We had such a fabulous event yesterday at Microsoft for 40 high school girls. Half of the group went on a tour of Xbox Studios and half went to see the Home, Office and Public Space of the Future! The girls were totally enthralled with the tours, and had such great things to say about the experience. They were grateful to get to see such incredible exhibits and knew how fortunate they were.
Then after the tours, Microsoft provides a beautiful lunch and an amazing panel of Microsoft women share their stories with the girls. They talk about how they got to where they are today. Also what were they like in high school, what obstacles did they have to overcome to get to where they are today. And of course they talked about their jobs and what they do. It was clear to everyone how much they love their careers and love working for Microsoft. It was truly a magnificent day.
Thank you to Aparna Vishwanathan, who is the IGNITE/Microsoft Volunteer Coordinator and who sets up these events for us. She makes sure everything is perfect, and that we have volunteers, tours, food, room set up, rooms and everything! We cannot thank her enough for all she does over and over, year after year for IGNITE.
Thank you to all of the Microsoft women who make this day so special. They guide the tours, and then join for the panel lunch and discussion. Each of these women are willing to be vulnerable and share their real story with the girls. It’s what makes this experience so relevant and valuable. The girls can see that the women were just like them, they went through a lot of things, did not have it easy, and had to work hard, but triumphed because they never gave up. It’s an amazing message and one that changes these girls lives forever. Thank you to the following women who shared their stories and answered the girl’s questions with care and such thoughtfulness. The event yesterday was truly magical. Everyone who attended really had an inspiring experience. It was all because of you women.
Thank you to Melissa Boone, User Researcher, Dimah Zaidalkilani, Program Manager, Mariana Dios, Software Engineer, Ani Babaian, Program Manager, Kaycee Anderson, Program Manager, Rose Lam, Engineering Manager, Holly Muenchow, OPS Program Manager, Christine Alexander, Business Administrator, Jessie Thomas, User Researcher.
Thank you to the wonderful staff from Ingraham HS. Without the partnership with the teachers and staff at the schools none of what we do would be possible. These people make sure the girls get to have the IGNITE program at their schools and coordinate all of the activities for the girls. Thank you to Lawrence Tanimoto, Computer Science Teacher, Barry Erickson, Business and Marketing teacher, and Assistant Principal Cathy Thomas.
They care so much about being an IGNITE teacher and had a waiting list of girls for this trip. Fortunately we have many IGNITE events planned at Ingraham this year so all of the girls can participate. Thank you for all you do to inspire girls to learn about STEM careers. IGNITE teachers inspire us all.
Here are the comments from the Student Evaluation surveys. The girls always say it best.
What inspired me today was hearing the speakers and how they struggled, it inspired me to get more involved in school. I loved this event so much. Grade 10
I enjoyed hearing all of the parts that go towards working in tech and it has inspired me to change career paths. Grade 12
The stories of the women show me how my life can go and what I can do in the future. Grade 10
I think it inspired me to try a technology class and if I’m interested I might go with what I love. Grade 10
Hearing everyone’s stories and how they’ve come from so many different backgrounds, overcoming obstacles and doing what they love. It was a great experience and thank you for the opportunity. Grade 10
I thought everything today was really inspiring. Hearing the women’s stories really inspired me. Grade 11
I loved the Q and A time to ask questions. And hearing the backgrounds of the women really inspired me. Grade 10
Hearing all of the women’s experiences really inspired me to learn more about these career choices. Grade 10
The stories were all extraordinary and inspiring. Grade 12
This event inspired me! Hearing stories of these women who have done everything to getting the job they enjoy. Grade 9
I’ve seen a lot of different and interesting technology investigations that make me a lot more interested in considering Microsoft to be one of my work places. It was great. Grade 10
I enjoyed EVERYTHING. From top to bottom but the thing I enjoyed the most was asking the women questions. It’s all good. Grade 10
I learned a lot more about working in the technology field and at Microsoft. Grade 10
Seeing the future home, made me more interested in being in technology. Keep me notified of more IGNITE events. Grade 10
I really enjoyed hearing all of the women’s stories. They were all so relatable and nice! Grade 9
Learning about video game jobs and hearing the women’s stories. Grade 11
The women went through a lot and it got them to where they are today. To a career they love. Grade 9
The Q and A session made me even more interested in working in tech and working at Microsoft. Grade 9
The personal stories really inspired me because they all came from diverse backgrounds and gave really inspiring stories. The Office of the Future was like WOW, and I was amazed with all of the technology. Grade 11
I loved the tour, it was so well done! It opened my mind to our future in technology. I also really liked hearing the women’s stories. I am inspired to look more into technology related careers/job/opportunites. I want to shadow a worker here. Grade 10
Seeing the Xbox labs was cool. I was really inspired by hearing about all of the different paths the various women had taken to get where they are today. Grade 12
Stories of how it’s actually possible to get a job at Microsoft in the technology field. Grade 10
The Home of the Future was absolutely PHENOMENAL! I really got interested in the field and I know what I am mostly interested in now. Grade 10
I enjoyed hearing people’s stories about what working here and in this industry is really like. Grade 10
I enjoyed listening to people’s stories and how they came to work at Microsoft. Grade 9
All of the stories of their backgrounds and how they made their choices. Grade 12
I really enjoyed hearing others stories and how these women got to where they are now. Grade 10
Learning about the different options and knowing you don’t have to have experience with tech to start working on the tech field. Grade 9
I really enjoyed learning about the new possible technologies in the future and learning each woman’s story. Everything was great. Grade 10
I loved the panel and seeing the video game process. Grade 12
The personal stories was so inspiring. Listening to all of the ladies was amazing. Grade 11
I really liked learning about how their jobs have flexible schedules and liked hearing about salary and money. Grade 11
I really enjoyed everything. Grade 12
I really liked hearing the women’s stories on the panel. Also seeing how the Xbox labs worked. Grade 10
I loved this event, and hearing all of the personal stories from the women. Grade 10
Thank you to everyone who made this day so wonderful for these girls.
It’s a day that inspired and one they will never forget.