Hello!!! My name is Chinaemere Ike. I am a sophomore Computer Science major at Texas A&M University! I am SUPER PUMPED to attend the Grace Hopper Conference once again this fall. Last year, I went as one of few freshman from my school which, I must say, was overwhelming yet exciting interchangeably.
I remember landing in Phoenix, nervous as ever, waiting for our shuttle to take us to our hotel. The only thought running through my mind was “Am I good enough to be here?” At the time, I was brand new to the field of Computer Science and was worried that my peers and recruiters wouldn’t give me the time of day; Boy was I WRONG! Our shuttle came, we checked into the hotel, freshened up and then made our way to the convention center. When we arrived, it was such an amazing feeling to see thousands of other women in tech mingling amongst each other.
Grace Hopper is an amazing way to meet amazing women in the tech industry. I will forever thank and appreciate my university for allowing me to attend GHC. If it’s your first time, no worries! There’s nothing to be nervous about because everyone at the conference is there to support one another. I will suggest a few things though:
1. Don’t pack too much but if you do, bring a bigger luggage because you will end up taking home more than you came with. (SO MUCH FREEE SWAAAAG; I promise you I looked crazy on the plane heading home to some folks because of all my SWAG.)
2. Make sure you have your resumes ready and if not, I’m sure the hotel you’re staying in or the convention center will have some sort of printing station nearby (business cards are cool, too).
3. Network, make friends! There’s no such thing as being “awkward” at GHC. I can’t tell you how many friends/connections I made at GHC just by simply saying “Hi” to the person next to me.
4. Attend as many sessions as you can. It’s fun to learn about new things and topics in the tech field. It’s also a cool way to meet new people 🙂
5. Last but not least, HAVE FUN!!! Grace Hopper Conference is at the top of my “Favorite Events” list because it is just THAT AWESOME! Make sure you attend the Friday Night Celebration if you can! It was so much fun being a hall, filled with women, jamming out to Beyonce and Taylor Swift. Definitely one of my most memorable memories! Can’t wait to rock out this year as well!
Remember to enjoy yourself and make the most of your time in Houston! I know I did last year in Phoenix and I’m excited for another adventure this year! 🙂
PS: Don’t be afraid to say hi to me if you see me! I’m nice and I love making new friends 😀