Brief: NUST student chosen to participate in a polar project.

Kindly share with us more about the project you are chosen to take part. What is it all about; how/why you were selected? The polar project is about combining different disciplines to create something that can benefit society. The project members are all females, three from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and three from Durban University of Technology (DUT). The NUST ladies contribute the technical skillset while the DUT students contribute the design skillset. The project will join these skills and encourage the ladies to acquire new skills in the process. I was selected because I was recently offered an internship with FABLAB Namibia and I already met the criteria for the project (a female in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM)). The other two NUST students survived a selection process and were chosen after they successfully completed interviews for the project.

How will this project benefit you as an individual and NUST in general? This project will expose me to other disciplines, including design (fashion and interior), and I will learn more about the latest technologies in terms of what is required for our project. This means I will have new skills to apply to my future endeavors. Part of our aim for the project is to encourage females in STEAM as well as team work in general. Our participation in this project will expose NUST on every platform as we are representing NUST and FABLAB for the duration of this project. Our first prototype will be present at the Digifest of 2017 in Durban in November this year. This along with all the media coverage will help propel NUST to the forefront of innovation inside and outside Namibia.

What inspired you to study software development, and why at NUST? I decided to study Computer Science because I was exposed to it in high school. I took Computer Studies on higher level in high school and I got a taste of programming which excited me. I already used to take computers apart and put them back together before I went to high school. I’ve always been very curious and computer science is a field that has something new to offer every single day. My curiosity will never end and I believe that my field can sustain my level of curiosity and my desire to discover something new. I chose to specialize in Software Development because I truly enjoy the programming process. The fact that I can create something entirely out of my imagination and implement it simply excites me! Software Development allows me to think in new and different ways to create solutions for complex problems and I enjoy doing that. I chose NUST because I believed that it was the best place in Namibia for me to acquire my technical skillset in terms of resources, lecturers and opportunities.

What advice would you give to young woman who aspire to join the science industry? I would advise every young lady to join the field because it offers so much flexibility. These days everyone is required to have some kind of technical knowledge to do pretty much any job. There are new machines and programs that replace people when processes become automated every day. The best way to prepare for that kind of environment is to make yourself irreplaceable. This field is the best way to go about securing a career for yourself because it can be applied to any industry and it offers you the flexibility of choice. These skills are accompanied by so many opportunities. You don’t even have to live on the same continent as your clients if you choose to be an entrepreneur in the field.

What are your plans for the near future? Hopefully, if all goes well, I will be an entrepreneur in the industry coming up with solutions that will directly benefit my community. I plan to continue to encourage everyone, especially females, to acquire some technical skills alongside the skills they already have in order to become hybrids as that is the future and a requirement of every new working environment.

Success quote! Be persistent! It doesn’t matter what you don’t know or have. What matters is whether or not you’re willing to put in the work to get it.