Postgraduate Diploma (Computer Science)
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Samskar Palavarapu knew early on in life that he wanted to be a computer scientist. As a child, he was always drawn to gizmos, and developed a keen interest in computers during primary school. “For an introvert like me, being top of my class thanks to my computer skills was a huge push to come out of my shell,” he says.
After completing high school in India, Samskar went on to study for a Bachelor of Technology at Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology, which landed him a job at IT giant Infosys. “This was a massive self-confidence boost, but my inquisitive nature and fascination with computers encouraged me to aim higher and chase even bigger goals overseas,” he says.
Samskar came to New Zealand in February 2017 to pursue a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science at the University of Waikato. “I chose Waikato because of its prestige, but also because I knew I would get the chance to explore untapped areas of existing technologies and enable them for use in future projects with the support of my faculty,” he says. “I’m so glad I chose to study here – Hamilton is truly a beautiful city, surrounded by visually stunning natural landscapes.”
The practical teaching style suited Samskar, and he found the class timings very flexible, making student life much less stressful. “The courses at the University are very advanced and match the current technology trends in the market,” he says. Samskar developed a website for the healthcare industry and also worked on an information management system prototype as part of his studies. “Every assignment was exciting and challenging, and having access to useful student resources like Moodle and Panopto recordings helped me track my progress and revise lectures.”
In August 2017 Samskar was given a New Zealand Excellence Award from Education New Zealand, receiving $5,000 to put towards his tuition fees. Earlier that year he was also awarded a $10,000 University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarship. “I was very proud to list these achievements on my CV – the scholarships made my university experience less stressful by removing financial barriers, and helped me stand out from other applicants during my job search.”
Samskar recently got a full-time job as a Junior Developer at software company DataTorque in Wellington. His role involves developing software systems using the latest Microsoft technologies. “The papers I studied at Waikato, the projects I worked on, the career development workshops I attended, and the student activities I got involved in helped me get this job,” he says. Samskar is an advocate of making the most of the resources available at Waikato University, including Student Learning, Career Development Services, networking events, student clubs and participating in events like the Cyber Security Challenge.
“Being proactive, diligent and motivated is key,” says Samskar. “No doubt, studying at the University of Waikato is an experience I have thoroughly enjoyed.”