3rd-year student, Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Networks and Cybersecurity
Technology was a big part of his childhood, says Jonathan Matthew Nguyen who grew up in Vanuatu and came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Networks and Cybersecurity, supported by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand – Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship.
“I was born and raised in Vanuatu, and was fortunate enough to experience many different technology platforms as I grew up. I was also heavily influenced by my older brother and dad who were quite the tech nerds. Being the competitive little kid I was, I strived to develop my skills and knowledge to do even cooler stuff than they did.
“As I got older, I started to recognise that I was passionate about helping people and making an impact where I can, especially in the technology world. I also experienced a lot of network and security issues and after seeing how much of an impact that can have, I was determined to find solutions for that. What I didn’t expect at that time was how complex the network and cybersecurity field is, and this inspired me to study the Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences.”
Expecting to complete his studies at the end of this year, Jonathan already has a good idea how he sees his future.
“I’m inspired to be involved in a career that allows me to contribute to keeping businesses’ networks and data safe, while also having the opportunity to interact with clients. My focus as of now is cybersecurity in general but I’m also interested in a career in cloud security and management. I hope to become involved in big projects and innovations that allow me to make a positive impact, and to introduce all my skills and knowledge back to my country, Vanuatu. I’m also a strong believer of reaching out to discover better practices related to business technology systems to help improve Vanuatu and the company I work for.”
The right choice
He has thoroughly enjoyed his studies so far, Jonathan says.
“The culture of diversity and inclusion makes me really respect and appreciate my studies at AUT. I’ve enjoyed meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures, and the social activities at AUT have helped me build my confidence and networking skills.
“I also enjoy how our courses enable me to learn practically – it’s always fun to see myself implement the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt. I believe this degree will equip you with the necessary fundamental skills to kickstart your career in technology as it offers you a feel of other fields apart from your chosen major.”
In addition to his studies, he has also found the time to take up an internship at Microsoft.
“My internship has made a massive contribution towards finding my professional path. Last year was obviously a hard time; studying during the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to find the motivation to work towards my passion. I was conflicted about if I should push myself for an internship over summer or take the time off to relax. My cousin gave me the push that I needed, and made me remember that I came to AUT to accomplish my goals. It really stressed the importance of taking the opportunities I’m given. I’m now two months into my internship at Microsoft, which is amazing!”
Advice for other students
Now in the final year of his degree, Jonathan has some great advice for other students.
“My first and foremost bit of advice would be to never compare your journey with that of others. I believe we all have different timings in our path, and the fact that you’re now here at AUT is a big step towards achieving your goal. You also need to recognise that you’re empowered to carve your own path and you should make use of all the opportunities you’re given.”
He also some specific study tips.
“What worked for me was planning ahead and having a structured work ethic. It helped me feel less panicked as I had an overview of the things to come and when to expect them.”