Open Source Academy student to Catalyst employee: Priya Patel

by Brooke Penny

I caught up with Priya, one of our eLearning Consultant, about her experience going from an Open Source Academy student to a Catalyst employee. 

What year were you a Catalyst Open Source Academy student?

2011

What school did you attend when you took part in the Catalyst Open Source Academy?

I had just finished at Wellington East Girls' College.

What did you enjoy most about the week long Academy? At the end of the week, did you leave feeling enthused and inspired?

  • I enjoyed the tasks that we were given. They were 'real life’ tasks that made us feel very important.
  • The academy was fun. We did serious work but we also played games and mingled with new people that shared similar interests.
  • I felt like an adult going to 'work'
  • I remembering being very excited about 'Beer O’Clock' and thinking 'do all organisations do this on a Friday?!'

After the Academy, did you study before joining Catalyst? If so, what qualification? Or did you join as an intern part time while completing study as well?

I studied at Victoria University of Wellington before joining Catalyst. My qualification: Bachelor of Commerce, with majors in Information Systems and E-commerce

What have you enjoyed most so far about working for Catalyst?

Everyone is very friendly and social, a nice/chill working environment and the work is always different! I like that we all get together for Pizza Thursday and talk about cool things going on!

Do you feel like being an ex Catalyst Open Source Academy student was an advantage when it came to securing employment?

Yes most definitely! It's such a good thing to have on your CV. In almost every interview I had, I was asked about what I did in the COSA.

How would you describe the culture at Catalyst and how does the IT work environment differ from what you imagined it to be?

People at Catalyst are very friendly and social. I remember when we attended Beer O’Clock with the academy I thought ‘this is awesome!' Such a 'chill vibe', no one is too serious, so I had a good feeling I would love working full time here.

Working at Catalyst is nothing like a 'normal' office job.

Has IT always been an area in which you wanted your career to go?

It wasn't when I started college but towards my last few years I became more interested. I was appointed the technology prefect in 7th form and this helped me determine what I wanted to study at University.

If you had to give one closing statement to students considering doing the Catalyst Open Source Academy, what would it be?

I highly recommend doing the Catalyst Open Source Academy! The exposure to 'real life' tasks when you are that age is an incredible experience. If you are unsure what path you want to take at University but have an interest in IT, I would definitely consider signing up to the Catalyst Open Source Academy.