Vanessa Simbiken

Vanessa Simbiken

Digital Transformation Associate, PwC, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in IT Service Science

Computer science and IT have a substantial impact on every sector, says Vanessa Simbiken who came to AUT from Papua New Guinea to study computing, supported by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade NZ Scholarship.

“Technology is an important influence for how the world has evolved; becoming more efficient and connected. Before coming to AUT, I worked in customer services and this experience grew my passion for digital efficiency.

“I chose to study computer and information sciences because I wanted to enhance my passion for technology and use it to work on innovations that will bring humanity forward.”

After completing her computing degree at the end of 2021, Vanessa has now returned to Papua New Guinea and works as a digital transformation associate for PwC.

Countless benefits
The Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences comes with countless benefits, Vanessa says.

“The programme provides a good structure for students wanting a career in computer science or information technology. Throughout the degree students can also meet New Zealand IT professionals, which is essential for networking and career prospects. Students also engage with an industry organisation during the final-year project.

“I was particularly grateful for the immense support within AUT. As an international student, settling into a new academic environment was nerve-wracking. The Orientation week, run by students for students, is a great initiative and helped me transition into uni life. I’ve appreciated learning from academic staff who are well-informed in their areas of expertise in the IT industry. My classmates were also very supportive, and I enjoyed meeting students from different backgrounds.”

Another highpoint of Vanessa’s time in New Zealand was completing a 10-week summer internship, offered through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

“Over summer I interned with Watercare Services Ltd in the digital team. It was an opportunity to think about smart approaches to working in a fast-paced multi-tasking work environment. An unexpected insight that has illuminated my career path was devising a digital technique to check over 150 laptop devices for cellular data cards. My technique saved me many hours and was a personal achievement for me.”

Advice for other students
Vanessa would highly recommend the AUT university experience to other international students.

“Studying abroad at AUT has changed my life, and I urge you to experience the same. AUT is a diverse, multi-cultural, successful and thriving university that has its students’ best interests at heart.

“At AUT you’ll meet people from all around the world and gain a new perspective of life. Expect to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Haere mai ki AUT – come to AUT!”

*The IT Service Science major has been replaced by the Digital Services major.

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