his grad school options and write him letters of recommendation.
Lagaki said her professors helped her understand what kind of master’s degree would fit in best with her interests.
Top achievers take advantage of the resources at their disposal.
With a year at LSE under his belt, Bibakis advises Deree students about to start graduate work at LSE to take advantage of its library. One of the largest economics and social sciences libraries in the world, it houses over four million items.
Like Bibakis, Varfi was well aware of the importance of a good library when she entered LSE. “I developed my research skills at Deree’s library, one of the major libraries in Eastern Europe,” she said.
Bibakis said: “Deree gives you the solid academic background you need to study abroad.” “Just make sure you maintain a good cumulative grade index: 3.3 or better.”
And bon voyage.
“What you invest now in studying at Deree is going to pay off soon,” said Varfi.