It all starts with a goal. A dream. An ambition to rise above the ranks of your peers and help raise the bar of ability for everyone around you. The simple wish to excel and lift others.

 I first found myself facing this idea early in my childhood. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be – an engineer, a racecar driver, an actor, and the President. And I was not willing to negotiate on any of these, it was always all or nothing. My parents caught onto this early and used my ambitions to steer me in all the right direction. They simply told me “If you want to be an engineer – you have to be clever and study hard, to be a racecar driver – you will need a lot of money and discipline, to be an actor – you have to have charisma and be talented, and lastly if you want to be the President – you have to have all of that.” It is easy to scoff now at these sky-high dreams of a six-year-old, but it helped me set three simple goals that have guided my decisions ever since: be smart and hard-working, find a lucrative professional career, and always work on your talents.

The next step was to constantly look for paths that can help me achieve these goals, all of which start with a good education and networking abilities. Both my primary and secondary schools were some of the best in Latvia, and gave me the right learning environment to maintain a constant growth mindset and competition between similarly driven peers. But after graduating I knew that I had exhausted what Latvia had to offer, as seemingly none of the universities could consistently provide the growth and competition environment I was accustomed to. Until I found the emerging BITL (now CSOT – Computer Science and Organizational Technologies) program at Riga Business School, which offers a Double degree opportunity to transfer in our fourth year and graduate from SUNY University at Buffalo in the US.

This was the path I absolutely had to take. The offering of the highest quality American education provided right here at home was simply too good to pass up and helped me reinvigorate my childhood dreams. When being interviewed during my application to RBS, I remember saying that I want to one day become the President and I know that the route through RBS and studying in the United States is what will best help me get there. And so far, I have not been disappointed. The quality of the teaching staff here in RBS is superb, and fits the American standards almost perfectly, allowing for a clean college credit but most importantly knowledge transfer. Moreover, my course mates that chose to stay in Latvia are currently some of the most sought after and genuinely capable young IT professionals here, already helping me and other Computer Science & Organizational Technologies graduates establish a strong and well-recognizable network of professionals.

Furthermore, I personally am expanding this network across the Atlantic Ocean. With the Computer Science & Organizational Technologies education level being comparable to the one in UB, I have now finished my first semester in the US as a Dean’s List member and was quickly able to establish connections between some incredibly smart and driven American and International students and faculty alike. The bountiful amount of resources and knowledge the American higher education system has to offer in all emerging IT fields is incredible and I intend to explore it until I have learned enough to push the envelope both in the US and Latvia, be it in AI, data science, robotics or any other frontrunner field.

I cannot wait to reap the fruits of my ambition and bring the harvest back home. Thank you, RBS, for giving me the opportunity to do so and I hope it will soon help me turn all my dreams into reality.

Eduards Lapins, Student of Riga Business School

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