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Student story

Jake Crouchley

20 July 2023

"There is an unlimited number of things you can build if you apply a bit of problem solving..."


Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software Engineering

Co-Founder and Director, Lab3 Limited

As a director of Lab3, Jake has the opportunity to work with business clients developing web services and apps for a range of uses, from games to fitness and budgeting. Jake formed Lab3 with other UC Software Engineering graduates during study. 

"With Lab3, I'm able to apply all the skills learnt in my degree directly to real-world problems. We're in a really fortunate position where we have the freedom to work with a massive range of tools and software engineering practices for a whole range of different use cases," he says.

Jake first discovered his interest in Software Engineering after a chance introductory Computer Science course taken in his first year at UC.

"I think the freedom of software is what appealed most, there is an unlimited number of things you can build if you apply a bit of problem solving," he says. "Just having a taste of what it was all about was enough for me to work out how I wanted to shape my future."

An emphasis on practical software engineering skills was what helped Jake and his team of co-founders develop their idea for Lab3 in their third year of study.

"The practical work requirement of the Engineering degree was a key part in showing me what to expect from my choice of study once I made it into the industry. It was a great way to try out my skills in a low-risk situation where your superiors are helping you to get the most out of learning on the job and succeeding.

"Throughout the course we were taught not only practical software skills, but a whole range of subject matter crucial to being an effective engineer. We were taught things like basic principles of law, financial management, ethics, and project management. All of it has proved useful in some way or another with what we're doing with Lab3."

Jake also says that UC's clubs culture was a big part of his development. As an executive team member for both MUSOC and Gentlemen's Club, Jake has helped organise some of the community"s favourite events, such as Wine & Cheese, Cocktail Nights, and the annual Law Revue musical production. He also played in a music band for a number of UC events.

"The amount of opportunities there are to get involved was the best part about UC. The culture with university clubs on campus is arguably the strongest in New Zealand, and there are clubs for every interest and niche." 

After graduating, Jake took his experiences from UC and began full-time work on his business venture. Lab3 has since grown to have major clients across New Zealand and overseas.

"I want to see Lab3 grow and thrive enough to enable us to put our efforts into projects we're personally really passionate about. I'd like to see us become a company that attracts creative problem-solvers and tackles global problems to make a positive difference."

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