Student Stories: Steve Quindo

Steve Quindo looks forward to representing the University at the next APEC Forum in Taiwan and shares his career journey so far.

"I was really eager to win a place at APEC Forum in October 2019, to enter I needed to create a video detailing why CDES should pick me to attend. Once my video was submitted I had an interview with Catherine Stephens, the Manager of CDES, and afterwards I was humbled to find out that I was the one student they chose to represent University of Auckland at the forum in Taiwan, it's a huge honour.

"I had been part of a programme at the University called Founders Hatchery, when I was nominated to attend the APEC forum as one of the young entrepreneurs. With headquarters in Singapore, the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Participation) is held as one of the oldest forums in the Asia-Pacific region. It has a significant global influence.

"By attending the APEC forum I hope to gain valuable skills to help with some of the global challenges we face today. I want to take this incredible opportunity to understand a bit more about our world and the problems we can work to solve together. I'm also really excited about gaining insight into other perspectives as I learn from the speakers and others attending, whilst exploring Taiwan, and enjoying the food! Ultimately, CDES provided me this incredible opportunity and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

I think this amazing experience at APEC will change my perspective of how I view the world, help me gain some clarity around what field of work I should pursue in the future, and ultimately, help me on my career journey. I’m so thankful for this opportunity from CDES! 

"I'm part way through a double major in computer science and information systems at the University of Auckland. I’m particularly interested in learning about the intersection between technology and business.

"I was sixteen when I wrote my first line of code, and seventeen when I entered my first New Zealand Hackathon. I entered the competition not expecting to get anywhere, as I had not created any programmes or games at that point. I had this barrier in my thinking, that I wasn’t ready to start developing my own software, so putting myself into this competition forced me to stop thinking and start doing.

"After taking part in the competition, the sponsor, UNICEF, asked me to create a programme in five days. I can say with certainty that I’ve never learned anything as fast I did during those five days! On the fifth day, I had developed my first game, and won my first Hackathon. Receiving my prize and shaking the hands of the UNICEF representative was a pivotal moment in my life, and led me to the decision to pursue computer science.

"I wanted to create something of value that would reach a wide range of people, and that’s how I started my journey to becoming an android developer. I soon discovered that being a good programmer requires having excellent communication skills. So, to improve in this area I began a door-to-door sales job. Every Monday to Friday, I would knock on 100 doors and get rejected 99 times. Though slightly painful, each rejection revealed areas I needed to work on to be better at communicating. Hundreds of doors later, my communication skills had improved dramatically.

"Once I began my double major, I participated in every entrepreneurship programme that I could enter. I gained valuable experience in working as part of a team, primarily in the context of start up businesses. These programmes turned out to be invaluable, when during my second year of University I founded my first tech B2B business, Barko. This taught me how to manage projects and teams under an immense amount of pressure, and to look at problems from many different viewpoints. I'm currently on an exchange at the University of British Columbia in Canada, studying computer science, information system analysis and data science."

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