FIU SCIS invited 25 young ladies in IT and CS to attend the 2017 Grace Hopper Conference in Orlando, Florida. The girls attended all 3 days of the conference, starting each day with the keynote speeches by some of the most inspiring and leading women in technology, including Dr. Telle Whitney, the co-founder of the Grace Hopper Conference. The speakers presented their life stories, of how they got involved in Computer Science, some of them in spite of overwhelming odds against them. The overarching theme in all the speeches was the triumph of the human spirit, and the necessity to give back to the community in appreciation for one’s successes.
After the keynote speeches each day, the girls attended diverse sessions on current topics in CS such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Cybersecurity, Data Science, and more. Then, they attended the Career Fair at the conference, where they had a chance to talk with many recruiters and representatives of tech companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. In total, the 25 girls went on 50 interviews, and 5 of them got internship offers on the spot. Many more follow-up interviews also resulted.
Our FIU students expressed tremendous gratitude to SCIS for the privilege to have attended the Grace Hopper Conference, which made such a tremendous impact on all of them. They arrived at the conference shy, and a bit hesitant, but left the conference inspired, aware of the many opportunities awaiting them, and confident that they had a role to play in the world of Computer Science and the many fields that it affects. The conference was life-changing for all of them!
By Maria “Cristy” Charters, Instructor at SCIS.
Watch the video of WiCS Panel about their trip to the Grace Hopper Conference.
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