Hao Zhang chose to study at ANU over any other institution due to its academic reputation and notable alumni. Before he officially finishes his Bachelor degree, he was offered a software engineer job at Instaclustr, a cloud computing company in Canberra. His supervisor at ANU has formulated and submitted his Honours thesis to a reputable conference so Hao Zhang will also be working on that in his spare time.
Did you live in a residential college? How was your experience?
My on-campus living experience at Burton and Garran (B&G) Hall was fantastic. The strong sense of community spirit at B&G has enriched my campus life experience. It has given me the opportunity to make like-minded friends from Australia and all over the world. I received support for my studies, life in general and had the chance to get involved in sports and social activities. I appreciated my living experience a lot and I would highly recommend new students to live in a residential college in the early years of their degree.
What is your favourite memory of ANU?
I commenced my studies at ANU with a different Bachelor degree program. After taking an Introductory to Python course in my first year, I soon realised my passion in coding and decided to transfer to the Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Honours) program. The Introductory to Python course required me to simulate an ecosystem and the exam was great fun. I truly enjoyed the course as it was really interesting and challenging.
Changing my degree is one of the most significant decisions that I have made in my life and I have absolutely no regrets. There is nothing more important than doing what you love and ANU has offered me the choice and flexibility.
What extracurricular activities did you participate in at ANU?
ANU has offered me a great platform to enhance my learning and life experience. Through ANU Global Program, I went on an exchange to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in USA. This is one of the best experience I have had so far. It has given me a chance to access some unique courses and meet with some wonderful people.
During my exchange, I also completed an internship at IBM where I was part of the Cloud Platform team in Cambridge enhancing firewall systems. People in the team are kind and patient and they treated me like family. We had a great time together on Independence Day and my manager Edgy even took me on a trip to his hometown, New York.
Apart from that, ANU Interhall Sports has left me a great memory as well. I was able to participate and compete for the sports I like and make friends of the same hobby.
What advice would you give to prospective international students preparing themselves for living in Canberra and studying at ANU?
- Be proactive – Try everything you are interested in through various clubs and societies.
- Be confident – Always believe in what you are doing and make your best to enjoy it.
- Be less worried – You will find your passion, and when you do, ANU offers you the full flexibility to realise your potential.