My experience at the Grace Hopper Conference

This blog post comes from a Computer Science student who recently attended a large conference for women in computing. Jackie shares her daily experiences and thoughts from the conference below!


Grace Hopper is the largest conference for women in computing. I was lucky to attend the event for the second time with Yahoo on a scholarship.

Tuesday Oct. 18
I left for Houston a day earlier than the conference because Yahoo planned a dinner for all the scholarship recipients. On my way to the hotel, I met up with another scholarship recipient because I didn’t want to take an Uber by myself. As soon as we met, we instantly clicked and began to talk like we had been friends forever. At the dinner, I was sort of quiet as I observed all the strangers in front of me. The majority of them were from California, and I didn’t have a lot in common with them regarding how we grew up. If only, I knew I was sitting next to people who would be the best part of my GHC experience.

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Wednesday Oct 19
First day of the conference was pretty busy. I rode to the convention center with some scholarship recipients and a Yahoo employee. I splurged and bought a tea from Starbucks to start my morning only to spill it on the floor before I could drink it. I had quite of few interviews ahead of me, but I wanted to make sure I could see the keynote. A dose of inspiration and a confidence boost was exactly what I needed. During the keynote, the winner for the technical leadership ABIE award was announced. Anna Patterson, who is currently the Vice President of Engineering, Artificial Intelligence for Google won the award, and a video was played where people who knew her personally talked about her accomplishments. I had a strange feeling in my heart. A part of me was pitying myself because I would probably never be as successful or make as great as an impact on the world as Anna has. The optimistic, risk-taking side of me suddenly buried those thoughts, and I began to think about what it would take to be that person. I’ve made it this far despite many challenges, I couldn’t help but wonder where I’ll be in a few years. Grace Hopper was beginning, and I was getting exciting because I would never find more opportunities in one place in such a short amount of time anywhere else. I wish I could tell you about all the sessions I went to, but I unfortunately didn’t get to go to any because I had a bunch of interviews. As a college senior without any career plans after school, I don’t think that’s a bad problem to have.

Thursday Oct 20
I spent most of my time in the career expo meeting different companies and interviewing. At this point I was getting pretty exhausted, but my goal was to try to get a job offer from the conference. Yahoo threw a pretty awesome event where employees showed demos of some of the cool technology they were working on. Yahoo employees are seriously some of the coolest people I’ve met. These are the type of people who you can instantly become friends with as soon as you meet them. Everyone is so genuine and honest, which is really refreshing and rare to see. Yahoo hosted a hack event where students could create new projects using some of Yahoo’s technology before the conference. After the demos, we watched the students present their projects. I also met Tumblr’s CEO, David Karp after he gave everyone some insight of his journey with Tumblr.

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Friday Oct 21
I went to a speed mentoring session to start my day. I went to the event last year and enjoyed it so I wanted to make sure I went again. I tried to explain my struggle of being a college senior who is completing a computer science degree in 3 years opposed to 4. That’s one less year I could have had an internship or experience in programming. The competition for great jobs in computer science is steep, and I’m at a disadvantage. The response I received wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before.

I spent most of my time with my friends from LSU because I hadn’t really hung out with them the entire conference. I got to catch up on how their interviews went, and I was able to get lunch with them. After lunch we went to the closing keynote. Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce started off the keynote. I thought it was interesting how GHC didn’t choose a female CEO to speak at keynote. Female CEOs are still rare, and I would have loved more insight on some on the struggles female executives face. The most powerful part of the keynote was watching the trailer of the new movie, ‘Hidden Figures’. The movie is about the untold story of 3 women at NASA, and their work helped John Glenn become the first astronaut to complete an orbit around the Earth. The movie openly discusses racism and discrimination, but still seems to be pretty humorous. After the trailer ended, the applause was so loud. African American women are still underappreciated today, and my heart was full being in a room with thousands of women appreciating African American women and acknowledging their struggle.

