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Sarah.

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons).

Ngāti Porou

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Sarah's Story


Sarah managed to combine her work experience at Trade Me with her own study. And still manages to hit the surf.

My studies have taught me a way of thinking – how to approach a problem and different ways you can tackle it

As technology advances, things are getting better and faster, and new solutions are always coming up. It’s a constantly changing field.

How did your subject choice come about?

I was enrolled in Civil Engineering when I took an elective paper in programming. I didn’t really know what coding was, but I found it fascinating! That led me to changing my whole degree to Software Engineering instead.

Favourite part of your degree so far?

The fact that there’s more than one way to get things done! Software engineering is so open to the imagination. As technology advances, things are getting better and faster, and new solutions are always coming up. It’s a constantly changing field.

Have you joined any clubs?

Yes, I’m vice president of WITSoc, the Women in Tech Society. Women are a minority in tech, so it’s great to have a club that provides us with support and social opportunities. We throw a free coffee time every week, host cocktail events and also run seminars on CV building and interview skills. It’s about building connections with each other, and industry.

And you interned at Trade Me? Wow, what was that like?

It was really fun. To start, they have slides from the fourth floor to the first! I was part of a developer team. We rebuilt a website from scratch and I was the main backend developer. It was exciting to be given so much responsibility. Trade Me is a very cool company.

Did you find your studies relevant in a real job setting?

Absolutely. My studies have taught me a way of thinking – how to approach a problem and different ways you can tackle it. It’s something you can always draw on no matter how the industry evolves.

Any other passions?

I’m also a competitive body builder but currently my main focus is powerlifting. Last year I came third in the Canterbury Provincials. I also helped start up UC PowerSoc with some friends. We attracted a couple of hundred members which surprised me! We do training sessions, competitions and barbeques. It’s amazing to be able to provide a fun environment for newcomers.

In your words, UC has been…

Challenging. But I feel like a much better person for it. Being at UC has built my compassion and intelligence. It’s been incredible.