Makers Academy Graduate - Akua - GHC19 Trip Winner

Stemettes partnered with Deutsche Bank to enable five UK students to attend the largest gathering of #womeninTech - The Grace Hopper Celebration of  Women in Computing!  

Akua, a recent Makers Academy Bootcamp Graduate who now works as a Software Engineer, is one of our STEMazing winners from our mentorship programme, Student to Stemette. Her aims for attending were the following:

      

  • A friutful network and lifelong friendships.
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  • Practical tools to take back to work that I can implement to help us work better.
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  • More confidence.
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  • Different perspective and opinions

Follow Akua's journey below.

This trip helped me to realise how powerful and important it is for me to share my journey into the tech industry. It made me realise how my journey reveals how there is more than one way of getting into the industry and in doing that I found myself encouraging and inspiring the people I shared my story with and it made me think… who else needs to hear this! It’s motivated me to grow my platform Anomaly’s Views overall so that my story can reach more people.

This Student to Stemette, Grace Hopper Celebration, experience also motivated me, even more, to further my learning also. Attending the top university stands at the career fair inspired me to consider applying and now I am keen to gain a scholarship to attend either the University of Waterloo or Stanford University to study Computer Science. I was inspired to dream big by the conversations I had with the fab five attendees, so why not pursue to attend some of the best universities in the world?

One of the sessions I took a lot away from was ‘Why you should pursue public speaking and how to get there' It helped me to realise how powerful communication is and how useful it is for my day to day job in tech, in my team meetings, 1-1, pairings for instance. I took away that public speaking isn't something I should shy away, but instead I should use it as a means to improve my communication skills. I was given very helpful tips on how to be a better public speaker as well, for instance, if you get stuck or forget your train of thoughts just drink some water - it looks completely normal and it also gives you a chance to breathe and buy some time to gather your thoughts. It encouraged me overall to go back and give talks at my company’s internal meetup event and also eventually at conferences and events.

My second favourite session ‘Celebrate Your Achievements’ taught me the importance of recognising my achievements and not shying away from celebrating them. So often we are focused on the next steps, on being better that we often forget to look back and appreciate how far we have come, all the hurdles we have overcome to be right where we are. This session helped me to remember how far I’ve come and to be proud of that.
Although I am just getting started in my career, I have come along way and that’s something definitely worth recognising and celebrating.

I raised a question to the Programme Manager, Yasmin, of Stemettes towards the end of my amazing experience at GHC on how to take in all that I have learned and have been inspired to do at GHC and how to implement these things when I get back home and was advised to start an Working Out Loud Circle where a group of us (my fab five family of course plus Holly our Stemette Ambassador) share with each other a maximum of three things we aim to do/achieve post GHC and in a months time get back to each other to check-in. Then continue to make goals and have monthly check-ins together. This one piece of advice has completely changed everything for me.

I have found myself more assured and confident in the fact that I will make the most of this opportunity because I now have people to support me and hold me accountable to my words, which means the world to me, as there are a lot of things I want to achieve to make an impact in the tech industry.

Thanks to Deutsche Bank for making this once in life-time experience possible. To keep up-to-date on our upcoming events, head to Eventbrite.

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