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The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) is an annual conference for networking and professional development, sponsored by the Anita Borg Foundation.

Grinnell students attended GHC in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013. We want to send a group to GHC 2014 in Phoenix!

If you've already participated in GHC, please feel welcome to add on to this advice.

Reasons why you should go to GHC

  • Build your networking skills. Meet diverse people with a wide variety of interests and experiences. There is no field of CS you can't find represented somehow. In 2011, Dilan found a group of Turkish computer scientists, and Lexy found a company right near her home.
  • Build confidence. Learn to talk about what you want and what you are interested in.
  • Learn about the breadth of CS and decide if a CS major is for you.
  • Meet people in grad school, including Grinnell CS alumnae.
  • Find a great summer internship or open source opportunity.
  • Hear dynamic keynote speakers, such as the COO of Facebook in 2011.
  • Get free stuff! (Especially pens and T-shirts.)
  • Get out of the Grinnell bubble.
  • Dance at the end-of-conference party.
  • Play XBox games.
  • Hug Telle Whitney, President of the Anita Borg Institute.
  • Take pride in being a woman in technology.

Advice for applying to scholarships, etc.

The Anita Borg Institute offers competitive scholarships to support students' attendance at Grace Hopper. Thus far, three Grinnell women have been awarded scholarships - a good track record! Grinnell will gladly support you with letters of recommendation and additional funding to complement a scholarship.

For advice on preparing your application , see 5 tips when applying to opportunities for women in STEM

Advice for getting the most out of GHC

  • "Lean in" - be eager to try new things!
  • Decide what you want to get out of GHC before you go. Read the conference program online. Watch YouTube videos of past talks.
  • Visit the GHC web site. Found out if there are any special networking lunches you want to go to before you register.
  • Join the Systers email list.
  • Leave room in your luggage for swag (free stuff).
  • Be familiar with the transportation options (especially for getting to and from the airport).
  • Bring your resume. Bring lots of copies.
  • Have questions to ask recruiters from the companies you are interested in.
  • Be prepared to hear lots of buzzwords; don't be afraid to ask companies what they actually do.
  • Know that the exhibit hall is open during most of the conference. You can keep networking with recruiters even past the official "job fair" night.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get up early and explore the city.
  • Don't miss the keynotes!
  • Apply to present a poster of your research. The deadline is usually around March 15.
  • Apply for a scholarship to attend GHC. The deadline is usually around May 15.
-- JanetDavis - 2014-01-15
Topic revision: r3 - 2014-01-24, JanetDavis

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