Grace Hopper Celebration Inspires UA Women Interested in Tech
- October 27th, 2020
Written by Julia Service
Over the past few years, Culverhouse and Manderson students have attended the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), which is a conference that focuses on empowering women in the technology industry. At the conference, participants are able to network with and learn from prominent women in the tech world. Although this event is usually in person, it was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that didn’t stop it from being an invaluable experience for UA students.
“The imposter syndrome going into the conference was overwhelming, but I met women who felt the exact same way I do,” GHC attendee Ann Meyer-Rasmussen said. “I realized for women in STEM, imposter syndrome is a universal experience; however, GHC helped me find a sense of belonging and confidence in myself.”
Kera Price, another attendee, felt similarly about gaining confidence. After listening to the words of encouragement from the inspirational keynote speakers, Price felt more empowered in her career choice.
In addition to hearing from keynote speakers, participants met with recruiters from companies that held networking events. Through their connections made at the Grace Hopper Celebration, UA students interviewed with companies such as Accenture, Verizon and Liberty Mutual, among others. Sarah Liang appreciated the opportunity to network with larger companies, including ones that aren’t always present at the UA career fair.
Guadalupe Moncivais also formed relationships at the conference, starting with Nike, her GHC Scholar Sponsor.
“Just that alone has helped build connections with amazing people and recruiters. I had the opportunity to network with so many companies, meet amazing women in tech from all parts of the world, and build more confidence in myself as a Latinx in tech,” Moncivais said. “The amazing preparation from AnitaB.org and Culverhouse has definitely helped me enjoy and experience the first virtual Grace Hopper Celebration.”
The nature of the virtual event also offered its own challenges: some participants described feeling drained from being on a computer all day or disappointment in the lack of community and robust interpersonal connections that are usually made possible by in-person events. That said, Meyer-Rasmussen summed it up as positive: “[It was a] great experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity.”
To learn more about how to support Culverhouse students in their professional development, contact Linda Johnson, Director of Employer Development and Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.