Computer Science student Nyah Way graduated in June 2022 with a stellar record and an exciting job opportunity right out of the program. Before she heads off to her new role at Google, we wanted to ask her a few questions about her time as a student and future career hopes. With many students looking to follow in her footsteps, let’s hear what Nyah has to say about her next steps.
While in the CMS program, what major did you take?
I was a Computer Science Entrepreneurship Specialist.
Where are you headed after graduation?
I'm headed to the Bay area to work in a full-time site reliability engineering role at Google. Site reliability is a developer-based approach to the task of keeping things running smoothly and well. It combines the traditional operations role of finding and fixing problems with automation and working to help the system help itself.
Tell us a little about your time in the program and what you learned while you were a student.
In the Computer Science program, you are among some amazing professors and peers. I had opportunities to further my coding skills, create my own applications in group-based settings, as well as expand on the theory and impact of Computer Science in the real world. As an undergraduate, you don't always have that moment where you feel like you're at the frontier of a field, but my program allowed me to see the changes in the field as they happened and built up my excitement for the future.
How did your courses prepare you for your exciting new position at Google?
Being able to first see skills and techniques in class and then practice and apply them has not only helped me learn the material and different ways of approaching problems, but also assisted my ability to become a better learner. There are so many tools and technologies that are created so quickly in the tech industry that many employers look for the ability to learn and problem solve over already having a couple of the skills required to do a job. For me, university has been a way of sculpting my learning so that I feel confident to take on any new challenge or job. This directly applies to my new position, where I will be using technologies that are not widely published to make an impact in what I do.
What advice do you have for students interested in following in your footsteps?
My biggest advice is to stay curious. Keep learning, keep improving, keep questioning, keep discussing, but take breaks when you need to. Everyone moves at a different pace, so you may get there sooner or later, but if you have what you want in mind and you can take little steps towards it every so often, eventually you'll get there.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with students still in the program?
I feel like I got really lucky. The professors I met at UTSC are amazing, I have an incredible and supportive friend group that got me through some rough times (yes, this happens to me too), and I had fantastic opportunities available to me throughout Co-op. To everyone currently in CMS, I want to say: make sure to take time for yourself. Find yourself friends who have similar goals and who will support you. Talk to professors and spend time getting to know them. Enrich your experience by allowing yourself to get lucky in small ways; you never know what it might open for you.
Congratulations, Nyah, on this wonderful opportunity. We look forward to hearing how things progress for you at Google. No doubt Nyah’s advice to take time for yourself and stay curious will resonate with many still in the program. Ask questions and get to know your peers and professors. Learning opportunities can come from anywhere.
Know an amazing current student or recent grad? Nominate them for a Student Spotlight by sending their names and a brief description of their achievements to email@example.com. Check back each month to see our latest CMS blogs!