Today, I accepted an offer to work at IBM as a Technical Support CO-OP intern in the IBM® InfoSphere ® Information Server division in Massachusetts (remotely) from May 2021 to December 2021. I am thankful to IBM for this opportunity to be an IBMer for those months and help support customers from a variety of industries, from Aviation to Retail, through technical issues and continue to upload IBM's values, as well as their mission to innovate globally.
I also want to thank my major's department, Cornell ECE, for working with me to support my participation in this co-op and help me remain on track to graduate in May 2022, and the Cornell Career Office for providing this program to allow students to take these opportunities as Cornellians. Cornell truly has truly shown me the power of learning both inside and outside the classroom.
Another group that I owe a thank you to the communities that I have had the pleasure of being apart of, and the professional connections that I have made. Everyone that I have worked with on all the technical and non-technical aspects of these organizations has taught me a lesson that has made me a better engineer and person. The Intergroup Dialogue Project at Cornell University, Phi Sigma Pi at Cornell, WVBR-FM/Cornell Media Guild, ZODAJ, and more have truly pushed me to be better and work harder, but also know my worth and value.
Finally, I want to thank my friends and family for being my support system from when I was just a girl who dreamed to innovate and use technology to make a positive impact, up to this moment. Thank you for always reminding me that as long as I want it, and work for it, I can reach my goals, and more.
Except, that's not where the story ends for me. I am incredibly privileged to have resources and a support system that pushes me to work towards the change that I want to see. I was always told by my support system that I can be the representation that I don't see, and that I can break out into this industry. I had access to programs like Girls Who Code and Girls in Tech, which strive to make technology accessible to young women and combat the socialization that teaches young womxn that there is no room for them in tech. While I would like to consider myself unique in regards to my presence in the tech field, I feel that I have a social responsibility to call into consciousness the fact that my underrepresented identities intersect with a combination of identities with more access to opportunities to learn the skill needed to the level required to succeed in the tech industry. My identities are not unique, they are underrepresented.
With this opportunity, as well as any more that may come my way, I want to not only be a positive representation that opens the doors in the tech industry for those who share my underrepresented identities but also call for active efforts to expand the reach of these amazing education programs for young people interested in tech, to actively seek students from a more balanced set of represented and underrepresented backgrounds in order to create a better co-learning environment across difference and plant the seeds for a generation of thinkers where structural barriers to accessing a technical education are unapologetically challenged and broken down.
Doing this co-op might seem like a small, insignificant step towards this dream of mine, this step plans the seed of opportunity for me to think big and work hard. And besides, taking 1000 steps starts with taking one.