LLU graduate Kateryna Dorofieieva: "I don't focus on my marks, but on the results of my work"
Kateryna Dorofieieva is from Donetsk, Ukraine and she recently successfully graduated from the Faculty of Environment and Civil Engineering of the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies. She got a Bachelor of Engineering in Landscape Architecture and a red or "excellence" diploma for outstanding achievements in the study process.
In Donetsk, Kateryna graduated from a regular public school in a class with a linguistic profile, but her favorite subjects at school were arts and crafts, ICT (information and communication technology), maths, various language classes, and literature as well.
Before she joined LLU, she started to study Architectural Design and Construction in her hometown. "But then after my first year of studies, I had to move and change my university as the war started in Donbas (Eastern Ukraine). After that, I enrolled in the general Architecture program with a specialization in Urban planning at Lviv Polytechnic National University," tells Kateryna.
After obtaining her first bachelor's degree, Kateryna did not stop and wanted to continue what she had started. "Latvia was within the countries I was considering for further education and living. From all options, Latvia was the country that interested me mostly as it seemed to be closely related to nature, has an interesting culture, and a quiet and cosy atmosphere. It hadn’t been popularised that much in Ukraine, so I decided to give it a try taking into account the suitability of the studying direction it proposed and my personal preferences," says Kateryna.
She adds that she would like to change her field of study to something more natural, but of all the universities of European countries, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies was the only one that provided the study program "Landscape Architecture and Planning" in English, and which had a great emphasis on life sciences.
Kateryna’s most memorable event from her studying experience in LLU is from her freshman year when she and her colleague won the NutrInflow project competition and received the opportunity to develop the physical model of the filter system they invented. “Through all the implementation phases, we were supervised by Kaspars Abramenko, who accompanied us, provided incredible assistance, and support. Together with him, we worked with a 3D printer, collected mosses in the forest, and then went for the final presentation to Helsinki. Taking the opportunity, I would like to thank him one more time for all this unforgettable experience, his enthusiasm, faith in our project, and help," remembers graduate.
As her undergraduate thesis topic, she decided to work with urban farming. "I choose Urban Agriculture as the main theme for my thesis and then disclosed it through the topic of community gardens furtherly projected on the existing territory of the ex - Sports Palace of Riga. Thereafter, I developed an independent design for the once abundant area that is supposed to be turned into the network of community gardens adjacent to the park area or urban forest," shares Kateryna with us.
Kateryna emphasizes that the hardest part of writing her thesis was connected to her inability to be physically present during the project development stage in Latvia due to the global pandemic. Hence, all the work had to be done via Zoom and phone consultations with her supervisor Kristīne Vugule. However, she says that it went quite great, and despite all circumstances, she never felt lost or confused about things that she was doing. Kateryna received all required assistance, working materials, and information.
She tells that she was lucky enough to have an opportunity to complete her summer internship in Sweden that was on the topic of her research, so it gave her an amazing advantage. Young specialist knew already how to run and manage urban farming initiatives, what to plant, how to maintain surroundings, and what was required for the implementation. Then she just needed to project all of her gained experience on the cultural, social, and economic setting of Latvia, and model a suitable environment taking into account the background and context of the place.
When we asked her to share her secret to success, she simply answered: "It wasn’t difficult because graduating with excellence was never my intention. I didn’t know till the last moment that I would get the red diploma. I didn’t concentrate on my grades, rather on the results of my work, received experience, and knowledge. I just did what I loved, and I did it honestly and passionately. Maybe, this is the answer".
Looking forward to the future, the graduate admits: "For now, I would like to take a break from academic studies and concentrate on gaining practical experience. I want to experiment and try new things in my and associated fields and see where it will eventually bring me. I am super excited and open to all the new opportunities, so let’s hope they feel the same way about me".