Bethany Cooper first became interested in a career in technology at just 12 years old, learning basic programming and making her own small-scale circuits. Now the Bachelor of Computer Science (Cyber Security and Digital Systems Security) student has been named as one of seven UOW students awarded the Westpac Young Technologists scholarship that recognises technology-literate future leaders.
Already thinking about how she would use her skills to change the world we live in, the Westpac gift gave Bethany a platform and extra confidence to start executing her future plans.
“When I finished Year 12 I wanted to do something that would benefit society and I knew that tech is a growing industry,” she said. “There are so many opportunities in the field for someone who specialises in cyber security, and so many opportunities to do good.”
Another benefit of this scholarship is that scholars have the opportunity to apply for Westpac’s summer and winter technology internship programs and will gain lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by approximately 100 scholars each year, this network is designed to create opportunities for like-minded individuals to connect and collaborate to solve some of Australia’s biggest problems.
These possibilities for collaboration and growth through the Westpac scholarship program excited Bethany. “The network opportunities in terms of internships and work experience are great, plus it gives me the chance to apply the skills from my university course to the real world,” she said.
The University of Wollongong’s seven Westpac scholars were listed among the 35 recipients from universities across Australia. “The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is a great opportunity for me to network with other students interested in IT, and meet leaders within the technology industry who I can learn from,” Bethany said.
Valued at up to $25,000 per student, the scholarship provides financial support as well as real world work experience, networking and development opportunities.
Westpac Group Technology acknowledged that UOW was one of the largest suppliers of ICT graduates in the country with “a stellar record in producing some of the industry’s best graduates”.
The University was also named as one of the founding partners in Westpac’s $100 million Bicentennial Foundation scholarship program.