During midterm break, Lauren Yeary ‘15 and Farah Fouladi ‘15 organized a tech trip to New York City with nine other female computer science majors who are members of the Women in Computer Science Club (WiCS) at Colgate.
The trip included visits to Bloomberg, Facebook, Shutterstock, ZocDoc, Google, Twitter, and Foursquare. The two-day immersion trip was the brainchild of Yeary and Fouladi, developed while they were interning at tech companies.
“The goal of the trip was to learn how computer science skills are utilized in a work environment, and help the students understand the workplace,” said Fouladi.
Jessica Friedberg ’16, who is searching for an internship, learned about company culture: “Every company we visited had a different work culture, which is something big to take into account when searching for a job or an internship.”
Yunfei Xu, senior research and development manager at Bloomberg, met WiCS members for breakfast and gave them a tour of a usability lab.
“As a woman technologist, I am extremely passionate about advocating for women in technology,” she said. “WiCS women will be role models to many young middle school and high school girls. I applaud what they have done and I am looking forward to seeing all of them achieving great success in the future.”
WiCS was launched in the spring of 2014 to provide an “encouraging and safe place for women to explore their interests and succeed in computer science,” said Yeary.
The club organizes mentoring programs and lunches to discuss the Department of Computer Science in general, and the role of women in particular. The trip developed out of those lunch meetings, and the notion that tech companies want to speak to female engineers.
At Bloomberg, they talked about the computer science pipeline, and Xu added:
“WiCS women will be role models to many young middle school and high school girls in the pipeline. I applaud what WiCS have done and I am looking forward to seeing all of you achieving great success in your future career.”
WiCS members said the trip was an incredible success. They spoke to engineers, including women who worked on code all day, and executives at Google, Foursquare and Bloomberg.
“We learned more about the industry as a whole and about a variety of roles that tech and engineering plays in different companies,” said Fouladi.
Catherine Seo ’16, who also went on the trip, said that it was one of the best experiences in her time at Colgate. “It changed my whole perspective of what it would be like to go out there into the working world,” she said.