Emily Dao

Emily Dao

Emily Dao

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Degree
  • Year commenced: 2016
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Major(s): Advanced computer science

What attracted you to IT?

Previously in high school I was very focused in the humanities area, and thus have been well accustomed to an analytical way of thinking. However, IT offers a different way of understanding a discipline, that is, through a logical based or methodological way of thinking. I wanted to stretch myself to learn the new skills that IT can provide and then adding them to my current tool bag of skills, in hope that this will equip me with the ability to critically analyse a situation from different angles.

Why did you choose Monash?

I see computer science as more than just a mathematics or programming degree - for me it is multidisciplinary, leveraging the power of computing to solve other problems, such as DNA sequences, mental health issues or business complications. I wanted to choose a course that will enable me to develop skills in the technological sphere to solve these problems one day; and computer science matches this description perfectly, in that it will allow me to build and hone these specialist skills.

What is your favourite thing about your major?

What I love about my specialisation is that in addition to teaching me how to program from the bottom up, it also equips me to think logically about abstract algorithms using a number of different approaches. The ability to apply unique techniques to solve problems is a powerful skill that can be transferred across any disciplines and can even be used in our daily lives.

Apart from study, what else are you involved in both at Monash and off campus?

I am a student representative for the Faculty of Information Technology and represent my course and year level at meetings with academic and senior management staff. My role as a student rep has enabled me to form positive relationships with both my peers and faculty staff. Outside of university, I work part time as a junior consultant in a management consulting firm and this experience has provided me the opportunity to work with various database and business software to apply what I study in real life projects across the education, local and state government sectors. These projects involve a high level of engagement with clients and such interaction has built upon my knowledge of project management and corporate governance. I also deliver VCE lectures at high schools and this has helped my communication skills tremendously.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?

The highlight of my course would be the RUOK event that I hosted in September this year for the faculty to highlight the importance of being vocal about mental health issues. It was fantastic to see staff and students emerging in the day activities and making conversations, reinforcing the closely-knit community that we have here in IT.

Have you received any scholarships?

I received Vice Chancellor's Access Scholars and Monash's Scholarship for Excellence and Equity. These scholarships have allowed me to concentrate on completing my studies instead of having to worry about working excessively to cover the living expenses such as food and rent as well as study materials. I was also able to become more involved with community projects such as volunteering for youth camps and running mental health awareness events, which appealed to my strong psychology interest.

What do you hope to do after graduating?

After graduating I hope to continue working as a management consultant then in the long run become an IT Project Manager. Ideally I want to work for a firm that delivers great social outcomes, or for a non-for-profit organisation that assists individuals who may find themselves in challenging and confronting circumstances. I would also love to manage a research or tech team on a project that aims to make a positive contribution to the community.

What advice do you have for prospective students starting at Monash next year?

You don't always have to plan everything or know exactly where you're going. New paths can open up somewhere along your planned journey and lead you to different directions. I was initially enrolled in Computer Science Advanced (Honours) but only after being at university for a semester that I discovered that I enjoyed applying the theory of computing to real life situations more than doing research and academia, and so I transferred to Computer Science. To quote Robert Glancy, "Terms and conditions of endings: More often than not, they're badly disguised beginnings."