Going to Microsoft was a dream come true to many students in our group since they have heard of the company but never had a chance to be on its campus in Redmond. As our bus approached Building 25 the students were in awe at the immense campus nestled with trees. The students were greeted by Sunitha with such a welcoming smile and so much enthusiasm.
Then Liz Bander greeted the students as they walked into the conference room to learn Small Basic coding software. Some of the students were a little shy at first since they had never experienced a coding class, but with the positive energy and the encouraging instructor they started to immerse themselves in the instruction with mentors from Microsoft. Then they were treated to a lunch while they connected with mentors in conversation about their hopes and dreams. Then a panel of six women at Microsoft shared their journey into tech, their challenges and their success along the way. The girls were so focused on this panel conversation and Q &A that they lost track of time and had to hurry to get ready to get on the bus back to school.
After attending this event:
Below is what some students shared from this experience:
“My experience at Microsoft was one that I was able to see a global company sourcing work locally in my area. To be honest, I have never had much experience in coding, and I didn’t plan on getting any, because I never assumed I was someone who was interested in technology and development. But this trip to Microsoft completely changed that. It’s not that I fell in love with technology, but it’s that I realized my capabilities in that I have no pre-dispositions to being someone who can’t be involved in technology as a high schooler and as a girl. I learned that if I want something, I have the capabilities of getting it. One of the things that stood out to me the most about the trip was that I got to meet and speak with the women in Microsoft as mentors and peers rather than people who were just trying to speak to us. They taught us an introduction to code and they told us about their stories as women in the work field, but they did this through having conversations with us. They showed us our potential as high schoolers, coders, and young women. They showed us kindness, compassion, and helpfulness, and reminded us to show this to others too; especially other women in our work field, and women in general.”
“I was not only inspired by what the women at Microsoft taught us, but I was inspired by them, too. I was inspired by their kindness and eagerness to show young women their capabilities and true potential in the world. I was inspired by being reminded that we are enough, we are more than enough, for the world. At Microsoft, I was taught an introduction to code, but I was also reminded of my importance as a young woman who wants to help the world, however I can.”
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On the way back to school on the bus we asked the girls what is one word to describe their experience today and here are few common responses:
With much gratitude to Ed Price, Liz Bender, Jenny Ferris and Sunitha and all the amazing women at Microsoft who took the time out of their busy workday to inspire our girls with much energy and encouragement. Our girls had an opportunity to hear about a variety of careers in technology from these professional women who were so passionate about their work and igniting the spark in our future women in tech.
Thank you again.