, Whitby, Ont.
I immigrated to Canada from South Korea about seven years ago now. I come from a single-parent family and my dad’s been the only person supporting me. He had a hard time after we came here, and now he’s in Pakistan. So I am here in Canada all on my own.
The reason I came to Queen’s was to study quantum mechanics and I am currently enrolled in Engineering Physics specializing in computing. I am the first person in my family to go to a proper university. That’s very exciting for my dad and all my family back in Korea.
Queen’s has really helped take a lot of the burden off of me financially. I was part of the work-study program in first year but I got very sick so I couldn’t really work at that time. I applied for general bursaries that year, and I’ve applied in each year since, and they’ve really helped with my living expenses and tuition.
Because some of the pressure was off, I was able to get very involved in the Engineering Society. In second year I was the paid business manager of EngLinks, the Society’s on-campus tutoring company. Near the end of second year, I was asked to run for the executive and now I am the vice-president for operations.
Doing this job has exposed me to the world of finance, which is one I knew very little about before. Currently, as vice-president for operations, I have been working a lot on business processes. I created a centralized banking system for the Engineering Society. These are the kinds of challenges I am really interested in, especially if I can use my engineering background and my interest in computers. Ultimately I’d like to combine my interest in finance and business with my interest in quantum computing.
Current computers perform their calculations and operations using bits, which can be one or zero. Quantum computers use “qubits,” where each individual number is both a one and a zero. This paradoxical nature will let them handle far larger amounts of data far faster than is currently possible. There are on quantum computers yet, but I know that big companies are already looking into commercializing quantum computing technology, looking at it pretty carefully. And I think this is where I can come in. I want to help with that process and see what technology can help businesses to do better. Queen’s support allowed me to develop this interest.