Angelica Lim

Her degree took seven years–but who’s counting?

October 2, 2008

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By Barry Shell

Like many SFU students, it took seven years for Angelica Lim to graduate from SFU.

"In any other university, people would think there was a problem," says Lim, who receives a B.Sc. in computing science this month. She’s had to explain this unusually flexible feature of an SFU education to more than one job recruiter. Far from having problems, Angelica Lim has lived her student life to the fullest. During her first summer at SFU in 2002 she organized the Computing Science Student Society’s (CSSS) Tech Job Fair.

"Even though the dot-com bubble had just burst, it was a success. It made me want to keep volunteering," she says.

The next year Lim was the founding president of Women in Computing Science (WICS) at SFU. In 2004, she became president of CSSS—the second female leader in the history of the society.

From day one at SFU, Lim studied computing science with a minor in French and in 2005 she went to France for a year as an exchange student. She spent one term traveling around the Mediterranean. "I had enough money to travel because international students in France pay the same tuition as French residents, only 300 Euros per year, and my course-credit hours in France counted toward my B.Sc. at SFU," says Lim.

In 2006 and 2007, Lim won scholarships from the CSSS and from Google Canada. She is now in Santa Monica, California on a four-month Google internship. Then she is off to Japan on a full graduate scholarship to study robotics at Kyoto University. "I’ll be working on robots that can listen to and understand multiple speakers at once," says Lim.

"We all knew this girl would go places," says computing science communications and outreach coordinator, Salima Vastani.

All that extra work, travel and leadership added years to Lim’s undergraduate experience, but without it she may not have achieved so much. And there’s another benefit for those who extend their undergraduate years at SFU, especially if their reduced course load means they can work part-time. "I don’t have a student loan to pay off," says Lim.
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