Thursday, September 30, 2010

10 Things I'm Glad I Know Now About Landing a Job in Computing


Session: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Career
Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am;  Session One Student Track

Today I attended the student track panel 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Career and found the advice given by the panel both interesting and uplifting.  The panel consisted of  women in computing (Pictured from left to right):
  • Lora Brock (Blackboard, Inc)
  • Shana Venson (Lockheed Martin) 
  • Kate Kelly (Microsoft)
  • Gayna Williams (Microsoft)
  • Avani Patel (Symantec)
  • Kaoutar El-Maghraoui (IBM)

The group was diverse in backgrounds and years in the workforce which provided a nice body of advice for any woman looking land a job in the technical field.  There were many interesting stories from each of the women and a lot of valuable information shared.  

5 Tips I Learned from the Panel
  1. Practice interviewing with companies you do not want to work for in preparation for interview with the companies you are really interested in.
  2. Take a vacation before you start your job.  You will need this break.  
  3. Do not take the first job you are offered.  Leave room for multiple offers so that you may find the company and job that is right for you.
  4. Don't bank on thinking you have the job. Continue looking even while working on negotiating. ~ Lora Brock, Blackboard
  5. Dress nice on the first day of work because they will take the picture that will end up on your badge.
An interesting question was posed to the question in which each panelist were asked to comment on one thing that she would have done different, given what she knows now.  I would like to share some of the experiences the ladies discussed and include my little "two cents".
  • Don't let a bad experience block you forever (Kate Kelly).  Sometimes we are faced with challenging situations in school and in life that can discourage us.  Don't let those things stop you.
  • Have work/life balance.  Try to adopt your lifestyle to your job.  Do what is best for you. Understand your needs and adapt to job environment (Kaoutar El-Maghraoui).  
  • Keep in touch with your on-campus recruiter.  "Build your network before you network.  Build your network before you need them."  Take the network home from GHC and add ur on campus recruitment (Avani Patel). 
  • Utilize and take advantage of everything you can.  Development programs, mentoring, and opportunities to contribute to new projects (Shana Venson).  
  • Get internships and co-ops early.  Active on campus organizations that are relevant to your field.  Continue learning.  Know yourself and what you can contribute to the organization (Lora Brock).
  • What reputation do you want to have in the company.  Think about that and craft it (Gayna Williams).  
You can find the notes for this session posted at the GHC Wiki


  1. Thank you for those tips. I cannot attend Grace this year, and your blog helps me somehow feel that I participate in the conference. Thanks

  2. Thank you behong188. I'm sorry you had to miss the conference. Hopefully you can attend next year.