Top grad: 'I'm no genius'

2011-04-12 00:00

IF YOU are still under the illusion that engineering is a man’s world, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) student Anna Zawilska has proved that this could not be further from the truth.

Zawilska (21) not only graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in electronic engineering last night; she has also been described by her professors as the brightest student that the faculty of electrical, electronic and computer engineering has ever had.

Zawilska achieved 100% in eight of her courses, getting an overall average of 94%. She is pursuing a masters degree in the field of steganography. Her research will involve hiding data in images.

Zawilska told The Witness yesterday that while she started reading for a degree in mechanical engineering, she moved to electronic engineering because it is “arguably the most mathematical of the engineering faculties and I am interested in technology”.

“I think the fact that I’m a woman surprises people, but I don’t feel I’m different to any of the guys who finished with me,” she added.

Success is nothing new for the young graduate. In her matric year she was the dux of Crawford College and came second in the province in her matric exams in 2006.

The young star insists she is no genius, and claims that her success comes from hard work and dedication.

“I’m not really not sure how I managed to get 100% for eight courses, but I did my best in all my subjects. My philosophy is simple — I work hard for my own satisfaction. I’d like younger students to know that anyone who works hard can succeed,” she added.

Zawilska’s parents moved from Poland to South Africa when she was only two years old.

She said she likes to go clubbing and hanging out with friends, like young people everywhere.

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