Vanessa Simbiken

Vanessa Simbiken

3rd-year student, 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 want to enhance my passion for technology and use it to work on innovations that will bring humanity forward.”

Expecting to complete her computing degree at the end of 2021, Vanessa already has a good idea what she would like to do next.

“After graduating, I’d like to work in the mining sector in Papua New Guinea, providing knowledge intensive services. This involves identifying important trends in data to develop solution frameworks for processing big data problems. Initially I’d like to work as a systems/data analyst or database designer, and eventually my goal is to take on a higher role as a business intelligence solution architect.”

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’m 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 have also been very supportive, and I’ve 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
Now in the third year of her degree, 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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