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UC Choice


16 October 2023

Software Engineering



What led to your decision to study Software Engineering?

I took an intro to coding course after some encouragement from a girl in Electrical Engineering. It was really fun, and it's so cool to see the output of what you're doing. The first thing we did was print ‘hello world’. Even though it was a simple thing, it was awesome to see that I'd made something from scratch so quickly without having to do years of study.

How is your degree going?

I love it so much. It's really fun. It's easy to learn, so you don’t have to be good at it before you start, which I think is important. There's always someone to help, and the lecturers are amazing. They’ve made me feel like I’m not just another student in the class, like I’m someone they really care about and want to help grow as a software engineer.

Auckland is your hometown; why did you decide to come to UC?

I really like UC’s green, open spaces. It feels safe, and the people are so friendly - like a real community environment. I’d also heard from other people that the degree at UC was way more hands-on and practical than other places, and that’s something I really value.

Tell us about WiTSoc (Women in Tech Society).

Our mission is to provide a safe community for women and non-binary students studying towards tech and STEM degrees. It’s a place to connect, make new friends, and have opportunities to meet industry people. We have heaps of professional development workshops and social events. And it's completely free to join, which makes it accessible for everyone.

And you’re a WiTSoc mentor, too.

We run a mentorship program where third, fourth, and postgrad students help mentor first years. It gives the mentees someone they can talk to, and as a mentor, it was nice to make a new friend. It's great to be able to pass down your experience to a younger student and hear about their experience at the same time.

There are so many opportunities, and through them you grow and create a community around you. There’s a really good community here, it’s very easy to assimilate into. People are happy to involve you. The biggest thing is feeling supported by people to take chances and try new things.

You won a scholarship to take part in the UCE Summer Startup Programme. What does that involve?

My friend – and now business partner – and I won the Entré Enterprise Launch Challenge UCE Summer Startup Scholarship for our startup, Avium (now Farmgate Foods). I learned a lot of things about starting and running a business and pitching your idea. Winning the scholarship gave us the opportunity to continue developing our venture over the summer. It's been cool to have this new opportunity and realise that I actually can make a difference because of these new skills that I've learned.

Do you think it’s important for more women to be represented in the industry?

Being a woman in tech is so important because you bring a unique perspective. Many people don't realise that their past experiences are so important to diversity in tech, because a lot of it has been created without minorities in mind. So, you can actually create a lot of change and impact because you have a unique opinion.

What’s your advice for women considering a career in tech?

Tech and STEM are applicable to every single industry, so there are so many opportunities within it. And it's not what you’d expect it to be, with stereotypes like sitting in a dark room, coding on a black screen. It's actually the opposite! You need to be able to work in a team and communicate. It's such a great, innovative industry and it's rapidly growing. There’s a lot more support for women in tech now.

Choose three words that sum up your UC experience.

Opportunity. Community. Growth.

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