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Dunedin SHIFT Cohort 2017

Thursday December 7, 2017

Alister Butterfield - BSci (Information Science/Marketing Management)

Alister Butterfield arrived at SHIFT with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Information Science with a minor in Marketing Management. With a secret ambition of becoming a digital Batman, SIGNAL’s SHIFT programme fitted in perfectly with Alister’s desire for industry experience and increased tech knowhow, bringing him closer to his super hero ambition.

Alister completed his 200 hour industry project with AbacusBio, a leading agriscience consultancy business with roots right here in Dunedin.

“I started my degree wanting to become a super hacker and serve justice as a cyber nerd vigilante, stopping criminals by digital means. This industry is forever growing and is an important aspect for any business to succeed. During my time at Otago [University] I have covered a wide range of topics, gaining the fundamentals necessary for the IT Industry. Now, with SHIFT, I’m gaining valuable work experience in the tech that will allow me to kick start my career and take it to another level, and maybe one day fulfill my dream of becoming a digital Batman!”

Isaac Burwell - MSci (Geology)

Isaac Burwell graduated with a Master of Science in Geology with Distinction (first class) from Canterbury University in 2003 and has been working in the mining industry ever since. In 2016, while reassessing his career goals, he found SHIFT. And now he’s using SHIFT to add specific tech skills to his strong 10-year plus geology experience, and is committed to using that whole package of knowledge to move into an entirely new industry.

Isaac completed his industry project with global infrastructure company Stantec NZ (previously MWH NZ Ltd), and is assessing visual drone data of coastal erosion for use by roading engineers.

“The SHIFT program has succeeded in delivering to my expectations - I have enjoyed learning the underlying skills required in the tech industry, such as programming, web development, databases and user-experience. The project work is very engaging because it provides real-life application of the skills we have learnt, in an industry setting.”

Jonathan Manning - BA (Philosophy)

Jonathan (Jono) enrolled in SHIFT, holding a Bachelor of Philosophy, with knowledge in a mixture of logic, science and ethics. But his heart felt interest hovers between communication, scientific and social spectrums and he sees the world of tech being no different. Jono saw SHIFT as a way to push him outside his comfort zone and gain industry-relevant tools, practices and inspiration.

Jono's industry project is with leading tech firm The Tarn Group, who has products in the Biometrics analysis, sports and education sector, and is adding in some more features to the Bracken Education platform.

“SHIFT is sharpening up my collection of patchy self-taught tech skills and I’m also learning a whole lot of new skills to do with team-work, and project comms. Next move for me is to pursue my dream of working on video game technologies - a promising user-focused experience.”

Aman Jamwal - Bachelor of Design (Communication)

Aman Jamwal came to SHIFT with a solid chunk of design experience having worked for Critic Magazine as its Online Content Editor for three years and having his Bachelor of Design (Communication). But Aman wanted to understand what was happening behind his design; the coding that provided the engine for the websites he was designing.

Aman completed his industry project with the Dunedin head office of Motor Trade Finance, porting and architecting an information system with web technologies.

“As a design graduate, I love design but I'm interested in understanding the backend mechanisms of a website. SHIFT is enabling me to do this… it’s a very open programme – we can focus on directions that we individually want to pursue. I think it will give me more choice when I go to the job market.”

Given Aman’s old and new skill set, he’ll be a great addition to any tech team with 360-degree view of content.

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