'You get to have fun while working on cool projects...'
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Full-Stack Developer, Bank of New Zealand
While she agrees that the jump from high school to university can be a big one, Amy made the move easier by throwing herself into the all-round student experience at UC.
‘I found that by joining clubs you get to meet others with similar interests,’ she says. ‘I joined UCMus and played a few gigs on campus, and in 2015 I was President of the IEEE UC Student branch. As an IEEE chair, I worked with the committee to bring information sessions such as industrial tours and CV and interview seminars, as well as social events such as BBQs.
‘In collaboration with ENSOC, WIE, and EWB, we ran the engineering yarns night to help intermediate Engineering students network with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pro students from different disciplines. Organising every event takes a horrendous amount of time and effort and can be quite stressful when you have meetings, reports, and projects all jammed together in the same week, but it's a pretty amazing opportunity that I would definitely recommend to student members.
‘IEEE is a huge global organisation and you are the liaison between NZ IEEE South Section and your university community. You will meet a lot of people from both the industry and university, run awesome events of your choice, plus who doesn't love free BBQs? I really enjoyed networking with engineers from the industry and interacting with students and staff.’
Amy made sure to take part in other UCSA events on campus as well, to get involved with the social side of UC.
‘I went to a lot of events – one of the biggest the UCSA has put on was the Macklemore concert – plus Perfect Storm, Tea Party, the ENSOC ball, Chicago, the music & Lawsoc revues, a Dalai Lama Q&A session, and the regular markets. I always kept an eye out for what was happening on campus – I really liked the event venues there, they are wonderful places to hang out with friends.
‘Another great way to make friends is to just talk to the person sitting next to you in the lectures. Also, as a class rep, I have met a lot of awesome people in Electrical and Computer Engineering. We were really supportive of each other, and we had a few study groups going on throughout the year.’
Amy chose to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering because she likes how advances in technology can make a real difference to people.
‘Engineers are creative problem solvers,’ she says. ‘With Electrical and Electronic Engineering, you work on anything technology or electricity-associated, and you will get so much more than you ever expect out of it. Don’t be put off doing Electrical Engineering – you get to have fun while working on cool projects.
‘The final year project was a really hands-on experience, each of us worked on different component/s of the project and we worked as a team to deliver a working prototype. The learning curve was steep as I had to learn a programming language that I had no experience in, but it really gives me a feel for what to expect in the work environment.’
Amy took the opportunity to gain practical experience by working as an intern at local company Dynamic Controls, where her she was part of the systems verification team, doing anything from regulatory testing of electric wheelchairs to programming.
‘Engineering requires a lot of communication with other engineers who specialise in different areas, such as hardware, software and so on, and we worked closely together as a team.’
Amy’s love of music has seen her become an accomplished pianist, and in her spare time she often plays as an accompanist and solo performer, a high point being a gig for a friend’s grandmother’s 100th birthday party.
Her academic skills and contribution to UC’s community were recognised with an invitation to join the Golden Key society. This followed several other awards and scholarships, including the UC Emerging Leaders’ Scholarship, through which Amy got involved in various voluntary projects.
‘We organised a fun day for the elderly and a concert at a rest home, and did other projects through the Student Volunteer Army.’
Amy was also a Google student ambassador, which meant flying to Google’s office in Sydney for a summit with student ambassadors from other Australasian universities.
‘We organised fun events such as coding workshops with Google engineers and information sessions on upcoming internship opportunities at Google. It’s a really fun role to take on, and it’s pretty awesome to turn your idea into fun events for the whole UC community.’
After graduating, Amy secured a role in a two-year graduate programme with IBM. Her work as a technical consultant saw her experience a number of different areas within the technology corporate giant, including major application development for clients, UX design, and travel to Australia, which was ‘quite a personal network expansion’.
She later became a Software Engineer for NZQA, an Advocate for UX design, and an associate-level Certified Developer for Amazon Web Services.
Amy is now starting work with BNZ as a Full-Stack Developer for their security and digital products.
Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Amy came to UC via St Margaret’s College in Christchurch. She would eventually like to go into IT or medical engineering, having always had an interest in science and technology in the health sector.