Boost for female scientists as Kiwi student gets summer Google gig
- 14 August, 2015 06:05
A University of Waikato computer science student has landed a fully-paid summer internship with Google’s Sydney office.
Computer Science and Biology student Jojo Stewart will spend 12 weeks being mentored by a Google engineer and will work with a team of fellow interns to enhance her coding capabilities and learn new programming languages.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in,” Stewart says. “Google is actually paying me to go and work for them. I can’t wait to learn from the experts.”
Stewart found out about this opportunity from a Google employee she met at a Waikato University event earlier this year with the internship programme designed to promote diversity, an idea she supports.
“Computer science is very male dominated,” Stewart adds. “It’s a shame, because I don’t think females get the same opportunities at school when it comes to computer science.”
Having had an interest in computers from a young age, Stewart hopes to one day find a way to combine computer science and biology, possibly with a career in medical imaging.
Stewart became interested in computer science in her final year at Waikato Diocesan when she completed a STAR computer science course at the University of Waikato - she then took the undergraduate computer science scholarship exam and was awarded one for her high results.
Now in her second year of study, Stewart hopes to encourage other young women to pursue a career in computer sciences.
At present, Stewart is working with her tutor Nilesh Kanji to increase female awareness of computer science in New Zealand.
On Friday afternoons, the duo tutor a club called the IT Girls, made up of students from Waikato Dio.
“It would be great to see more young women in the computer labs in the future,” Stewart adds.