The place are they now?
Since 2007 BC Tech has been offering grants to distinctive college students pursuing a post-secondary schooling in know-how. Quantities range relying on whether or not an applicant remains to be in grade 12 or already at college or school, and the bursary is supposed as a stepping stone to assist recipients go away their mark within the trade.
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 diversified 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 turned impressed to use after listening to about her sister’s optimistic expertise, however already realized 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 fascinated with know-how and innovation. All through highschool, I used to be most fascinated with physics and math, so that basically pushed me to in the direction of engineering. I really feel being surrounded daily by issues designed by engineers is inspiring and makes me really feel proud to review engineering,” mentioned Stephanie.
“What drew me to electrical engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering was an curiosity in assistive and accessible know-how. I like how designing for accessibility helps everybody, and I actually needed 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 college in media arts someday to discover inventive know-how.
“I’m significantly fascinated with client know-how. There may be a lot know-how I interface with every day, and I like interested by how the know-how in query would possibly take this deep integration with individuals’s lives significantly,” mentioned 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 completely different corporations together with Ballard Energy Company the place his identify is on a US patent software for a gas cell sealing approach.
“I really wouldn’t say I’m in tech immediately, however I had some tech experiences in college [like conceptualizing, designing, fabricating and assembling robots]. Receiving the award gave me plenty of confidence and has allowed me to make use of it as a reference in my profession. I at present work at WSP Canada as a venture supervisor on renewable — principally wind — vitality initiatives,” mentioned Martin.
An particularly fascinating success story is Jobina Tamminga’s. The Ontarian and Timiskaming First Nation member discovered her approach to UBC after discovering a pamphlet in the highschool steerage counsellor’s workplace and rapidly turned smitten with the marketed mountains and ocean.
“Pc science was not on my radar in any respect after I started my schooling. I began in psychology within the arts, and took biology and engineering calculus as my electives. I noticed that I used to be far more within the science programs than the humanities programs,” mentioned 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 college of science in my second 12 months, I deliberate on learning biology. I made a decision to take an introductory laptop 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 realized increasingly, 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 methods, and says the $3,500 lightened the burden of scholar 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 laptop engineering.
“There was a lightbulb second for me whereas I used to be taking the necessary laptop science course in first-year engineering. I keep in mind not understanding something earlier than strolling into the pc lab and sitting all the way down to do the project — we have been engaged on loops and as I sat there interested by what to do, I keep in mind all of the items coming collectively in a method that I’m undecided I’ve ever skilled since. One thing in my mind clicked,” mentioned 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 schooling with out the necessity to have a job whereas I used to be at school. I labored throughout the summer season breaks and through my co-op phrases, however I can’t emphasize sufficient how useful this was.”
At present on the lookout for a brand new alternative, the previous varsity monitor athlete was a full stack developer at his final firm and possesses a eager curiosity within the sustainability motion occurring within the trade, with a need to fight local weather change.
Yet one more 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 sport for the Home windows Telephone 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 initiatives on the facet, he went on to do a grasp’s specializing in aerospace engineering simulation software program.
“I’m at present a software program engineer at SpaceX engaged on our Starlink web constellation/service. We’re working to supply 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.” mentioned Stoldt.
“I view advancing our know-how as one of the crucial highly effective methods to make the world a greater place, and assist individuals in the long term.”
Purposes for the 2023 BC Tech Scholarship Program shall be accepted till midnight on April 30. For extra info and a full breakdown of the standards, go to the web site. Winners shall be celebrated on the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Know-how Affect Awards.