They say “third time’s the charm”, but it was second time lucky for Harriet Melton.
The Waitaki Girls’ High School year 13 pupil was selected for this year’s Education Perfect student internship in Dunedin.
In July, the 17-year-old spent a week at the company’s Dunedin headquarters, getting an inside look at how it functioned.
The tech company runs an education platform that allowed pupils to test themselves on school subjects. Harriet aspired to work in software engineering, with a particular interest in coding and development.
To secure her internship, she had to do some development of her own.
She applied for the internship last year and made it to the interview stage, but was unsuccessful.
“It made me more determined to apply again the next year.
“I was really focusing on my self-confidence so that I would be good in the interview stage.”
Harriet also had to submit a piece of creative writing and answer 30,000 questions on the company’s learning platform to qualify.
Throughout the year it held championships on the platform for each of its subjects – English, science, humanities, maths, and global languages.
Harriet competed in every subject to gain enough points to apply and it was well worth it.
By spending time at the headquarters, she realised working in tech development did not mean she would be stuck in a boring office job.
“It’s very fun and exciting.
“It was definitely the teamwork … that made me more excited to get into this career path that I had chosen.”
The Oamaru teenager was also able to get a glimpse at coding – an opportunity she did not have at school.
Girls’ schools tended to focus on the design aspect of interfaces, whereas bigger schools or boys’ schools taught coding, she said.
“I believe that women are needed in that industry, because women bring a different perspective and have a different mindset.”