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October 12, 2017

Student Blog: GHC Provides Boost of Confidence

Earlier this month, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences sent 30 female undergraduate and graduate students to Florida for the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC). Funding was received through an award from the BRAID (Building Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity) Initiative, which aims to increase the percentage of women and underrepresented minority students in computer science. Read the full story here. One ICS student who attended, Kristen DeVore, says the event helped convince her that she belongs in computing. Read her story below...

At one point, feeling discouraged, I switched majors from computer science to political science. For some reason, when it came time to sign up for classes each quarter, I would sign up for CS classes and then drop them because I thought my place wasn’t in computing. I finally signed up and stayed, eventually settling in informatics with a specialization in human-computer interaction.

Still, being a woman in tech, I didn’t feel as confident in my UI/UX design abilities. I felt like the designs and studies I had done were not up to the caliber of my peers, so I worked all summer with the hopes of attending GHC and receiving feedback. Not only did I have the honor of attending through BRAID, but I was able to meet face-to-face with amazing individuals from large companies, such as Amazon, Disney, eBay, Google and Facebook, who told me that I was doing it right and that my portfolio and resume were impressive. I received interviews with a few companies, but the overall boost to my feeling of confidence in myself and the belief that there is a place for me in computing changed my life.

I become emotional thinking about this wonderful opportunity because it truly did change my life and affirm my confidence not only in my design abilities, but my place in the tech field.

— Kristen DeVore, Junior, Informatics

Grace Hopper 2017