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Student story

Pang Suwanaposee

20 July 2023

"It was thought-provoking to be able to work with augmented reality..."


Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software Engineering

Software Engineer

After teaching herself how to code in high school, Pang knew that a career working in software development was her biggest ambition.

"I also envisioned myself to be a part of future engineering technology, so I thought studying Software Engineering would be perfect for me to equip myself with the skills I need," she says.

Receiving both an Undergraduate Entrance and Emerging Leaders" Scholarship recognising her potential, Pang found choosing UC to be an easy decision, especially with the Software Engineering courses on offer.

Before starting studies, Pang was completing community projects, workshops, and leadership skills training through the Emerging Leaders Development Programme (ELDP) as part of her scholarship.

"I took part in various activities for ELDP, such as volunteering at Orana Park to help them build their Gorilla cage! On induction day we participated in a tour around the campus and worked with other scholars in team-building activities. It was great to be able to bond with other students before the year started."

Her degree studies focused on all areas of software systems, from design and creation, to operation and testing, and featured a lot of group projects.

"We learn so many things in the software engineering degree. What I find really cool is that it can be applied to many areas. At a high level, my studies involve problem solving and often working in a team. Not only do we learn how to code but also how to design software to be feasible in the real world. 

"This means we need to consider many factors such as; cost, reliability, time, and customer specifications. The degree also incorporates Computer Science courses. Some of these courses included algorithms, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning."

For her final-year project, Pang was able to work on a Hololens application, with sponsorship from local company Seequent.

"It was thought-provoking to be able to work with augmented reality! I found it both interesting and valuable that we were able to work with other students and practice the software engineering principles and processes we learnt from our other courses before we enter the industry."

These overall experiences helped earn her a UC Engineering Top Scholars Award. She was also able to take courses in music technology and philosophy through the Certificate of Proficiency Vice Chancellor's Excellence Award in 2017 and 2018, which offers students the change to take courses outside of their degree area. 

Besides the coursework, Pang also thoroughly enjoyed the community atmosphere at UC. She says that getting involved in clubs and student events is an "important part of University life, as you get to connect with many international/exchange students as well as local students".

Pang was a particularly active member of UC Women in Technology Society (WiTSoc).

"WiTSoc has an awesome programme that buddies you up with a mentor or mentee. I found it helpful sharing my experience to a lower year student and learning from a higher year student. They also have coffee sessions where you can meet other women in tech!"

One of her biggest highlights from study, however, was the internship work placements as part of the Engineering degree. 

Her first internship was spent with Telogis, a global GPS software company (now Verizon Connect); and the second was an exciting opportunity working with Wilson Parking in South Korea. Pang developed a project for a new parking database program that would better manage payments and customer interaction.

It was her first experience visiting the country, where she also went to the Winter Olympics, a Samsung VR showcase, and met the New Zealand Minister of Finance, all of which she has written an article about. She now spends much of her spare time learning Korean, along with playing tennis, and the piano and guitar.

Following all of her experiences at UC, Pang now works in the industry as a Software Engineer.

"I am faced with challenges every day but I love it, as I get to solve real-world problems. I spend most of my day developing software. I am constantly learning and I find it thoroughly enjoyable. The work hours are flexible, there's catered lunches, and always time for a table tennis match with one of my colleagues!"

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