There is not enough to say about our next Code2College (C2C) Summer 2019 Intern Highlight, Adriana, a rising senior from Akins High School and a 2019 Code2College Alumna. Unsure of what field she wanted to pursue, the Code2College program helped Adriana realize that software engineering was an area that aligned well, both with her interests and technical aptitude. “I knew that I was interested in STEM, but being in the C2C class all year, and attending the Saturday workshops made me realize that this is exactly what I want to do for a career,” shared Adriana.
Those Saturday workshops that Adriana mentioned were monthly opportunities to explore a variety of STEM industries and build critical professional skills at corporate offices like Q2eBanking and IBM. “Thanks to these workshops, I learned how to prepare for an interview, both technical and behavioral,” she added. “In fact, thanks to Code2College and that incredible preparation, I received an offer for a summer internship with Cirrus Logic. I don’t know where else I could gain professional skills and experience in the tech industry at this level while still in high school.” In regard to the interview process, Adriana explained, “I was very prepared thanks to Code2College and the workshop held at Dell this past February to prepare us for our interviews. The Code2College staff was very helpful in answering all of the questions that I had regarding the interview process.”
“At one of my favorite workshops, we designed our own apps after learning about User Experience (UX) and User Interfaces (UI). I saw that there was so much that goes into designing an app, from interviewing target users to the collaboration that takes place between the design and engineering teams towards product development,” she mentioned.
And when it comes to her internship at Cirrus Logic this Summer – Adriana is elated. “I’m excited to get to see what the tech workplace is like and to get to put what I learned all year at Code2College to work,” she shared. She also stated that she is finally looking forward to making her first connections in the Tech industry; professionals who can provide guidance and insights on the Software Engineering field. She looks finding more mentors like the helpful Cirrus Logic Volunteer Instructors who helped her throughout the year: Joanne Crabb, Ben Bright and Ian DeGroot.
Towards the end of the program year, Code2College held its first Scholarship Essay Competition where students had an opportunity to write a reflective essay. The stakes? A $2,500 college scholarship from VRBO (formerly HomeAway). And now, a full year prior to Adriana graduating from high school, she’s already started to generate savings for her college experience.
Code2College is an organization focused on an important mission for Central Texas: to dramatically increase the number of minority and low-income high school students who enter and excel in STEM undergraduate majors and careers. This mission clearly resonates with our students as well. “Code2College is important for the Austin Tech landscape because it is an opportunity for teens here in Austin to get engaged with Tech. Instead of these companies having to hire people from other parts of the United States, they are able to hire from the local community,” Adriana expressed. “It gives a chance for students who don’t have access to these roles to get introduced to the field and possibly get inspired to pursue a career in an industry otherwise facing a challenge in hiring technical talent.”
In an effort to “look back and lift up,” Adriana has been telling her friends who are interested in STEM to get into the Code2College program so that they can gain real-world experience. Her experience and work with Code2College has motivated Adriana to volunteer for similar programs once she gets into the workforce, especially Code2College as it focuses on empowering women and minorities in Tech. Adriana will enter her Senior year at Akins High School this Fall and hopes to attend the University of Texas at Austin so that she can major in their Computer Science program.
“Code2College was a great experience and I learned so much. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning more about computer science, professional development, teamwork or generally improving themselves. I learned a lot and this program made me realize that software engineering is exactly what I want to pursue as a career. The Code2College staff and volunteer team are very supportive and will help you throughout your time in the program.”
We look forward to watching Adriana’s successes and how she fulfills her goals of giving back to other students, her community and the Austin Tech landscape.