When Katie Lowen, a grasp’s diploma candidate at Northeastern College Vancouver, utilized for the pc science program she didn’t have a transparent understanding of what this profession alternative would entail.
“I went into that program by no means seeing a line of code, fully blind,” she says. “I don’t know what made me apply for it.”
Nonetheless, Lowen, 29, isn’t a stranger to unconventional profession modifications and bold undertakings. In highschool, she traded off a future in skilled gymnastics for an opportunity to play basketball and was capable of get ok in three years to safe a basketball scholarship to Simon Fraser College in British Columbia, Canada. As she was ending up her undergraduate diploma in finance, Lowen determined to strive herself in fashionable dance and acquired into knowledgeable dancing program after coaching with tutors for a 12 months.
Lowen says that being from a small metropolis in southern Alberta, she might need been naive in regards to the scope of what she was taking over, however that it helped her obtain her goals.
“What I realized from gymnastics, but in addition doing sports activities basically,” she says, “ [is] that I’m anyone who can put my head down and practice and be taught. I understand how to coach my mind to make that shift.”
Though it’s terrifying and extremely disturbing, Lowen says she is aware of that she is going to finally grasp no matter she needs to be taught.
“I’ve been actually fortunate by way of assembly people who find themselves enthusiastic about anyone new coming into the scene,” she says.
Whereas in dance college, Lowen was capable of get an apprenticeship with Radical System Artwork dance firm that fuses dance, theater and martial arts in its reveals. She first stepped into substituting for an additional dancer in an current present and later grew to become a full-time member of the troupe, performing and touring all through Canada, the U.S. and Europe in addition to Israel.
One other profitable however uncommon artistic endeavor Lowen was part of was an underground dance house in an previous semi-trailer in Vancouver known as Boombox. Lowen and her two greatest buddies discovered the previous semi-trailer, which required an “insane” quantity of labor, on Craigslist obtainable for hire. They transformed it into an area for dance practices and performances.
“All of us had been younger and loopy sufficient to say ‘Sure, that is potential,’” Lowen says.
The 53-foot-long trailer had low seating capability (as much as 35 individuals), lacked electrical energy (they used an influence generator), and featured primary sound and lights methods. Regardless of the positioning’s limitations, Boombox went on to host greater than 50 rising and established artists from completely different disciplines presenting within the house and a youth residency.
“It felt so immersive simply due to the character of the house,” Lowen says. “It was very a lot an area for artists to return in and begin one thing new proper from the start as a result of it must be in-built that house to facilitate the viewership as a result of it’s so particular.”
Lowen determined to return to high school in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down theaters and efficiency work. She wished to achieve some technical expertise by profiting from interdisciplinary grants obtainable in Canada, and convey know-how to Boombox and the dancing scene.
She discovered Northeastern College Vancouver by way of a Google search and utilized on a whim not pondering she would get in. In September 2020, she began her journey in laptop science.
When dwell performances resumed, Lowen tried to mix research with rehearsals for the dance firm, however quickly realized that it wouldn’t work for her.
“It’s ensemble work. And it’s very bodily with lots of flipping and lots of very shut proximity, and actually quick,” she says. “So for that you would be able to’t be lacking rehearsals for everyone to be secure on stage.”
It was laborious to do five-hour rehearsals and retain lots of choreography, as her mind was already overloaded with new data she was studying in school, Lowen says.
“There’s something superb about being dependent in your physique’s well being and talent as your supply of revenue,” Lowen says. “However then there may be additionally one thing that’s actually scary about it, particularly as you become older, since you begin to really feel the load of that get heavier and likewise you get injured much more.”
Though she believed she may nonetheless dance for an additional 5 years, she was additionally already so invested within the grasp’s program that she selected to cease dancing. In July 2021, Lowen carried out for the final time.
Lowen is among the many first cohort of scholars pursuing an Align grasp of science in laptop science diploma at Northeastern’s Vancouver campus. Since she began, the varsity has moved to a brand new “wonderful” campus in a novel, newly constructed Deloitte Summit tower downtown.
“It’s actually thrilling to see the varsity itself and the neighborhood develop,” Lowen says, noting that her cohort could be very shut.
She says the pc science program has been lots of laborious work.
“I actually invested my complete being into ensuring that I put as a lot into it as I wished to get out of it,” Lowen says.
The primary couple of individuals from her cohort graduated in spring 2022. Lowen is hoping to observe of their footsteps and graduate in Could 2023.
By advantage of Northeastern’s experiential mannequin of studying, Lowen was capable of do a four-month internship at Unity Software program Inc. This internship led her to safe a full-time job as an information developer at Unity’s subsidiary, Ziva Dynamics—a Vancouver-based software program firm that makes a speciality of human simulation and real-time digital character creation for motion pictures, TV, retail experiences and interactive environments.
“It’s really actually cool as a result of it’s this intersection level of arts and tech in a completely completely different method than I assumed it was going to be,” Lowen says. “It’s a nice entry level.”
She says she is finished with “midlife disaster profession modifications.”
“I feel my largest takeaway is that each expertise that I’ve had main up up to now, though they appear so completely different, has all type of come collectively,” Lowen says. “There isn’t actually any wasted expertise in that method.”
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