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A warm welcome from Valeria

Updated: May 13, 2020

As a first-year Computer Science student at UOB, I've had various opportunities to partake in diverse communities, and meet such wonderful people. This has had an incredible impact on my self-development and inter-personal skills, and taught me learn about student's needs.


My experiences on campus during first year included organising various international camps, Computer Science Society at the university, securing Internships and Spring Week offers; and ultimately- starting a Women in Tech Society! This has definitely been a thriving and exciting year for me.


But how did I manage all these? What are my plans- both for the future and for society?


One of the factors which played significant importance in all my achievements was my passion for competitive programming during school. Solving problems on websites like Codeforces, TopCoder, CodeChef, and preparing for contests and Computer Science Olympiad in my high school years has definitely put a strong base that has helped me through interviews. Whilst participating in such contests, I learnt about Meet IT, where I connected with community of smart and ambitious, and eventually joined the committee to help organize various international programming camps.


Once I got to university, I was more than determined to join opportunities that would help me develop on my existing skills. As a result of this, I ran to be a first-year representative, despite intense competition. My hard work and determination definitely paid off, as I had a great time, learning how to run and organize events. This helped me gain better insight into events taking place during the year, particularly for those with an interest in the Tech field.


In my second year, I was selected to be the Vice President for the Computer Science society and I believe I am ready to deliver best quality for next events, welcome new students in our warm community, and build stronger connections between all of us.


I was also multiple times asked how did I get an internship in my first year. The truth is I was strongly motivated to get one even before starting university. I believe internships are the best way to get work experience, become better prepared for work after university, and understand more about yourself and what you want to do in the future. We wrote a blog on how to secure an internship in your first year- so make sure to check that out!


During my first year, I was fortunate enough to secure a summer internship (which I am currently busy completing!). I applied to any opportunity I found, even if I thought I wasn't qualified enough for it and I am really glad I got interview experience and most importantly some full-time work experience.


Great work experience for first and possibly second years is the Spring Weeks, where you get to find out more about the company and get some hands-on experience. I also secured spring weeks at JP Morgan and Jane Street, and I was so grateful for all the things I learned during the programs, and it is an opportunity I recommend to everyone.


All in all, the things that I will certainly keep in mind from my first year is, apply early, apply to more companies so that you get more interview experience and don't risk not getting any internship, not being afraid and prepare more.


Last but not least, this was a little about me and about my experience. Another thing that happened to me in my first year, and everyone else, was a lockdown. During the lockdown, I got to develop the skills that I always wanted and think about my ambitions for the next year.


I got the privilege of talking to Hafsa and I am so glad that our aims coincide. We want to bring up the Women in Tech Society to welcome all women and create a great community. I have so many things to share and so many opportunities I am aware of and I can't wait to have you all on board!


Lots of love,

Valeria



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