MEET IMAGIMENTOR AMINA

Amina is one more talented woman who decided to choose a career path in tech! Amina is also an imagiMentor and her experience is amazing and truly inspiring! ✨

Can you share a little bit about yourself?

Heya! My name is Amina, and I am an aspiring data and digital marketing enthusiast from Kazakhstan. 🇰🇿 I am studying Computer Science (CS) and Interactive Media (IM) at New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Most of my life I have lived in Central Asia, but have also spent a high school exchange year in the U.S. and am currently based in the U.A.E. 🏡

A fun fact about you?

Inspired by the #studyblr movement — yes, blogs about studying on tumblr! — in 2015, I have started a similar blog about lifestyle and education and have been writing posts ever since. 💻 Although now I post less frequently than I used to, writing blog posts is still something I enjoy doing every once in a while.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day starts at 8 AM, when I wake up and have my breakfast. ⛅️ Now that everything has moved online, I work my shift remotely as a Marketing Assistant in the NYUAD Library until noon, then have lunch and attend classes until 6 PM. 📚 Right after, I try to have a walk around campus or exercise before I have dinner. 🏃‍♀️ Between 7 PM and midnight, I allocate my time for personal projects and homework assignments. 📝

 

What got you initially interested in tech?

Believe it or not, programming was my least favorite subject in high school -- I could not get the concepts and struggled so much despite having months of learning new material. My disinterest in programming continued until the summer before my first year in college, when I started to watch a lot of documentary movies about technology on Netflix. 🍿🎬 This got me highly interested in data and digital security, and I decided to try programming again. In my first semester at NYUAD, I took a class in which we learned the basics of C++ and immediately fell in love with computer science! 😍 I am still continuing to explore different sides of tech and am serving as a Diversity Officer in a student-led interest group called “Cyber#” — a club about cyber-security, cyber-ethics, and cyber-law. A semester after I officially declared my
two majors — computer science and interactive media. 🌟

What do you enjoy most about your job? What motivates you to come to work?

I believe the key to staying motivated in studying CS and IM — well, because I am still a student — is being passionate about the subject. For me, writing different codes does not end in the classroom; I try to make most of it by applying the skills I have learned while taking on different projects. I found that participating in different challenges and hackathons are great ways to exercise my passion and aid in providing high-tech solutions to the real world’s problems. This is what I like the most about being a CS and IM student — contributing to making our world a better place through technology.

Did anything surprise you about your job in the first 30 days?

Coming to college, I was really self-conscious about my programming skills. I simply could not believe that I will ever be interested in the subject. However, during the first 30 days, my views have changed drastically. I felt the enthusiasm and thrill every time I took on a new assignment and was eager to find a solution.🙌 Then it finally hit me that coding really is for everyone, regardless of the background — all it takes is genuine interest and time for practice! 

What's the one area you’d like to grow in that you currently find challenging?

Game development is something I am interested in learning more and would really like to learn how the software engineering and design process behind it looks like. Seeing how remote education has impacted every student all over the world, I believe that game applications could be an interactive solution for e-learning, creating a gamified environment to engage more students. 

What advice would you give to teenage girls thinking about pursuing a career in tech? 

Even inside of tech, do not be afraid to try new things — one of them will most
definitely lead to your true passion. ❤️ If you are about to enter college and feel completely lost about choosing your major — just like I did in the beginning — please do not be too hard on yourself for not knowing what your future might look like. It may not be easy, but embrace the uncertainty and be your own cheerleader on the journey. ✨

Can you share your tips on how to successfully reach your goals?

Oh, believe me, I am still looking for that “perfect tip” myself! Over the time in college, I began to understand that every goal needs a strategic approach and careful planning. Splitting the goal into small bursts of tasks and doing several-week sprints completing those tasks works best for me while achieving something bigger. 🎯 For example, in the beginning of June, I set a goal to become a better front-end developer and User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) specialist. How could I incorporate short sprints here? Can be as simple as finishing a youtube crash course and setting a small, self-initiated project to complete each week for, say, 4-5 weeks. The goal after this sprint is to really familiarize with new material and feel confident enough to take on bigger projects that will help me reach my initial goal. 🎉

P.S. If your goal is related to learning a new programming language, a project-based approach is the key for better understanding! 💡

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