Graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Honours in Computer Science gave Ms Yurisha Goorun a sense of relief, accomplishment and the feeling that she made it despite the odds.
‘The field of computer science offers endless opportunities. It enables you to create and develop new technologies. I have a passion for software technologies and computer science opens the door for me to do what I enjoy on a daily basis,’ said Goorun. She hopes her work will lead her to cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence.
Goorun admits that her biggest struggle at university was making the adjustment from high school. ‘High school does not prepare you for university. In high school you are given a defined way to solve problems, but at university you have to teach yourself to apply yourself to solve problems,’ she explains.
She has practical advice for her fellow students. ‘Ambition and passion is key, set a goal and stop at nothing to achieve it. There will be days when you just want to quit and you will make many sacrifices along the way, but remember why you’re at university and that you have goals to achieve. If you don’t have any passion for what you do, no amount of motivation will get you through this journey,’ she said.
Goorun dissects UKZN’s tagline, inspiring greatness. ‘Inspiring greatness means to show up and be there for the people in your life. Greatness is in the little things that you do to help others which makes you a better human being at the end of the day,’ she said.
Goorun acknowledges that being successful takes a village. ‘My success is attributed to every single person who has been there for me during this journey, constantly reminding me that I can get through this’.
One of her lecturers, Mr Anban Pillay, said they were very proud of Goorun’s outstanding results and expect her to achieve great things in the future. ‘Her effervescence and enthusiasm is infectious. It is our hope that she inspires more young women to excel in STEM,’ he said.
Words: Sashlin Girraj