Sophie is the President of UWA’s Data Science Club and is studying a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Mathematics and Statistics. She’s aiming to do an Honours degree in Mathematics and Statistics next year, and after her studies hopes to go into data analytics/statistics in healthcare.
We caught up with Sophie to get the lowdown on computing student clubs, and to find out how joining a club enhances your student experience and provides valuable industry exposure and networking opportunities.
What advice would you offer to other students thinking about joining a computing club?
I would 100% recommend it! Whether it's just going to events run by clubs or getting actively involved by joining the committee, clubs are super-beneficial in making connections with a wide range of people, including peers, UWA staff and contacts in the industry. There's a wide range of computing clubs at UWA that offer different things from developing technical skills to networking, so there's something for everyone.
What types of activities do you get involved with in the Data Science Club?
All kinds, but mostly social and networking activities! The mission of the club is to connect students with industry, so a lot of the events focus on this. We also held a 'Careers Bootcamp' last year which helped students develop their interview, assessment centre and resume writing skills, and we're hoping to hold a datathon later this year.
What does your role as President involve?
Lots of organisational tasks and lots of talking with people from industry. The majority of my time is taken up by organisational tasks – even if I'm not directly organising something, I still have to make sure that someone is doing it! The rest of my time is dedicated to talking to industry contacts – going through the different events the club runs and what would be most beneficial for them to get involved with.
What do you most enjoy about being in the club?
The people I meet! I've made some really strong friendships not just within the club but also with people in other computing clubs. There's a lot of collaboration and so I've had the chance to meet and work with people I might not have otherwise met. I'm also very fortunate that my role requires so much interaction with industry as I've had the chance to make some really cool connections with industry professionals. Other than the obvious benefit to job prospects, I've received mentoring from people in roles I hope to one day be in as well as get an insight to how data science looks in the 'real world'.
What have been some of your memorable highlights of being involved in the club?
We weren't able to run many events in 2020 due to COVID, but all of the events we did get to actually run were highlights for me. We had great feedback from students and industry representatives alike as well as great attendances.
Have there been any surprising or unexpected things you’ve experienced through the club?
There's been nothing that unexpected so far, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how keen companies are to come to club events and network with students.
What industry and networking opportunities are available via the club?
Heaps! The club's mission is to connect students with industry – our biggest event of the year (Data Science Industry Insights) is a networking night. We strive to have a wide range of companies at all events, such as consulting, resources, and insurance.
Get involved! – UWA has a range of student run computing clubs, such as:
- UWA Data Science Club
- Computer Science Student's Club
- Coders for Causes
- Ethical Hackers Group
- UWA Programming Competition Society (PCS)
You can find out more about these and all student clubs from the UWA Student Guild.