The Michigan Engineer News Center

Panel of women in computing offers career insights

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EnlargeGroup photo of the panelists
IMAGE:  Panelists from left to right: Shelby Jones (Stryker), Mallory Quinnell (Stryker), Lisa Bailey (TD Ameritrade), Spenser Hardin (Principal Financial), Alexandra (Sasha) Lefevre (JP Morgan Chase), Laura Swain (JP Morgan Chase)

Girls Encoded brought together leading women in software engineering and research positions at Stryker, Principal Financial, JP Morgan Chase, and TD Ameritrade to motivate and inspire current students about their upcoming careers. The six women led the organization’s annual Sharing Perspectives Panel, offering key insights into their journey in the computer science field.

The panel covered a number of challenges to expect working as a computer scientist, and the skills they found necessary to overcome them. They discussed responding to new technologies in a computer science job, seeking out mentorship, building a network of other women, responding to imposter syndrome, and what to do when stuck on a problem.

The event drew heavy student attendance, with lively discussion about both the benefits and challenges of a career in computer science. Afterwards participants and attendees met and networked over dinner.

“I particularly appreciated how the panelists talked about the importance of persevering, asking for help when needed, and taking a break when a problem was challenging and frustrating,” says Laura Burdick, co-director of Girls Encoded and a lead organizer of the event.

Girls Encoded first organized this panel in April 2016, and plan to program additional panels in the future. It’s a part of the organization’s work highlighting exceptional female researchers and faculty members from many different areas of computer science, along with their Women in Computing lecture series.

Group photo of the panelists
Portrait of Steve Crang


Steve Crang
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Michigan Engineering

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