Carmen Tang, who now works for Microsoft, stands in the Microsoft Commons beside the Windows 10 ninja cat icon riding a unicorn.

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Engagement, scholastics and school spirit earn Shrum medal

June 06, 2016
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By Diane Luckow

When Carmen Tang entered SFU in 2010 with a Gordon M. Shrum Major Entrance Scholarship, she didn’t foresee graduating with the Gordon M. Shrum Undergraduate Medal as well.

But her strong community spirit and engagement, coupled with an exceptionally high 4.21 cumulative grade point average in computer engineering (out of a possible 4.33) clinched her selection for this prestigious award. It is given annually to a graduating student whose high scholastic standing and extracurricular activities demonstrate outstanding qualities of character and unselfish devotion to the University.

While Tang had a strong study ethic, she also devoted considerable time to mentoring female students in engineering science and encouraging them to get involved in campus activities that would improve their studies and their résumés.

During her first two years at SFU she served on the executive committees of campus groups such as Women in Computing Science and Women in Engineering. For three consecutive years she served as a TechConnect peer mentor for first-year engineering science students while simultaneously volunteering as SFU’s first Microsoft Intern Ambassador. In all of these positions, she mentored younger students—providing interview and résumé assistance, course and career advice, and much more. She also helped organize an annual one-day outreach event for female high school students called Try/CATCH and led the organization of SFU’s first three 12-to-24-hour-long hackathons, or codefests for computer programmers.

“Volunteering was a good breather from my class work in computer engineering,” says Tang.

She also completed four internships (three are required in order to graduate). Three of them were at Microsoft, which led to her role as a Microsoft Ambassador at SFU.

“Microsoft hires about 1,500 interns from around the world every year,” she says, “so you can imagine how many applicants they get. It’s a pretty tough process and there are multiple interviews.”

She convocated last October with a B.A.Sc. (first class with distinction) and now works full-time at Microsoft as a software engineer.

“I found my future and my career while at SFU."