ECE Alumni Perspective- From Electrical, to Software, to Microsoft!

Yasaman Gharib graduated from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UBC in November 2012, with a Bachelors Degree in the Electrical area. After working in her field for a year, she decided to switch to become a software developer. Currently she works as a software engineer at Microsoft and is working on a product called “YAMMER”. 

Yasaman tells us that studying in ECE prepared her to work hard and tackle anything that comes her way and she notes she will forever be grateful for the exceptional faculty, the amazing training, and most importantly the friendships she built during her time at UBC.

Yasaman also tells us, “I love technology and computers and have a great passion for the outdoors, especially hiking and biking. So, whenever I’m not at my computer you can find me in the BC mountains.”

Read on to hear more about our interview with Yasaman, her work at Microsoft, and what she is up to these days! 

So what does your career look like at the moment? What are you working on these days?

I’m currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft on a product called YAMMER.

How did you find your current job (through interviewing, networking, etc.)? What was the process of getting the job like?

Mostly networking. It was difficult at the beginning to find a job in my own field, so I started exploring my options in software. Since in our program in ECE we also learned programming, I had a good base to start the transition.

Thinking back on your time with ECE, what was your favorite thing about your program?

My favourite thing was the projects that I had to build for various assignments. These projects helped me demonstrate my knowledge and put it towards something that was practical and fun to build.

If you could go back in time and meet yourself at the start of your undergrad degree in ECE, what is some advice you would give your past self?

If I could go back, I would highly suggest going through the co-op program. I always regret not taking part in that.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for a student interested in entering the industry in your field?

Yes. Definitely go through your co-op program or do internships. Learning and going to school is great but co-op and internships prepare you for situations that are not covered in the classroom.

Studying and working in engineering can get intense – what’s your go-to stress relief method?

I always think work-life balance is a must. Whenever I feel stressed, I take a step back and gather my thoughts, and I try to decompress by doing something totally unrelated to work such as yoga, running or hiking.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Nothing is too hard. Be persistent, be patient and you can do anything you set your mind to.

What are you looking forward to in the future?

Grow in my career so that I can make a difference and be a helpful source to students who are also going through the same path as I did.

As you mentioned the importance of networking, how might someone who is interested in your work connect with you?

Best source would be my LinkedIn, I’m always available to connect and chat and learn about different people’s stories.