October 1, 2021
Women in Transportation Fellow Hajra Shahab participated in the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). The GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Hajra says that from a stellar speaker line-up to a packed career fair, “GHC is THE place for women interested in exploring a career in tech.” The conference focused on several tech tracks including Artificial Intelligence, Computer Systems Engineering, Product Management, Data Science and many more. Below is Hajra’s experience at GHC, and her suggestions for others who plan to attend this conference in future years.
Hajra shared that “As there are multiple tracks, one can easily get lost in their job/internship hunt search at GHC and so did I.” She was advised to start well in advance by going over the list of companies participating in the conference and identifying tracks that she would want to focus on. She shaped her resume accordingly and created different versions, for example, product management and software engineering. She suggests that for others who attend… DON’T forget to submit your resume on the portal once you seek feedback from your peers and mentors. She also says to keep an eye on all GHC related emails and conference-specifically the newsletters.
Participate in Career Fair
Apart from preparing her resume, Hajra started early by going through the list of companies participating in the career fair, filtering out teams that she wanted to interact with at the fair. For others attending, Hajra cautions that the overall process of attending a conference can get overwhelming easily especially when you have to juggle with school, classes and assignments simultaneously and that preparing a schedule in advance can help you optimize time and energy.
Gear up for Intense Networking!
Networking at GHC started even before the conference begins. Talking to past attendees and learning from their experiences helped Hajra clear her thoughts and questions about the conference, saving a lot of time as she was sure of things to make the most of this opportunity. Talking to her peers who attended this conference previously helped her feel much more confident as she participated in different sessions throughout the conference.
Design your own schedule
Hajra says the conference picks up pace very quickly and it becomes really hard to keep up with conference sessions, speaker corner, tech talks and career fair. If attending, she recommends reviewing the agenda carefully, and creating your own schedule. While one gets lost with career fair and other networking sessions, she recommends to not forget to attend the keynote speaker session — as it is absolutely worth your time!
Managing notes from each session is the key to success at GHC. Hajra would recommend creating a spreadsheet tracker to track all meetings (1:1 or group meetings).
Harja enjoyed her experience at GHC, and said she was “…very impressed how they support women who aspire to grow in the field.”
Learn more about the conference here.