Meet Bonnie Ha (B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science, '15)
For Bonnie Ha (’15), hard work paid off: the engineering science alumna graduated from SFU this fall with zero student debt. A recipient of the Dean’s Excellence Entrance Scholarship, Ha juggled a part-time job with co-op work terms with Amazon and IBM, while maintaining a high GPA for which she received the Undergraduate Open Scholarship on numerous occasions. An Engineering Science Student Society mover and shaker, she was also awarded the Engineering Undergraduate Student Society Award. Touching back down in Vancouver after several months of travelling around Asia, Ha shared her favourite memories of her time at SFU, and her tips for success.
Was it your childhood dream to be an engineer?
Growing up, I wanted to be a paediatrician until I expressed an interest in math and physics and one of my coworkers introduced me to engineering. I went to a Women in Engineering (WEG) student society event that emphasized the endless opportunities available with an engineering science degree. That’s when I decided it was the path for me.
During your time at SFU, was there a particular course that really captured your imagination? If so, why?
There are two courses that comes to mind:
- ENSC 215: Microcontroller Interfacing and Assembly-Language Programming. I realized how far technology has developed today that we don't have to write instruction codes anymore and can use high-level languages, such as C++ and Java.
- ENSC 220: Electrical Circuits I. This was my first time working with hardware and I really enjoyed the hands-on lab sessions, which complemented the lectures. I was amazed by the crucial role of these little electronic components in any electronic device.
What advice would you give to new students?
I would advise first-year students to embrace student life on campus! During my time here at SFU, I have been part of the Engineering Science Student Society (ESSS). The student society was an avenue to get to know the faculty’s professors and staff, become more familiar with the university's resources, and meet more of my peers. It gave me opportunities to attend national conferences, where I learned from industry members and other engineering science schools.
What has been your most memorable experience at SFU?
The 2011 Talent Show and 2012 Polar Plunge. Both events are organized annually by the ESSS, but these really stand out because they were my first events. The Talent Show is an evening that allows engineering science students to flaunt their hidden talents. It was an entertaining night with students showcasing their musical talents, hilarious commentary from the professor-filled judges panel, and Professor John Jones juggling fire. The event was a great environment to interact with my peers outside the classroom.
The Polar Plunge is the annual fundraiser for Variety, the children's charity. The February event consists of pledgees being thrown into the freezing AQ pond. I co-planned the 2012 event and as an event planner, you cannot control the weather. In the weeks leading up to the event, the temperature was rising and there was hardly any snow on Burnaby Mountain! Luckily, the morning of the event, there was a thick layer of snow on campus and the AQ pond had frozen over. I was ecstatic because the weather conditions made the event live up to its name.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by nature. It exudes beauty and peace. I find calmness on the waters, relaxation on the beach, amazement at viewpoints, and adventure in the woods. When I'm outdoors, there are no distractions and it's my place for self-reflection. Its size always reminds me to think of the bigger picture.
What are your plans after graduation?
I anticipate trying different positions and technology sectors to find my fit. Inspired by my recent travels, I would love to incorporate travelling into my career. I also hope to continue to expand my knowledge and skills through self-directed projects.