Thursday, July 8, 2010

Introducing a Recent Undergrad Graduate

Hello! I'm Ashley Myers, and I am the other co-chair of the Grace Hopper Conference Communities Committee. As both Ed and Gail I have done, I am here to introduce myself. If you haven't yet, check out other attendees introducing themselves and introduce yourself on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any of the online communities.

I learned of GHC during my first year of college. It seemed like one of those things that only the lucky would attend. "The largest women in computing conference." I was a broke college student, there was no way.

The following school year, a classmate was awarded a student scholarship to attend GHC07. She came back with a ton of photos of her amazing time in Orlando and was totally energized about all things Computer Science. At some point toward the end of that school year, I came to the decision I was going to Grace Hopper in 2008. I applied to be a Hopper (GHC10 Hopper application closes on July 30th), crossed my fingers, secured funds from my university for the flight, saved cash from my summer internship for the hotel and registration (just in case), got a roommate via Twitter to split the hotel room with (Hi @emilyhowe!), and that was that!

Since I had not participated in the official call for participation, Ed (my forever roommate) and I signed up for pretty much everything asked of community volunteers: Twitter, Flickr, note taking, blogging, and video blogging. This involvement has made my experience these last two GHCs. I have met and most importantly kept in contact with so many women through these online mediums. I encourage you to either informally participate by tagging your tweets and blog posts with GHC10, or to officially volunteer (GHC10 online Community Volunteer application is live until August 24th).

The best thing about the online communities is you don't need permission to get involved. Here are all the places you can find and connect with me!
This year marks a big change for me. This will be my first Grace Hopper I will attend as a women in industry rather than as a student. I will also be traveling from my new home in Seattle, moving officially for the first time in my life next month.

What's your story? Undergrad? Grad? Industry? Academia? Introduce yourself in the comments below, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, or any of the online communities! I look forward to meeting you!

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