Internship Opportunities a Highlight of the SFU Experience
Dawn Chandler grew up having a curiosity about language and how other people could have systems of speaking and writing that were so different from her own. Now pursing a joint major in Computing Science and Linguistics, Chandler has worked hard to make that curiosity part of her impressive resume.
Despite initially declaring a major in Computing Science, taking Linguistics 220 – Introduction to Linguistics as an elective further grew Chandler’s initial curiosity about language. A curiosity that led to her pursual of a joint major in Computing Science and Linguistics.
“Instead of satiating my curiosity about Linguistics, LING 220 only made me want to take more LING courses,” says Chandler. “That course gave me the vocabulary and analytical tools to express and delve into ideas about language that I often thought about.”
Taking courses in both Computing Science and Linguistics has given Chandler a unique perspective. “I have been able to better understand the powerful applications that computational modelling can have in a natural domain: language,” says Chandler.
Having the opportunity to take Computational Linguistics courses from both Computing Science and Linguistics introduced her further to the intersection of the two fields. Taking these courses together and knowing the ways in which Computing Science and Linguistics have grown together historically, Chandler now finds herself asking: what’s next? To answer this question, Chandler hopes to one day pursue a career in Natural Language Processing, one of the main intersections of Computing Science and Linguistics.
Chandler says that one of the highlights of her time at SFU has been her experiences in different internships. One of her favourites was an internship with the San Francisco based, digital health start-up, Collective Health. Working for Collective Health, Chandler found the importance in working for a company that she believed. It was from this experience that Chandler recognized the value in not settling for less in a company. “Career is not a place you should settle,” says Chandler, “you pour so many hours into it, so you better love it.”
Having completed several internships throughout her time at SFU, Chandler knows that she has the skills and motivation to work in Computing Science and one day break into the Natural Language Processing field. “The right job is out there, and it can take time to find it,” says Chandler, “but the wait will pay off.”