Grace Hopper Celebration 2010 : Day 3 (30 September)

Today was more or less a day to regroup, to make sure I’d gotten all the free stuff I had wanted, to make sure I had talked to every company and grad school I had interest in, and do some of the homework I was supposed to have done by the end of the day.

In the morning I went to the 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Career, where a panel of professional women gave us all advice on what not to do while we figured out what we wanted to do with our lives. The take-home messages were:

  • Go to informational interviews before deciding to accept an offer; ask about the company culture, etc
  • Don’t choose your first offer out of fear that it will be your only one — this is likely to end in misery
  • Follow up with contacts with various companies, and don’t forget to use your network!
  • Try to get a mentor/someone who will help you out and teach you the ropes early in your career
  • Take a vacation before starting! It will probably be the last chance you get to take a long holiday.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary
  • Think about how much you’d be willing to travel (some jobs will have you traveling every day)
  • Make sure that both you and your significant other are happy with your career choice — discuss things such as salary differences, whether they are comfortable with you having a high-security job, etc

It was very interesting to hear each of the panelists talk a bit about their lives, and I definitely learned a bit about how to handle my own job search.

After that I explored the world outside the hotel for a bit with one of my friends in order to enter the Geocache raffle hosted by the USAA. It was the first time I’d left the hotel in awhile, so it was a nice change to get out and explore some of Atlanta.

 

One of the USAA challenge clues

One of the USAA challenge clues

Next, we went to a lunch sponsored by CRA-W for all the DREU students who worked this past summer. It was at Il Mulino, a very fancy Italian restaurant which was happy to make some vegan alternatives to their usual menu. The food was delicious; this was easily one of the best meals of the conference!

Later came Codeathon for Humanity; being largely unfamiliar with the particular project, I decided to try and contribute by helping with documentation; unfortunately it was rather unclear as to what we needed to help document, and by the time the general reception rolled along the inhabitants of the Documentation table decided that a food break would serve us best.

After dinner was a very fun and spirited keynote speech by Carol Bartz, who spoke about what Computer Science had been like when she had started out, and how different the field is now, and how different it is likely to be in the future. The CEO of Yahoo! did not disappoint!

Then came the DJ Dance Party, which I attended for about ten minutes before deciding I was too tired to dance, and instead I hung out with a few friends who were mutually uninterested in dancing.

 

DJ Dance Partay

DJ Dance Partay

All in all another action-packed day. :]

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