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

GRASPING COMPUTER SCIENCE FOR SOCIAL GOOD

As a high school student, Emily Dao had mostly focused on the humanities. But once she discovered information technology, there was no turning back. Now pursuing her Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash, she has learned to program and to think logically about abstract algorithms but, most importantly, she has learned to critically analyse a situation from different angles.

"I see Computer Science as multidisciplinary – not just a mathematics or programming degree," says Emily. "The power of computing can be leveraged to solve everything from DNA sequences to mental health issues to business challenges. I wanted to do a course where I'd gain the technological skills to help solve significant problems."

Beyond her studies

Emily has made the most of her uni years. She has served as a student representative for the Faculty of Information Technology. "I've represented my course, and year level, at meetings with academic and senior management staff," she explains. "This has enabled me to form positive relationships with both my peers and faculty members." Emily has also run mental health awareness events on campus, volunteered at youth camps, and delivered VCE lectures at high schools.

Additionally, Emily has worked part-time as a junior consultant at a management consulting firm. "This has given me the opportunity to work with various types of database and business software, and apply what I've studied at Monash to real-life projects across the local and state government and education sectors," she relays. "These projects have involved a high level of engagement with clients, which has expanded my knowledge of project management and corporate governance."

Her career aspirations

Emily's early passion for the humanities now colours her career plans. "After graduating, I hope to continue working as a management consultant and, in the long run, become an IT project manager," she reveals. "Ideally, I want to work for a firm that delivers great social outcomes, or for a not-for-profit organisation that assists individuals in challenging circumstances. I'd also love to manage a research or tech team on a project that aims to make a positive contribution to the community."

Advice to future students

What advice does Emily offer someone just starting out? "You don't always have to plan everything or know exactly where you're going," she says. "New paths can open up somewhere along your planned journey and lead you in different directions." In other words, try to think of uni as one big adventure.