Divya Dola was first introduced to programming at her public school in Visakhapatnam, India, and instantly fell in love with it. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Information Technology degree in pursuit of extensive programming knowledge and ended up exploring an interest in entrepreneurship and management.
With these diverse interests, Divya started working for a start-up as a Computer Science – Subject Matter Expert immediately after graduation. She also had the opportunity of learning directly from a start-up that her parents founded, and was able to participate in many brainstorming sessions within their operations department.
“During my search for a computer science graduate school in Canada, I discovered that Dalhousie University offers a project-based master’s in computer science with substantial exposure to research,” Divya recalls. She adds that it seemed like the perfect solution for her – someone that wanted to gain a great understanding of the research, but also didn’t want to commit to a research program.
Divya comments that the reputation that Dal’s Faculty of Computer Science was a place with small student-to-faculty ratios – where students would have more time with staff, instructors, and professors – was appealing to her.
Finding her place at Dalhousie University
“Being an international student and moving for the first time outside of my hometown, I took my time to adjust to the environment,” recalls Divya. “To make sure other students do not miss out on any opportunities by taking too much time to adjust, I volunteer at the Dalhousie University Student Life Committee that creates and organizes platforms of fun events for students to quickly mingle with peers, and am a volunteer and host for Dalhousie’s Indian Student Society (INDISA).”
As far as academics go, Divya is currently completely focused on her research project. Divya is a current Master of Applied Computer Science student in the Faculty of Computer Science working with professor Dr. Derek Reilly in his research lab focused on Human-Computer Interaction. Her research project is allowing her to learn about research methods and statistic data analysis.
“[One of my proudest moments from my time in the Faculty of Computer Science] is when I visited The Boeing Company in South Carolina, USA as part of my Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research project,” says Divya. “The trip was not just cherishing and fun, but also gave me an exposure to aircraft manufacturing and an insight into how the aircraft prototypes are being viewed in the workplace. This inspired my study to see how user resume and continue tasks on 3D models in different-sized devices.”
Divya is also a recipient of a Boeing grant in support of her research.
What’s next for Divya?
Upon graduation, Divya hopes to join an organization where she can work on exciting new technologies, while gaining industry exposure. She also hasn’t let her passion for entrepreneurship go as she currently devotes some of her time to working on a start-up idea aimed towards remotely supporting university students with academics.