Christine Soriano grew up in Melbourne’s inner west without a computer at home. She recalls her first experience of technology as a child – receiving a hand-me-down vintage gaming console, a TV and a radio.
Christine says that her passion for technology grew from her “Dad’s interest in making, creating, fixing and improving things”. And that’s exactly what her IT degree at VU helped her focus on.
“It gave me the foundational skills to go out there to make, create and solve problems for others”.
With parents who migrated from the Philippines in search of a better life, and like many who grow up in Melbourne’s west, Christine describes her schooling as “nothing fancy”. But she believed that she could make the best out of the opportunities that she was given.
And she did just that.
Exploiting industry experience
In the final year of her VU degree in computer science, Christine led her class industry project – giving her invaluable experience in the real world.
“We were tasked with designing and implementing a solution for a client's business need – in this case to build a restaurant reservation system. It exposed me to a real business request, project managing and understanding what it takes to design, implement and launch a solution with real consequences.”
After completing her degree, Christine spent her honours year researching human-computer interaction.
Designing an Australian-first
After graduation, Christine began working at Stanford Interactive as a usability consultant, then a UX designer at ANZ, where she designed the bank’s first iPhone app, goMoney.
“I was the lead UX designer. The brief was for the experience to be simple, efficient and delightful. After its launch, the app reached the #1 position within the App Store under the finance category, and set the bar for design for financial applications in Australia.”
Working the dream
Christine moved to the US in 2012 and landed her dream job working at Google in Seattle as an interaction designer, mentor and teacher of design and innovation, while she also teaches yoga in her spare time.
She credits the practical, problem-solving skills she gained at VU with helping position her as the top applicant at the world’s number 1 place to work.
“Google looks for a diverse set of characteristics in an employee. One of them is how you can go out there and tackle some of the world’s most difficult problems.
We solve so many different kinds of problems for people around the world. It's hard not to be excited as you have the chance to meet and learn from so many talented and intelligent people. It's an inspiring environment that challenges you to be the best that you can be.”
Writer: Chelsie Mew