Empowering Dreams: Meet Sreypich Heng, A Rowan University International Computer Science Senior Pursuing a Career in UX/UI Design

A close up of Sreypich with Bunce behind her.

This story is the first in a multi-part series highlighting the aspirations, hopes and dreams of a few of Rowan University’s international students. Read the other stories

Meet Sreypich Heng, a senior and international student from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, majoring in computer science.

What is your long-term professional goal or dream career?

“My long-term professional goal, or dream career, is to become a skilled UX/UI designer. I wouldn’t have thought that this is what I truly wanted to do. Before discovering UX/UI design, I was mainly focused on becoming a game developer or software developer. However, as days went by, I found myself becoming more interested in website development and design. It was only last year that I discovered Figma during one of my web design classes, and that discovery truly shifted my interests and career goals toward becoming a UX/UI designer. This might seem quite basic, as it’s a process many go through. You learn as you go, discovering new things along the way, which ultimately brings out something new or better within you.”

Are you involved in internships, clubs, networking, etc. here at Rowan? If so, please share what they are and how they support your goals. 

“I have been working for the civil and environmental engineering department as their web content creator for almost two years now. In this role, I create, design, and publish content for their website. I have also been involved in projects with professors and students from the engineering department.

“When it comes to networking, I have had the opportunity to meet many great people in this department whom I collaborate with, particularly within my Water Works team. They have been incredibly helpful. Throughout this job, I’ve not only been able to complete tasks but I’ve also been learning new things from individuals in other majors. This job supports my goal because it allows me to generate creative content and engage in research with others to gather more information and material for the projects I’m working on. This experience aligns well with the essence of UX/UI design. While it might not be entirely similar, it is helping me become prepared and guiding me toward my goal.”

Sreypich stands on Bunce Green with her hands in her pockets, with the building behind her.

What Rowan professors or Rowan classes have been most helpful and enlightening to you, and how?

“I believe every class and professor has been extremely helpful within my major. However, when discussing what has been most beneficial to my career goal, I must mention the ‘web design’ class. It has truly been a cornerstone in my journey. This class illuminated a passion within me that I’m deeply invested in now.

“Our professor, Alex McGonigle from the College of Communication & Creative Arts, was exceptional. His dedication to his role was remarkable. He consistently went above and beyond to ensure our comprehension and comfort in the subject matter. He provided an abundance of resources and materials that were essential both within and outside the class.

“I’d also like to acknowledge another professor in my department, Dr. Kay. Her incredible support and assistance have been invaluable. She, too, exceeded expectations in her commitment to helping not only me but all students in her class. It didn’t matter how much one might have fallen behind in the class; she made it a point to ensure understanding and readiness to get back on track.”

How will this degree support your dreams and goals?

“When it comes to my dreams or goals, I feel like I should have been in the graphic design field. To be completely honest, I don’t really need a degree in computer science for my dream career. However, as I mentioned above, before discovering UX/UI design, I was into game development, which involved a lot of coding. Therefore, computer science came into play. I believe having a computer science degree will assist me in securing a job in a tech company, and from there, I will be able to reach my goal. Many UX/UI designers come from a computer science background, so I believe this degree will greatly benefit me in the near future.”

Sreypich stands on Bunce Green with her hands in her pockets, with the building behind her. This is a far away shot.

Could you share your thoughts on the international student community here at Rowan? Were you able to connect with people from home? Meet new friends? How?

“The international student community here has been helpful to me, especially everyone from the International Center. They have been incredibly helpful in providing all the pieces of information that I need. To be honest with you, I haven’t been able to connect with many other international students, mainly because I spend most of my time with my job and classes. As a result, I haven’t had the opportunity to join any clubs or activities that they offer. However, I can certainly say that everyone is nice and kind. I’ve actually made friends from Haiti, India, and Korea. Through the experiences they have shared with me, I’ve come to understand that this community is both super friendly and helpful. I would definitely encourage other international students to get involved in the clubs and activities that they offer.”

Why did you choose Rowan?

“I actually heard about Rowan from my good friends, and that’s when I became interested in coming here. Firstly, I’d like to mention the location. It’s pretty and quite spacious, giving off a peaceful vibe. The area isn’t crowded or noisy. As a transfer student from New York, I can confidently say that this area is much better than the city.

“Secondly, Rowan offered a good scholarship for transfer students, which I thought would help me significantly in terms of finances.

“Last but not least, during my research, I found that Rowan University has a lot to offer. There are numerous activities, clubs, and more; basically everything a student could think of. I’m glad I chose Rowan University because it has truly transformed my life and led me on a great journey. I am now a senior and should be graduating next spring. So far, my student life has been quite good. Moving forward, I plan to use the remaining time to achieve new things and engage in activities beyond my classes.”

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Written by: Jordyn Dauter, junior double major in dance & elementary education