Lina the Stereotype Slayer
Beth was lucky enough to go on a whirlwind recruiting trip to Edinburgh in November, where she met some fabulous Comp Sci students – you’ll see their profiles over the next few months.
For this shoot she hung out with Lina Andersson in Old College- the part that looks the most like Hogwarts. Unfortunately the CompSci kids don’t actually do any classes in here – much to Lina’s disappointment – but it was a great place to squeeze a shoot in between rain showers.
Tell us a little about you.
I’m a second year student at the University of Edinburgh, originally from Sweden and Finland but I grew up all over. I’ve lived in France since I was 12.
I study Computer Science, but I also take classes in Economics and Maths – I still haven’t decided quite what I want to do yet. Right now, I want to get more involved with art and theatre, something I did when I was younger but that ended up kind of fading away when I got to university.
Five things I love are Matt Corby, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sushi, the beach, and dogs.
Tell us about what you’re wearing.
In my more colorful outfit I have a old Petit Bateau raincoat (thrifted), a navy sweatshirt (thrifted), the same silk button-down shirt (thrifted), running tights (H&M), and shiny black Doc Martens. My backpack is from Jansport and I got the hoop earrings at Topshop.
How did your style evolve to what it is now?
I got really into thrift shopping when I was little – I’d say around age 11. I’ve picked up some pretty interesting pieces over that time; my favorite is an old belt with gold Egyptian landmarks on it that doesn’t close properly so I’ve never worn it.
I’m pretty into art, so I’ve always wanted to have a unique curated look. I’ve never managed that – all I really wear is a stained navy sweatshirt and jeans. I like the kind of clothes you can just throw on and go, very laidback and easygoing. My ideal look would be Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon.
Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?
Before I came to university, I hadn’t done any programming or really anything related to Computer Science. I based my decision on the fact that I really liked math and I really liked sci-fi, which in retrospect was not the best idea.
I found the first year rather intimidating, which was mainly because I didn’t put in a lot of effort. Now that I’m more confident, I’m really excited about it, although my programming skills are still not great. I would advise anyone to try some programming beforehand but not to be nervous – it looks complicated from the outside but it’s all very logical and everyone’s here to help out.
Also don’t base your degree choices on your favourite TV shows.
What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?
I wouldn’t really say there’s any one thing I’m proudest of, but I’m pretty excited about lots of things!
I’ve recently moved into the Edinburgh Student Housing Co-Operative, which is a set of apartment buildings run by the students that live there. It’s a very cool project and we’re the largest co-op in the UK. I also volunteer at Food Sharing Edinburgh which is about reducing food waste.
I worked last summer at a nature reserve teachings kids about wildlife conservation, and I’d really like to do something next summer that would combine my experience with tech and economics with conservation work.
I think STEM fields have a massive impact on the world and it’s really important to think about what the consequence of that impact is.
Are there any misconceptions about STEM fields that you’d like to clear up?
I’ve gotten a lot of weird reactions when I say I do Computer Science – sometimes even disbelief. One guy told me to switch course; he thought I’d do better in journalism or something like that. There’s a lot of stigma around studying Computer Science, and the stereotype that it’s very antisocial, geeky field is something that I was worried about when applying.
However, I’ve met so many super cool people, and I’m really happy I chose it. There’s so much support, and University of Edinburgh has two great societies that I’ve made so many friends through – CompSoc and especially Hoppers.
What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?
Picking her degree based off her favorite TV show seems to have served Lina alright so far – and Beth’s definitely used similar decision making methods in the past!
All in all, meeting Lina was a blast. She’s a great example of how diverse the University of Edinburgh is – everyone you meet is from somewhere interesting, but not from Edinburgh! Stay tuned for 4 more Edinburgh profiles.
Dona & Beth