Haemophobia is an irrational fear of blood and it put Kirita-Rose Escott’s plans to be a doctor right off. Today, Kirita is an assistant lecturer in the Wellington Faculty of Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington and has no regrets.
“I love what I do,” she says. “I’m fortunate to be able to share my knowledge and help others through teaching while also furthering my own learning through a PhD in cloud computing.”
Kirita decided to do a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington after a chance meeting with a computer scientist.
“When I left school I worked as a bank teller while I decided what to study,” says Kirita. “As one of the younger people in the office, my co-workers often asked me to help them with their computers and I enjoyed it. Then one day, I met a customer who was a computer scientist. She told me about her job and studying so I looked into it and decided to give it a go.”
Computer science is for everyone
Kirita started at uni when she was 21 but still found the first year challenging. “I really struggled in my first year. My main advice would be don’t give up. I surrounded myself with like-minded people and I don’t think I could have finished my degree on my own.”
“Computer science sounds a lot scarier than it is especially if you’re not very academic,” she says. “Students don’t necessarily need to be high achievers to do well at computer science. A curiosity about how things work, a love for problem-solving and little bit of creativity are important skills to have.”
Kirita has taught coding to intermediate school kids and is seeing much more interest from young girls.
“The industry is less dominated by men than it used to be. We’re starting to see a lot more diversity. There weren’t that many women in my course but I had a great group of friends to study with, so I never found it an issue,” she says.
“The more kids know about coding and computers the better! If kids know about coding in school and start doing it from an early age it’s a lot less daunting.” – Robert Tighe
Kirita’s career path:
>> Software Development Intern, Snapper Services Limited
>> Assistant Lecturer, wellington faculty of engineering, VUW
To get there: Bachelor of Engineering (HONS), software engineering VUW
This article was brought to you in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington. It originally appears in Careers with STEM: Code 2019.
Author: STEM Contributor
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