Saints Girl On a High in Vermont

St Peter's Girls' School

Old Scholar Sasha K (Kilburn ’15) recently shared with us some exciting news all the way from Vermont, USA. Sasha is spending the third year of her degree studying at the University of Vermont, and has kindly told us about her journey from Saints Girls, to Vermont, and then to an internship in New York City!

“I was a Kilburn Saints Girl from Years 6 to 12 and thoroughly enjoyed my time there with my friends, teachers, and the wider Saints community. I was part of the Enchanté and Chamber choirs, competed in SAPSASA and IGSSA athletics, and participated in softball and soccer in my middle years.

I was never the strongest student at Maths, and had to work really hard to understand concepts and complex problems. However, I loved the feeling of getting the correct answer to questions, and also enjoyed seeing where exactly I went wrong on a test so I could get it right the next time. During my final year of school, I chose to study both Specialist Mathematics and Mathematical Studies. This decision was made after hearing about the amazing opportunities I could be exposed to in my career as the demand for female mathematicians is so high in this day and age. I was definitely a bit overwhelmed and nervous at first to study the hardest subject SACE offers since I was the only student in my cohort to undertake Specialist Mathematics, but I always knew I could do well if I studied extra hard and put time into the subject.

I am currently in my penultimate year studying a double Bachelors Degree in Mathematical and Computer Science with Finance, with a major in Statistics at the University of Adelaide. This degree has pushed me beyond my limits, which has included many breakdowns during exam periods, and doubts and second guesses about whether I could actually pass these rigorous courses. However, coming this far has just been so rewarding and so worth it as, earlier this year, I was accepted to study abroad at the University of Vermont in the United States, where the competition to attain a position at this Public Ivy League school is tremendous. I am continuing the third year of my degree here for the whole of 2018 and am loving every second of the American college life. The University of Vermont is located in Burlington, Vermont and is the fifth oldest university in New England. It is a 90 minute drive across the border to Canada, and about a six hour drive to New York City. There are so many ski resorts on the outskirts of the campus, and I have been skiing down both the Canadian and Vermont slopes nearly every weekend this semester with my friends.

A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a position to intern at a major software company ‘Softheon’ during my summer break (June – August) in New York. Softheon is an industry leader in developing, implementing and operating cutting-edge solutions for many health insurance companies across the US. I will be working as a Product Management intern in the equity team, which will allow me to gain experience in both of the degrees I am currently studying. Hopefully by interning with Softheon, I can make a more definitive decision about what path I want to take after my degree: a more finance-based career like investment banking, stockbroking or hedge funding, or a more mathematical-based career like data/statistical analysis or software design and coding. More than 1100 people applied for this position including students from Harvard and Yale, and somehow I managed to be one of 10 people accepted after a rigorous interview process. I am so excited to be given this incredible opportunity as not only will I be working for a leading US company, I will also be living in a New York apartment that Softheon has organised for me, which has always been this golden dream of mine!

The opportunity to intern for Softheon would not have presented itself if I had not been mentored by my Year 12 teachers: Ms Lines and Mr Leydon. STEM-based subjects and degrees are so important, and I believe that everyone can be great at maths if they are persistent and patient with the subject. I definitely encourage all Saints Girls to have an open mind with a can-do attitude; confidence is key, and if you believe you can do it, you are already half way there!”

Sasha K (Kilburn ’15)

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