The place are they now?
Since 2007 BC Tech has been offering grants to distinctive college students pursuing a post-secondary training in expertise. Quantities fluctuate relying on whether or not an applicant continues to be in grade 12 or already at college or school, and the bursary is supposed as a stepping stone to assist recipients depart their mark within the business.
A complete of 96 scholarships have been handed out since 2007, and a big share of the winners, many from various backgrounds, go on to work in different positions all through the sector. Two of them are native Vancouverites Stephanie and Tiffany Quon, awarded $4,500 in 2021 and $3,500 in 2020, respectively.
Stephanie is in fourth 12 months electrical engineering at UBC. She grew to become impressed to use after listening to about her sister’s constructive expertise, however already discovered of this system a lot earlier whereas researching future employment and better studying choices.
“I made a decision to pursue a profession in tech as a result of I used to be broadly eager about expertise and innovation. All through highschool, I used to be most eager about physics and math, so that basically pushed me to in the direction of engineering. I really feel being surrounded day-after-day by issues designed by engineers is inspiring and makes me really feel proud to review engineering,” stated Stephanie.
“What drew me to electrical engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering was an curiosity in assistive and accessible expertise. I like how designing for accessibility helps everybody, and I actually wished to develop expertise to have the ability to construct issues which are accessible and inclusive.”
Although Tiffany blazed the path by securing a grant first, the 25-year-old credit her dad and mom — each within the software program enterprise — for demonstrating the trail was a doable one. Having studied engineering physics at UBC, graduating in 2021, she utilized in hopes to attend grad faculty in media arts at some point to discover artistic expertise.
“I’m significantly eager about client expertise. There’s a lot expertise I interface with each day, and I like fascinated by how the expertise in query may take this deep integration with folks’s lives significantly,” stated Tiffany, who within the meantime is already making the lives of on a regular basis customers extra environment friendly as a product supervisor on Google Maps.
On the opposite finish of the spectrum, Keith Martin was an early recipient of a $2,500 scholarship again in 2009. One other UBC engineering physics grad, specializing in mechatronics, the Montrealer has held a number of co-op positions at totally different firms together with Ballard Energy Company the place his title is on a US patent software for a gas cell sealing approach.
“I truly wouldn’t say I’m in tech right this moment, however I had some tech experiences in college [like conceptualizing, designing, fabricating and assembling robots]. Receiving the award gave me a variety of confidence and has allowed me to make use of it as a reference in my profession. I presently work at WSP Canada as a undertaking supervisor on renewable — largely wind — vitality tasks,” stated Martin.
An particularly fascinating success story is Jobina Tamminga’s. The Ontarian and Timiskaming First Nation member discovered her technique to UBC after discovering a pamphlet in the highschool steerage counsellor’s workplace and shortly grew to become smitten with the marketed mountains and ocean.
“Laptop science was not on my radar in any respect once I started my training. I began in psychology within the arts, and took biology and engineering calculus as my electives. I spotted that I used to be far more within the science programs than the humanities programs,” stated Tamminga, including being a part of AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) membership additionally helped, the place she networked with different indigenous college students and realized the significance of illustration in STEM fields.
“After I switched into the school of science in my second 12 months, I deliberate on learning biology. I made a decision to take an introductory pc science class as an elective and simply actually fell in love with programming. I had at all times cherished math and fixing issues however knew nothing about computer systems. As I discovered an increasing number of, I simply discovered that it clicked actually simply.”
Tamminga is now employed as a software program developer at Whitehorse-based Make IT Options, which builds, deploys and operates enterprise change and public sale programs, and says the $3,500 lightened the burden of pupil loans. Her husband Keith Martin, a fellow software program developer, UBC alumnus and scholarship recipient, was the one who offered the preliminary encouragement to use in 2019.
Martin moved from the Yukon to attend post-secondary and initially favoured mechanical or civil engineering, although ultimately landed in pc engineering.
“There was a lightbulb second for me whereas I used to be taking the necessary pc science course in first-year engineering. I bear in mind not understanding something earlier than strolling into the pc lab and sitting all the way down to do the task — we had been engaged on loops and as I sat there fascinated by what to do, I bear in mind all of the items coming collectively in a approach that I’m unsure I’ve ever skilled since. One thing in my mind clicked,” stated Martin.
Placing the $3,500 in the direction of tuition and residing bills, he says the grant had a huge impact on his life and profession.
“[It] and allowed me to focus full-time on my training with out the necessity to have a job whereas I used to be in school. I labored in the course of the summer season breaks and through my co-op phrases, however I can’t emphasize sufficient how useful this was.”
At present searching for a brand new alternative, the previous varsity observe athlete was a full stack developer at his final firm and possesses a eager curiosity within the sustainability motion taking place within the business, with a want to fight local weather change.
Yet another profitable candidate making a distinction is Henry Stoldt. Programming for the reason that seventh grade when he was gifted a newbie robotic package for Christmas, the Quesnel native taught himself methods to publish a easy whack-a-mole recreation for the Home windows Cellphone in highschool. Utilizing the $1,000 from BC Tech in 2013 to pursue a mechanical engineering diploma on the College of Calgary, and dealing on software program tasks on the facet, he went on to do a grasp’s specializing in aerospace engineering simulation software program.
“I’m presently a software program engineer at SpaceX engaged on our Starlink web constellation/service. We’re working to offer worldwide high-speed web protection, particularly to underserved populations in rural areas — together with locations like Quesnel the place I grew up. I’ve been there for a little bit over a 12 months and beforehand labored as a robotics developer within the R&D group at Attabotics, a warehouse automation start-up in Calgary.” stated Stoldt.
“I view advancing our expertise as probably the most highly effective methods to make the world a greater place, and assist folks in the long term.”
Functions for the 2023 BC Tech Scholarship Program will probably be accepted till midnight on April 30. For extra info and a full breakdown of the factors, go to the web site. Winners will probably be celebrated on the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Know-how Influence Awards.