2019 Schulich Leader: Mia Battad
Drawn to technology from an early age, Mia Battad loved racing home from school to play on the family computer. Constantly trying to gain access to the newest Nintendo game or handheld console, Battad’s interest in electronic devices never waned. Rather, it developed into a curiosity of how videos games are made, which lead her to programming.
“The problem-solving and creative thinking that are at the core of programming suited my own way of processing problems incredibly well,” Battad explains. “It soon evolved from a hobby into a very real career option: not just for making video games, but for creating software solutions that enhance and make life easier for others.”
Battad is one of two first-year University of Manitoba students who received Schulich Leader Scholarships in 2019. A graduate of Balmoral Hall, Battad will enter the Faculty of Science this fall. The Schulich Foundation awarded her an $80,000 entrance scholarship towards her studies.
“When I received my scholarship offer, I was on the way home from school,” says Battad “I had gotten an email asking to contact the U of M regarding my application. I planned to call once I got home, but the moment I told my father in the car, he insisted that I call as soon as possible. I ended up receiving my offer right then and there!”
Rather than taking a moment to reflect on her achievement, Battad only thought about how she could use this opportunity to help others.
“I don’t regard this scholarship as being about me, it’s about the impact I can have, the people I can help and the things I can change,” says Battad “Receiving this scholarship will create a foundation to get me closer to my career goals so ultimately I can use my university degree to help the community. The Schulich Foundation has given me an entirely new network of contacts and resources that I can use for my goal of giving back.”
Moving forward with her philosophy of “don’t try, do,” Battad is already planning to pursue a master’s degree in the future and classifies herself as a lifelong learner. Once classes begin at U of M this fall, she plans to focus on expanding her volunteer work.
“I hope to share the knowledge of coding and the opportunities that come with it with to children in other parts of Canada, or even the world, who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to explore computer science,” says Battad “In ten years, I see myself still being a student but will be well on my way to developing software for improving convenience and quality of life for societies globally.”