KZ: Hi Rashina! Can you share an interesting behind the scenes fact about what you study?
R: We often imagine software engineers to be tirelessly typing away on computers by themselves when in fact software engineering is truly a team sport! Software engineers spend a great proportion of their time trying to understand the needs of the users of their software, brainstorming ideas, designing prototypes, planning ahead in team meetings, reflecting on ways to improve their own process, and having fun at and outside of work.
KZ: What is an interesting behind the scenes fact about your job?
R: We often imagine researchers to be serious people who work by themselves with a serious face all day. But in fact, we work as teams and love to have fun together at and outside of work.
KZ: Did you take part in any activities or have any hobbies as a child that gave you skills you use at work?
R: Playing with LEGO, passionately debating science facts with my family, playing team-based games with friends, watching cartoons, reading books, and writing short stories and publishing them in the local newspapers really helped me hone my skills in abstraction, creativity, curiosity, reading, writing, and teamwork - all of these come in handy in my work as a researcher today! I use LEGO for teaching in my classrooms!
KZ: What are the best and worst parts of your job?
R: The best part of my job is to enable students to grow into the best versions of themselves and achieve high quality and impactful outcomes! The worst part of my job is scheduling all my weekly meetings, I wish I had someone to do it for me!
KZ: What would K-Zoners be surprised to learn about you?
R: I believe that STEM makes the world go round but Arts make it worth living! This is why you’ll find me enjoying sci-fi works like The Martian, Interstellar, and Inception but also books by Jane Austen and Jhumpa Lahiri, besides binge-watching the Harry Potter and The Hobbit series with my boys. In addition to STEM, I have always enjoyed English literature and the Arts and continue to read, write poems, and draw as a hobby.
KZ: What would you say to K-Zoners who want to work in a similar role?
R: My advice is this. Don’t fall for stereotypes. Stay open, curious, and true to yourself. Explore new things, you never know what you might discover as ‘your thing’ that sticks for a lifetime!