Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebration time!

I can't believe the Grace Hopper conference is less than a week away!

As a senior undergraduate, I'm so excited to be attending GHC this year! This will be my second time attending. I can't wait to have the opportunity to network with professionals, learn about the newest research, visit with recruiters, and attend Sponsor Night. I will also be participating as a blogger and note taker during the conference. I figure this is a great way to give back to GHC for the student scholarship they gave me.

My first time was the 2007 conference in Orlando, and wow - I came away from that experience SO motivated! I wanted to participate in research, volunteer with woman in computing groups, work in industry, continue networking with all the wonderful women I met...oh yeah, and finish my undergraduate degree. It's funny how these small things get in your way. ;-)

My experience two years ago taught me a few key things:

1) Print out your resume!
As a newbie to the GHC, I had no idea that I would have such a great opportunity to connect with companies looking to hire women. I found myself scrambling to find a printer and print out my resume -- not a fun time!

2) Attend as many sessions as you can!
I always like pouring of the schedule beforehand and planning out my day accordingly. Torn between two sessions? Go to the first, then visit the second if you feel like that. And don't forget that we will be having note takers to try to capture some of the main points of session.

3) Introduce yourself
There are so many opportunities to network with the woman at the conference, whether it's before/after a session (and something during!), at the breakfast buffet or lunch table, in the elevator, at Sponsor night...the list goes on and on. Challenge yourself to meet someone new every day.

4) Bring your dancin' shoes!
The award presentation and dancing on Thursday is always a great time. How often do we get to have dance parties? It's a total blast.

The best thing about GHC is that it is business and party all rolled into one. It's such an incredible experience to be surrounded with thousands of woman who are just as psyched as you to be involved in the computing industry. So, take it all in! A memorable experience awaits you!

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