Educators NZ - Kiwi student lands Google internship, hopes to raise awareness of women in tech

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Kiwi student lands Google internship, hopes to raise awareness of women in tech

A computer science student from the University of Waikato had landed a fully-paid internship with Google, located at the tech giant’s Sydney office.

Jojo Stewart, who studies computer science and biology at the university, will spend 12 weeks being mentored by a Google engineer and will work with a team of fellow interns to enhance her coding capabilities and learn new programming languages. 

“It still hasn’t really sunk in - Google is actually paying me to go and work for them. I can’t wait to learn from the experts,” Stewart says.  

Stewart says she found out about the opportunity from a Google employee she met at a Waikato University event earlier this year. The internship programme is designed to promote diversity, an idea she supports.

“Computer science is very male dominated,” Stewart says. “It’s a shame, because I don’t think females get the same opportunities at school when it comes to computer science.”  

Having had an interest in computers from a young age, Stewart says she hopes to one day find a way to combine computer science and biology, possibly with a career in medical imaging. 

Stewart became interested in computer science in her final year at Waikato Diocesan when she completed a STAR computer science course at the University of Waikato. She then took the undergraduate computer science scholarship exam and was awarded one for her high results.  

Now in her second year of study, Stewart hopes to encourage other young women to pursue a career in computer sciences. 

She is working with her tutor Nilesh Kanji to increase female awareness of computer science in New Zealand. On Friday afternoons, the duo tutor a club called the IT Girls, made up of students from Waikato Dio. 

“It would be great to see more young women in the computer labs in the future,” Stewart adds.  

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