3After the keynote GHC threw a party, which was pretty fun. I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave the party alone for safety reasons. So I met up with other Yahoo Scholars and caught an Uber. During the Uber ride, we talked about our struggles being women in computer science, racial discrimination, and discussed some of the topics we heard at GHC with a different perspective. I felt like we were all best friends, and I really did feel safe to finally talk about my feelings. We all enjoyed it so much that we stayed up talking after midnight. They made me feel empowered. GHC 16 was definitely a great experience.

– By Jackie Robinson
Computer Science, Senior
Women in Computer Science

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Scholarship Application Tips

The LSU College of Engineering is beginning the scholarship cycle for the Fall 2016 semester. We encourage all undergraduate students to complete the following steps to improve your chances of receiving a scholarship from the College. We encourage you to complete steps one and two outlined below before September 15, 2016.

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Step One: Update Your Scholarship Application 

When awarding scholarships, we begin by reviewing your student record. We consider things like: your major, GPA, residency, extracurricular activities, and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) obtained from FAFSA. To update your student record, please visit scholarship-student.eng.lsu.edu.

Step Two: Upload Your Supporting Documents 

We also consider your resume, work experience and personal goals when awarding scholarships. To improve your chances of receiving a scholarship, please upload your resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and work verification letters beginning August 18th. You can also complete a personal statement to tell us more about Yourself. Complete step one and two by Sunday, September 18, 2016.

Step Three: Complete the Scholarship Recipient Profile

If awarded a scholarship, you will receive a notification email from the College. All notifications will occur by October 31st for the Fall semester. To confirm receipt of the scholarship, you will be required to complete a scholarship profile. The notification email will include instructions to complete this profile.

If you have any questions about scholarships offered by the College of Engineering or the application process, please visit http://scholarshipfaq.eng.lsu.edu.  

*First year transfer students will be contacted separately to supply student data not able to be obtained from the University.

 

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Top 10 Networking Tips for Students

Check out this list of the Top 10 Networking Tips for Students, by students!

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1. Start now. Developing your network is a skill that takes time to develop, and with practice it can be something that guides your future. Attend as many conferences as you can.

2. Learn how to properly shake hands. A firm handshake while looking at the recipient can make a strong impression.

3. Make eye contact. It’s an easy way to show the person you are talking to that you are listening and this will help you stand out.

4. Get involved with your student organizations. They are what you make of it, and can be another way to stand out and provide value to the industry you meet. It can also help you meet more students with similar goals or interests.

5. Be genuine. When you meet people it’s easy to develop relationships with them if they know you are genuine. It helps build trust and rapport.

6. Provide value to those you speak to. An easy way for me to do this was through student organizations. As I stated earlier, industry wants to get involved with student groups. Take advantage of it. Invite them to come speak, or see if your group can tour their facility.

7. Try not ask about jobs or internships. Build rapport with whom you speak to. If you are doing a good job, they will bring up jobs or internships without you having to ask.

8. Speak to people at conferences and learn what they have to say. Everyone knows something that you don’t. Have a goal when going to conferences to learn more about your field of study and your career. Ask thought provoking questions, often times it will help you to stand out and make more contacts.

9. Be professional and make sure you are presentable. Companies are always scouting new hires.

10. Follow up with everyone you meet. Add them on LinkedIn. Another great way to follow up is by sending them an email about getting involved in your respective student organization.

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Ryan Barsa
Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: Mendham, NJ
President, AADE at LSU

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Preparing for College: Tips from a current student

Get insider tips on how best to prepare for college in this month’s blog post from a current engineering student!

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College is a time you should be excited for. You’re finally on your own, studying what you want, and are actually a part of that student body you watched cheering in Tiger Stadium for so many years. It is a great time in your life, but if you have chosen to be an engineer you should know that going from high school to college is one of the largest (and most important) transitions you can make during your educational career. The saying, “freshman year is the most important year” is a slogan that will be pounded into your head. that With the excitement of entering college it may get pushed aside, but the saying could not be more true, and hopefully this post will give some insight to how to best prepare yourself for the year ahead.

