Two students from the School of Information Studies were chosen to attend the prestigious Grace Hopper Celebration this year. The annual celebration is a conference where women in technology gather from all over the country for a professional development opportunity. The event was inspired by Grace Murray Hopper, who was an American computer scientist and U.S. Navy soldier.
Shravya Kamath is a graduate student at the School of Information Studies studying for her master’s degree in information management. She is originally from Bangalore, India, and studied computer science and engineering in her undergraduate studies.
Kamath was selected as a Hopper Scholar, which is a partial Grace Hopper scholarship. She was also part of the volunteer committee and said attending the Grace Hopper event was a dream come true.
“It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had!” said Kamath. “I used to hear about how empowering it is and how it’s amazing to network with people and listen to their amazing stories. But the magnitude of that being true was way more when I got to actually experience it.”
Kamath previously worked for two and a half years at Dell as a tech consultant. Her goal is to become a product manager and eventually develop her own products. Kamath also has a job lined up after graduation as manager of the credit fraud risk team at American Express.
Gajalakshmi Ganesh is also a graduate student studying in the iSchool studying for her master’s degree in information management. She is also from Bangalore, India, and studied electrical engineering during her undergraduate years.
Ganesh was awarded a full scholarship as a Grace Hopper Scholar. She said seeing so many women at the conference was initially overwhelming.
“It was the first time I was with so many women in one platform who shared the vision to represent women in tech and to increase the presence of women in tech,” said Ganesh. “But then it sinks in and it was very inspiring. The kind of stories that people had, their backgrounds, and the dedication they had in their field of work was amazing.”
Ganesh said hearing the keynote speakers was the most impactful part of her experience at the conference.
“There was one person who was working on building a low-cost technology device to self-exam for cervical cancer,” said Ganesh. “People like her were really inspiring.”
Ganesh wants to work in program and product management when she graduates. She would also like to work with technology in education in the future.
Feature image: Gajalakshmi Ganesh (left; photo courtesy of Ganesh) and Shravya Kamath (photo by Charles Wainwright).