Hanna switched subjects after she realised how much she enjoyed the practical aspects of Data Science. She’s spending her free time giving back by volunteering in the community.
Programme: Bachelor of Science
Subject: Data Science
“I started out studying Biomedical Science, but decided after my first semester that it wasn’t for me. During that semester, I took a Stage I Statistics course and realised how much I genuinely enjoyed the subject. After a long deliberation with my parents, I decided to switch to something statistics-related. At first I was unsure of changing to Data Science since I had no background in Computer Science. After giving it a try, it ended up being something I enjoyed and could see myself pursuing.
“I like how the programme gives me the best of both worlds by providing courses from both the School of Computer Science and Department of Statistics. A lot of the concepts complement each other, and so taking courses from both really hones those crucial skills that are needed in the workplace.
The lecturers are also incredibly approachable and supportive with my studies. They are always willing to help out, whether it is through email or office hours,
and are passionate about the subject area they are teaching.
“I enjoy the hands-on, practical work in the Statistics courses. Applying the theories we learn in class by fitting models and analysing datasets given in assignments enhances what we’re taught in lectures. It’s an entirely different experience: being told how to do something, and then actually doing it hands-on.
“Before coming to the University of Auckland I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. Six months before my high school graduation, I visited the University and went on a campus tour with one of the international managers. What appealed to me most is how well-structured the programmes are. The structure provides the foundation and focus on my chosen specialisation, yet it gives me the opportunity to explore other subject through electives and General Education courses.
“I was fortunate to receive the University of Auckland International Student Scholarship in 2017. It definitely lightened the financial load on my family and also motivated me to study harder and do well in my courses.
“The Faculty of Science was very welcoming and gave thorough support during the process of my adaptation to New Zealand. Having access to the Student Centre to plan my degree and answer any questions I had as a first-year student was incredibly helpful, and the lecturers were always open to any inquiries I had.
“I enjoy doing organisational work and I’m very passionate about volunteering. I’m part of the committee for the Indonesian Students' Association and AIESEC in Auckland. These two organisations have not only provided me with a platform to help out in the community (helping the Indonesian community in New Zealand and providing cross-cultural exchanges for New Zealand youth, respectively), they have also helped me to hone my skills and build new friendships along the way.”