Emily. Computer Science.

What are you studying?

I'm finishing my undergraduate studies in computer science and maths, which I’ll be following with a graduate diploma in teaching and learning. I actually studied software engineering for most of my degree but I realised I wanted to move into teaching. Luckily I was able to change over really easily.

What’s your favourite thing about life at UC?

I really enjoy the club focus. There’s pretty much a club for every interest, and if there isn't, you can start one up. It's fascinating getting a glimpse into different people’s passions and signing up for the ones that appeal to you.

Which club has been closest to your heart?

I'm president of QCanterbury. This is my third year with them. We hold a big annual event as well as smaller events throughout the year like seminars, movie nights, and hot drink bars during study week. There are around 250 members including people from outside UC. Anyone can be part of it.

What’s it like being president?

It's quite different being the person that everyone else answers to! It's a lot more responsibility but I'm excited about the plans I have. Next year I'd really like to provide some form of mentoring for students, so they know there’s a rainbow coordinator or who to go to if they have questions. I want us to help everybody in the best way we can.

How does UC support its rainbow community?

There are staff development groups and a rainbow coordinator on campus who’s absolutely lovely. UC does everything it can to make campus a safe place for people of all genders and sexualities. Apparently we make up 15% of students, which is a pretty huge number!

"High school students are also welcome to join QCanterbury, which I totally recommend especially if it helps them transition to uni more easily."

How have you changed in your time at UC?

I've found myself more. I've embraced my sexual identity and having the freedom to change my degree has made me excited about what's ahead. I've also become more confident from my leadership roles. It’s all been totally unexpected. In first year I never would’ve believed I'd be where I am now!

What do you want LGBTQIA+ people in high school to know about coming to UC?

That there’s a safe place for them here. The staff and uni are doing their best for anyone who is gender and sexuality diverse. High school students are also welcome to join QCanterbury, which I totally recommend especially if it helps them transition to uni more easily.

What’s your ambition for the future?

Definitely teaching, but I'd also like to use my experience with QCanterbury to support future students. The confidence and leadership skills I’ve gained at UC have really set me up to do that. I’m actually quite introverted but when you put yourself out there, you find that one thing leads to another – and away you go!