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USF at the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

In early October, nearly 18,000 women in tech converged on Orlando, Florida for the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. With the generous support of alumni and friends, this year USF’s Department of Computer Science sent 21 students (our largest cohort ever) to participate, learn, and make connections. The Grace Hopper experience is unlike any other event in the tech world, and the experience left a lasting impression on our amazing students. In their own words, here was 2017’s Grace Hopper Celebration:

How was your experience at the Grace Hopper Conference?

The Grace Hopper Conference was amazing and inspiring. It was three days packed with learning, networking, and supporting all women in the industry. This was my first time attending and I really liked how the environment was welcoming and encouraging.
- Darianne Lopez, BSCS ‘19


It is an experience that should not be missed! It was incredibly exciting to attend and be part of a community that empowers and supports each other. For my personal experience, I enjoyed establishing a connection with all the companies there. I discovered so many that I had not heard of as well. I found the booths with VR equipment and coding challenges especially great! The only thing that I disliked about the conference is that one can easily be overwhelmed because there are a ton of workshops, talks, and interviews going on at ONCE! 
- Theresa Nguyen, ‘19


What did you find especially satisfying about the Grace Hopper Celebration?

Not only did I meet hundreds of women from all sorts of backgrounds, industries and levels of experience, I myself got the opportunity to let people know the breadth and depth of our work. Those things alone made the experience worth it. It is rare to see so many women technologists all at once.
- Gauri Joshi, MSCS ‘18


One quote that stuck with me from the conference was "empowered women empower women". It was a quote that PayPal had on their stickers and tattoos, and I thought that was a great message to pass on because I've been encouraged and supported by women around me and I think it's important that all women empower each other.
- Darianne Lopez, BSCS ‘19


What was your biggest surprise from the Grace Hopper conference?

Keynote sessions. Knowing that there are 18,000 attendees is different than actually seeing them.That was a huge crowd at keynote sessions and sessions are really inspiring and it totally changed my way of thinking towards tech.
- Bhargavi Kommenini, MSCS ‘18


My biggest surprise was how many companies there were! The booths were so elaborate, too - they weren't just tables with flyers on them. You need to see pictures in order to fully understand how much work was required by each company to truly make their booth amazing.
- Claire Pang, BSCS ‘19


I liked how companies wanted to get to know you on a more personal level aside from networking. Many companies had parties and dinners to mingle with you.
- Darianne Lopez, BSCS ‘19


What were your goals for attending the conference, and do you feel you met them?

My goal for attending Grace Hopper was to meet those great people in tech, talk to them, and learn from them. I definitely met my goals because the lessons I learnt from them were valuable and lifelong. I also got to know about the big picture and cutting-edge technologies. It was fascinating.
- Xian Li, CS Minor ‘19


Yes, I believe I met my goals. I not only got connected with hundreds of women in tech but was able to receive full time job offer as well.
- Gauri Joshi, MSCS ‘18


The Department of Computer Science was able to fund 18 student attendees at the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing through generous donations of alumni and friends of the department. If you would like to support sending students to conferences like this in the future, you can donate here.

Below are just some of the companies that our students interviewed with:

- Amazon

- American Express

- Bank of America

- Chase

- eBay

- Facebook

- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

- Microsoft

- PaloAlto Networks

- ServiceNow

- Stripe

- Symantec

- ThoughtWorks
- Visa

- Walmart

- Workday