Samantha Chinomona. BSc (Hons) Computer Science, 30 June 2021.

Samantha Chinoona
Samantha, from Gaborone, Botswana / Chicago, is pictured in her new home in London.

What attracted you to St Andrews in the first place?

The degree program I applied for (International Relations) was really great, and although I ended up switching to Computer Science, when I visited the town was so beautiful, and everyone was so welcoming!

What are your favourite memories of being a student here?

My academic family! I really enjoyed being an academic child (my parents were amazing), and I enjoyed passing that on by giving my own academic children a (hopefully) great experience too.

When you reflect on your time in St Andrews, how do you think it has changed you?

Not very much to be honest, I suppose I’m a bit more confident in the decisions I make.

Where have you spent your time since the outbreak of Covid-19? What was the experience of virtual life, teaching and playing for you?

I spent the entirety of Covid in St Andrews. It was a bit isolated at times, but Computer Science did a great job of shifting from in-person teaching to virtual. As less than ideal as it was, it was fairly smooth.

How do you think events of 2020/1 (coronavirus, lockdown life, BLM) have shaped the graduating Class of 2021?

It’s been a tough year. Honestly, the entire graduating class of 2021 deserves a round of applause for everything that we’ve had to deal with this year, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I think we may all be a bit more introspective in general going forward.

What was it like finishing your studies towards the end of the pandemic?

Hectic. To be honest, if I could have gone anywhere, I would not have had time!

What are your hopes and plans for the future (both for yourself personally and the world at large)?

I’m starting my grad job in July, and I certainly hope that goes well!! Otherwise, I really don’t know, I just wish for the best.

Samantha Chinoona

What will you miss most about ‘the bubble’ of St Andrews?

The peace. St Andrews always seemed so peaceful to me.

What are your plans for your own virtual conferral day?

I plan to watch the conferral in my pyjamas, field a lot of congratulatory calls from my family, and then have a congratulatory dinner!

How do you feel now that we are beginning to see the light at the end of this pandemic?

Lockdown restrictions are lifting and hopefully, things will start to get back to normal!

And finally, do you hope to come back in 2022 to graduate in person?

Yes, I do!