Grace Hopper from the MSBA Perspective

Last month, fourteen women in the MSBA program traveled to Houston for the annual Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing (GHC). GHC aims to showcase women in tech and all that we can accomplish, and it was an amazing experience to be able to attend it. There were many interesting and inspiring sessions that attendees could go to, ranging from an Amazon workshop on programming an Alexa command to a panel on women who joined the tech industry from nontraditional backgrounds.

Most of the other MSBA attendees and I spent a majority of our time at the GHC Career Expo, which contained hundreds of company booths looking to hire many different positions, from business analysts to software engineers. These booths aren’t just a table with a few flyers about job openings; instead, the employers pulled out all the stops to attract attendees to their booths. Facebook had an Instagram photo booth, Indeed had a professional photographer to take new LinkedIn photos, and Citibank even had a 3-D printer that would print out a photo of you that was made out of candy. The swag that companies handed out to attendees was amazing: Home Depot was giving away succulents and I even got a free AncestryDNA kit when I stopped by the Ancestry booth! The Expo isn’t just open to employers: William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business even had their own booth to encourage attendees to apply to the MSBA and MBA programs!

For me, the best part about the Career Expo was the chance to potentially interview with different companies that weren’t in my geographical area. Many major corporations were there: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Disney, Bank of America, American Express, and the list goes on. If a recruiter liked your resume and thought you should be considered for an opening, he or she could schedule you for an interview at the onsite Interview Hall. This gave attendees the chance to have multiple interviews with different companies of interest. Some employers contacted students before GHC began to schedule interviews and do initial phone screens (the girl next to me on the plane to Houston already had two interviews lined up with Google and Disney!), but I ended up getting all of mine from handing out my resume at the Expo and being scheduled on the spot. One of the great things about the MSBA program is that it is a versatile degree that can be applied to many different industries. Some of the companies I interviewed with included a health insurance company, a consulting group, and even the MLB. A few W&M MSBA attendees even left GHC with job offers!

Even though the Career Expo was a great experience, the best thing about GHC was the chance to meet so many amazing people. Everyone was very friendly and easy to talk to, and all the attendees who I spoke with, from VPs to fellow students, wanted each other to succeed. Being able to attend a celebration of strong women in the tech industry was an incredible experience, and the other MSBA attendees and I are extremely grateful to W&M for introducing us to such an amazing opportunity and supporting us along the way.