'There are so many great things about software engineering...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software Engineering
A summer internship at Google in Sydney is just one sign that Isabelle is set for an exciting life as a Software Engineer. She heard about the opportunity at the Google Women in Tech event, which was held at UC.
'It was an incredible experience that taught me so much about working in the industry and made me sure that this is what I want to do with my life,' she says. 'I want to finish my degree and find a software company that I enjoy working at, in a city that I love. I'm flexible on both the company and the city, as long as I'm happy!'
It was not always such a clear-cut path for Isabelle. She had always planned to go to university, but was not sure what to study.
'I tried some programming in my Digital Tech class at high school. It was the only thing I had tried that truly interested me and something that I could imagine doing for the rest of my life. I had found my passion! My parents took some convincing - law had been my second option - but they came around to the idea.
'There are so many great things about software engineering. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect, and the way I can work through a problem logically to find a solution. I also love that it can be combined with so many other things. Software is used in hospitals, to fly planes, play music, animation in movies and so much more.'
Isabelle opted to take a Bachelor of Engineering degree at UC, which results in becoming a qualified member of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).
'I have lived in Canterbury for my whole life. UC has such an awesome engineering department it was the obvious choice. The lecturers are usually very passionate about their subject and keen to help you learn. Of course it also helps that it is a really cool campus!'
Commenting on the long-term developments and investment at the University, she says, 'UC is in a transition period at the moment... It is such an exciting place to study, and I can't wait until the construction is all complete!'
Isabelle also loves having the opportunity to get involved, winning an Emerging Leaders' Scholarship and joining some of the many clubs at UC.
'It can feel a little isolating being a woman in a computer science or engineering lecture, but I joined Computer Chicks and Women in Engineering and met some awesome people. When I'm not studying, I also enjoy socialising with friends, reading a good book, baking yummy food, and playing netball.'
Isabelle's advice to students considering Software Engineering as a discipline is to try it in the first (Intermediate) year.
'If you're not sure that it's for you then take COSC 121 [Introduction to Computer Programming] and try it out. You might love it, and if you don't then at least you leave with a basic understanding of what computer programming involves.
'It's a great industry to get into because there aren't enough people for all the jobs that are available, and that also means the salaries are really good! It's a new, exciting industry that is always changing.'