The awesome possibility of scheduling classes late in the day so you can sleep hours past that early time you were up every morning for high school is, indeed, awesome. Sleep is great, in fact I guarantee sleep will be more exciting than ever before after one semester, but what’s even better? Great grades and free time all at once…. You’ll learn rather quickly that 24 hours in a day is a lot shorter than you think. Learn NOW how to manage your time to get up early and get your day going soon. Eat a good breakfast, grab some coffee, and start knocking out your homework and studying early. Ideally make it so that you can go to class with your assignments for that day completed, as it is so much easier to focus and get a lot out of class. Plus you’ll have the rest of the day to study more for that upcoming test or get personal errands done.

Speaking of homework, and this may sound profound, but “learn” how to do homework. In engineering, working problems is the best way to learn your material. It is very tempting to google the answers to all your assignments, but learn how to sit down, use the text book, and get the most out of your homework. It will pay off come exam time. Your homework will be difficult at first because it is material you have likely not encountered before, but just take a deep breath and know it will take some time to master everything. So like I mentioned before, learn how to make a schedule throughout the day and make time for getting your homework done.

One habit that you should start doing before you even step foot on campus: to-do lists. It will make everything I’ve mentioned come a lot easier to you. Before you go to bed each night, or when you wake up, make a to-do list of everything you know needs to be completed that day. Prioritize your list, and check off each one as you get it done throughout the day. Not only is this a great way to see what you’re actually accomplishing, but it is a great feeling to check off items on your list.

As I mentioned before, and there is really no way to “prepare” for this, but recognizing that days are a lot shorter than they seem, and that you are busier than you may realize is perhaps the most important advice one can hear. You do not have the time you think you have. Procrastination is deadly and getting a head start on assignments makes life 20x easier. Everything I have said in this post may come across as pretty obvious tips, but truly understandingthat they matter and how to implement them is how one can best prepare for the life of being an engineer. Keeping things like this in mind will allow you to quickly adapt and form your own schedule and ways to be productive. College is a great time and is important to your future. Having great grades early on freshman year is crucial to that experience as class will only get harder with a busier schedule every semester. Hopefully keeping some of these things in mind will maximize your time and education at LSU!

Griffin Selby
Major: Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: Hoover, Alabama
Student Org: AADE

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Study Engineering Abroad in Germany

Here’s an excerpt from our Encounter Engineering in Europe (E3) 2016 study abroad group. You can see all of their posts from the summer on their website at http://2016lsue3.wix.com/geaux

“Worth the Trek” by Estin Field

Our day began early as we headed out to Corratec, a company who designs and assembles a wide variety of bikes. After a long train ride, we wandered through the city until we finally found our destination. Corratec was like no other excursion we have had so far; we were not led by a tour guide, but instead their head research and development engineer. Because he was an engineer he was able to explain the design process in great detail. Before our tour began, we had a special visitor: the CEO and founder of Corratec. He was happy to have us there, and answered any questions we had. He mentioned that his job gets harder everyday as his company expands. When asked about the vision he had for his company, he said he wanted to be different from other bike companies, and to also follow a different path than his father before him.

Corratec1

After beginning the tour I was very surprised. The process began with a single, human worker attaching spokes to rim that were reinforced by an automated machine. The worker also had assistance from high-tech machine spinning the rim as she attached the spokes. This was a big difference from BMW and Porsche, who have robots assembling their products. The bikes were then moved through the shop by hooks that moved on a track on the ceiling. Human workers assembled various parts of the frames as the hooks came by.

After finishing the factory tour, we were shown the engineering office. There, they used SolidWorks to design various bike components and overall products. This is the same program Mrs. Paige Davis taught many of us in her CM 1020 class.  We learned how they design and make prototype models for future bikes. Overall, this was one of the most interesting factory tours we’ve had, and definitely one of my favorites!

Corratec2

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