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Student story

Bede Skinner-Vennell

01 March 2024

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software Engineering


What do you enjoy about studying at UC?

My favourite thing about studying at UC is the people. There are so many people with various interests at UC that you’re guaranteed to find some like-minded people to hang out with.

Why did you choose to study at UC?

Well I actually came to UC to study Civil Engineering, which UC is rated really highly for, but changed to Software after my first year. 


What do you enjoy about  Software Engineering?

I really enjoy the variety of work. I’ve learned everything from how computer operating systems work, to mobile app development, to databases, to computer CPU design. There’s such a wide range of things to study, and there’s something for everyone, no matter your interests.


What advice would you give to someone considering this degree ?

If you’re tossing up between engineering disciplines, you can leave your decision as late as possible by taking COSC131 in the first semester of study. If you enjoy that, go for software. It’s an awesome degree and UC has some amazing lecturers and courses.

Aside from that, software engineering is an ever growing discipline. In the modern world, basically every industry needs software engineers. You could end up working in basically any area that interests you.


Do you have any career goals?

I’m still trying to figure out my career goals. I’ve really enjoyed tutoring, so I’m considering trying to pursue something related to that, which might involve doing a PhD and becoming a lecturer. 


What are your interests when you are not studying?

My main interest outside of studying is canoe polo. It’s similar to basketball… if basketball was played in kayaks on a lake. New Zealand is surprisingly good at it for a small country. Our women’s team was world champions in 2016, and our U21 women’s team are current world champions.

I’ve played canoe polo for nearly 10 years, and have had the opportunity to represent New Zealand twice. I’m currently the president of Burnside Canoe Polo Club, the local Christchurch club. Over summer, I’m out at Lake Roto Kohatu 4-5 times a week for club league, social games, and trainings.

Aside from this, I enjoy mountain biking, tramping, and disc golf.

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