This fall, two separate speed networking events were held with UT Dallas CS Alumni and tech industry members, one was hosted by the UT Dallas student Women Who Compute (WWC) student organization and the other hosted by the UT Dallas Jonsson School Alumni Relations Group and the UT Dallas Computer Science Alumni Chapter. Both events were successful in bringing in alumni and industry members from across North Texas. The UT Dallas CS Department and the Alumni Relations Center work together to grow a strong community for both alumni and current students. By hosting speed networking events, students are offered the opportunity to grow a larger network, gain a mentor, as well as get a better idea of what kind of future they can have.
The UT Dallas Jonsson School Alumni Relations Group and the UT Dallas Computer Science Alumni Chapter hosted its first speed networking event this fall as well. The event brought in eighteen alumni and twenty-five undergraduate and graduate computer science and software engineer students who were eager to network with one another. Alumni came from State Farm, Capital One, Axxess, Walmart Labs, Verizon, Fujitsu, Raytheon, Mr. Cooper, NETSCOUT, Nexrage Studios, AT&T, and Sabre. Students were able to learn about various careers including cybersecurity engineer, software engineer, DevOps engineer, statistical analyst, programmer analyst, principal engineer, lead big data analytics engineer in IoT, scrum master, software developer, and contributor software developer. During the event, students were able to sit and network with the visiting CS/SE alumni for ten minutes before rotating to the next table. The event provided students with an insider’s perspective of what it’s like to work as a UT Dallas engineer or computer scientist in the industry. The UT Dallas CS Department, UT Dallas Jonsson School Alumni Relations Group and the UT Dallas Computer Science Alumni Chapter plan to hold at least one, if not two, speed networking events every semester.
The UT Dallas Women Who Compute (WWC) club hosted its second Annual Speed Mentoring event. The event provided Computer Science and Software Engineering students with the opportunity to connect with eighteen local female technologists working within the tech industry. The event, which took place in the Jindal School of Management, provided students with the chance to talk to local women in the tech industry in a more relaxed and open dinner setting. Mentors from Bank of America, Capital One, CA Technologies, Celanese, Cisco, Citigroup, IBM, Intuit, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, and Verizon were in attendance. The Women Who Compute Speed Mentoring event allowed students to sit with various tech industry mentors for fifteen minutes before switching tables. Students were able to learn about various careers including UX designer, IT Security Director, Software Developer, Systems Engineer, Data Services Engineer, Software Engineer, Process Integration Engineer, and an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor. Participants were able to learn about the lives of the mentors, learn about the industry from a woman’s perspective, and ask questions that would help give them a better idea of what is to come and how to prepare for life after college.
We spoke with Sruthi Chappidi, WWC President, and a Software Engineering Ph.D. student, about the success and importance of the WWC Speed Mentoring event, “With the great response to our first speed mentoring event, our WWC team wanted to host another speed mentoring event again in 2017. The main objective of our events at WWC is to encourage and inspire women to pursue their career goals in the field of Computer Science and Software Engineering.” Sruthi continued, “The WWC Speed Mentoring event was a great success as it provided our members an opportunity to interact with inspiring and amazing mentors in the tech industry. All the participants found this interaction with industry mentors beneficial for their future endeavors. I am thankful to everyone who made this event a great success which includes my WWC officers team, our advisor Dr. Straach, her assistant Amanda Borner, the invited mentors, and finally all the attendees. It would not have been possible without all of them.”
The WWC hopes to continue hosting the event each fall so that the students can foster their relationships with the women they met at the event throughout the year. The event was co-sponsored by the UT Dallas Computer Science Department, who continuously work to provide a strong community for female technologists. Dr. Janell Straach, UT Dallas CS professor, and Amanda Borner, a UT Dallas CS staff worker, worked closely with the WWC to ensure the success of the speed networking event as well as ensuring that technology-minded women at UT Dallas have a strong community by hosting events, award ceremonies, luncheons, talks, clubs, and trips outside the UT Dallas Campus.
Below are a few photos from the WWC Speed Networking Event
Below are a few photos from the UT Dallas Jonsson School Alumni Relations Group and the UT Dallas Computer Science Alumni Chapter Speed Networking Event.
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,400 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,000 master’s students, 150 Ph.D. students, 53 tenure-track faculty members and 38 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2017. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.