Alumni Stories

Mik Kersten
UBC Computer Science alumnus Mik Kersten has received an investment injection of $100 million from Sumeru Equity Partners for his ultra-successful spinoff company, Tasktop. He shares his journey... “I was ten when we escaped from Poland and moved to Ottawa. I graduated from high school there, then hopped on my motorcycle to drive out to British Columbia to start my anthropology degree at UBC,” Kersten said. He quickly became entranced with anthropology and evolution. “The theme of my cohort was ‘nature versus nurture.’ Through that, I came to realize how we are evolving and thinking, and that
Ghislaine Chan
As Vice President of Software Engineering at Broadridge Financial, UBC CS Alumna Ghislaine Chan’s days are very full. And that seems to be right up her alley. Ghislaine has long been passionate about contributing in meaningful ways, which is evident with a glance at her robust education and work history. Since she graduated from UBC Computer Science (CS) in 2000, Ghislaine has been steadily building her career at Broadridge Financial, a global Fintech leader. Her success story is not atypical for UBC Computer Science alumni. Most land well. “I’ve always loved science and math,” said Ghislaine
Minutes from her computer science lab, Leigh-Anne Mathieson takes a research break at UBC's treetop walkway
Part 6 of the “Made on Haida Gwaii” Series by April Diamond Dutheil. “Big complex problems don’t scare me anymore, they’re exciting,” tells computer scientist Leigh-Anne Mathieson.
Anoop Shankar
In her popular book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck describes her notion of two basic states of mind that inform how we learn and succeed. The first is the “fixed mindset,” where a person might believe himself to possess genetically immutable traits. Such a person might think, for example, that he is a strong athlete, or is bad in math, or good with people. The second is the “growth mindset,” where someone believes she can work to develop traits, strengthening areas of ability and making improvements in weaker areas.
Amy Kwok (2011 Grad)
When you ask Amy Kwok about the kinds of hobbies she enjoys, she pauses to gather her thoughts and then launches into a list of favourites: “I like to play the piano and guitar and to paint, I try to travel, I love playing badminton, I really like hiking, and I like to do the Grouse Grind with friends—slowly!” Such a mix of the active and more reflective, the artistic and the sporting, the solo adventure and the group activity are pretty illustrative of Amy’s diverse talents and they showcase her love of learning in numerous settings.
Like so many UBC Computer Science BCS graduates, Tristan Moss has a C.V. worth the envy of many far older than he: an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria, a Bachelor of Computer Science from UBC, software development positions with Kodak, Microsoft, and iQmetrix, and an extensive portfolio of volunteer community service throughout the world. Despite these accomplishments, he is modest and self-effacing, and as an example points out that he was a mediocre student who initially had difficulties studying at UVic. Hanging out with his girlfriend (and now wife) Jodi helped him see
Many of the profiles on this site showcase the ways in which BCS students use computer science skills to make radical shifts in their careers. For Roula O’Regan, the shift involved taking her then-current career, graphic design, and altering and transforming it so that the pleasure of the graphic product would still be there, but with a different and deeper sensibility surrounding it.
Jody LeBlanc, now a Database and ERP Systems Administrator with SAP, laughs as she recalls her initial thoughts about computer science. “When I was in high school, computers were still relatively new and I was one of those people who was a little bit afraid of them. Actually I didn’t really want to touch them!” She did love science, however, and she had a particular interest in math. Enjoying the outdoors as well, she participated for four summers during high school in the Ontario Ranger program.
To read Pat Short’s resume as an IT business analyst for the past 20 years is to walk through a short list of prominent Canadian and U.S. businesses and public service organizations: Business Objects, Ltd., Northwestel, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bell Canada, BMW Financial Services Canada, Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Gas, and Boston Pizza International, among others.
When you ask Frank Hangler about his interests, you see him pause for a moment, as if wondering where in the world—literally—he should begin. When he does, he launches into an array of subjects, each one ripe for discussion: world history, music, Canadian health policy, cooking, the relationship between social media and social movements, European travel, web design, dot-com startups, architecture, wine, backpacking,—is there not a topic on which he’s at least conversant, and quite likely very knowledgeable?