Syed Gilani is studying the Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science (Honours) with a double major in International Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
He has always been interested in programming and software engineering, so when presented with a choice of university, Syed chose UWA’s brand new computer science course. It allowed him to combine two of his greatest passions: programming and research, and UWA seemed to be the perfect fit. His transition from high school to university life was made possible by the guidance he received through the University’s Fairway program. For Syed, it made him feel like he belonged.
Here is what he has to say about his experience studying at UWA:
Making the most from the new course
I love that I am able to study in a field that I am passionate about and am thoroughly enjoying the Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science (Honours). I like the challenge that comes with learning new programming languages. The problem-solving component of programming keeps me interested and engaged, allowing me to broaden my understanding of the subjects in a fun and casual environment.
Cybersecurity is an area with lots of potential for personal and career growth, especially as our society becomes more dependent on technology and AI. While I don’t know exactly what the job market will look like in a few years when I am ready to enter the workforce, I can definitely say that I would love to work in the private sector, ideally in a job that is hands-on and allows me to help the broader community.
Coming to UWA
I first learnt about the Fairway program through my high school student councillors and the Future Students office at UWA. The pathway program helped me transition to university through the educational support it provided during my high school years – allowing me to excel in my studies and providing a support network that made it a little easier for me once I arrived at UWA.
I graduated from Shenton College in 2020. Unfortunately, being the COVID cohort, we didn’t get many opportunities to have face-to face experiences through the Fairway UWA program. Most of our lectures were online, and so was the winter camp, which limited the events we could be involved with. I was also overseas during the summer camp, so even though I attended the make-up session, I didn’t really get to meet my whole cohort till the Fairway graduation. One fond memory I have of Fairway is playing the icebreakers game during the catch-up summer camp because I got to meet new people and was introduced to the Fairway UWA team.
The network of support
Fairway UWA has a wonderful support system for its students, whereby staff members constantly check in with us and ensure everything is running smoothly. We often have staff members reach out and alert us about different upcoming scholarship opportunities. Last semester we had a catch-up breakfast where we were able to meet the Fairway team again. I always feel like there is someone willing to help and answer my questions whenever I get stuck. Fairway has enabled me to pursue my current study mainly through supporting my university entrance pathway, which in turn allowed me to score high enough to get into the Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science course.
At the moment I’m focused on finishing my degree and getting through the honours year – which I’ve been told is quite a challenging time. After that I hope to start working in the private sector, and see where life takes me.