Wednesday, January 11th, was the first kick-off WICS general meeting of Winter 2017! 50 wonderful faces, both familiar and new, came to the first meeting with renewed resolution for a wonderful start to the quarter. Our awesome speakers introduced WICS, the wonderful board members, and exciting WICS-hosted events for this quarter. Our friends has a lot to look forward to! We then made some new friends with a fun ice breaker, the Human Knot. Finally, we concluded our meeting decked in swag after a lively raffle competition. Students had a great time getting to know WICS and left learning about future opportunities for professional and social connections from these WICS-hosted events. Mark down the dates to your calendar! This is going to be a great quarter.
On November 18th WICS had a scavenger hunt for everyone in the mentorship program. Mentors and their mentees had an hour to find and take a picture of all the items on the list. The top three mentor mentee duo were given swag bags. It was a fun event for mentors and mentees to bond and to see how much they knew the campus.
This week, on November 9th, WICS hosted a “What I Learned at My Summer Internship Panel”. At the meeting, members asked any questions they may have about summer internships, and we had our wonderful panel answer the questions. On the panel, we had five undergraduate students who talked about their experiences at Northrop Grumman, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Intuit. As for our Ph.D. representative, he talked about his experiences at Google during the summer and his experience throughout his college years. WICS attendees learned about the whole process, from resumes to interviewing to all the perks and benefits as interns at these companies. Of course, pizza was provided, so everyone was well fed, happy, and left, inspired by the panelists.
WICS teamed up with the Video Game Development Club (VGDC) and Management Information Student Society (MAISS), on November 2nd to hold a useful and interactive info session called How to Market Yourself to Employers + Talking Yourself Up. ProSky, an Irvine-based company that provides a platform for job recruiting and job training, hosted the event. ProSky’s founder, Crystal Huang, gave a helpful presentation to over 60 attendees about how to approach marketing one’s self to employers through elevator pitches, searching for a job or internship, and participating in interviews with a company. Crystal, alongside Alexis and Julie, ProSky’s Director of HR and Head of University Relations, also facilitated an interactive activity where attendees were able to get on their feet and practice pitching themselves to others. Towards the end of the event, several volunteers were able to market themselves in 30 seconds to the entire room, followed by personal feedback from Crystal. After the event, all attendees were able to leave with stomachs full of pizza and a better idea of how to present themselves professionally. WICS is proud to be able to put on such valuable and resourceful events to their members alongside other ICS clubs and great companies like ProSky.
On November 1st, 2016, WICS collaborated with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and ICS Student Council (ICSSC) to put on a Facebook diversity panel. There were around 30 attendees at this event, less than what was expected. Facebook brought current employees (entry-level to many years of experience) and also a current intern to answer questions about life at Facebook, as well as the importance of diversity at Facebook and in the tech industry. Some of the questions asked in the panel were already pre-submitted, but students were encouraged to jump in with their own follow-up questions. There was also a LOT of pizza at the event, so no one went home hungry.
On October 26th, we hosted a study session since it is currently midterm season. More than 30 of our members gathered to study for midterms and do homework together. It was a fun environment to encourage each other through the busiest time of the quarter. Free pizza was provided instead of the usual snacks we have for study sessions, so it made it an even better time!
On October 19th – 21st 36 Students who were awarded a scholarship by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer sciences and the BRAID(Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity) program, attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The Conference took place in Houston, Texas and is considered to be one of the largest gathering for women technologists, just this year alone there were over 15,000 people in attendance. The attendees not only had the opportunity to attend multiple speaking events to further increase their knowledge in the tech industry, but also to attend the Expo Fair where they had the chance to network with many different companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Many students interviewed with companies during the conference while others scheduled interviews for a later time. All in all it was an incredible experience full of professional growth and fun!
On October 17th, WICS had their mentorship reveal, which consisted of 54 pairs! Mentors were given nametags, and the mentees were given a mission to find the balloon with their name on it, pop the balloon and then search for their mentor. The popping noises were pretty loud, but it made the atmosphere lively as the mentees were pretty anxious about who were the mentor was and vice versa. After everyone found their mentee/mentor, they were given the task to talk with one another and get to know each other, then mingle with another pair of mentors/mentees and introduce themselves to each other. This was a good idea so pairs can bounce off ideas from one another on how often to meet with your mentee/mentor, and possibly even have group bondings. Everyone was satisfied with meeting their match, so thanks Samantha Applebaum, who is the one in charge of the Mentorship Program and matching each pair! You did a wonderful job!
On October 13th, WICS collaborated with PwC to host an info session to help people amp up their interviews! Around 24 attendees came to the event, giving everyone the chance to actively participate. The PwC representative, Kaitlin Cottrell, gave a brief presentation covering working at PwC and opportunities there before providing tips on how to ace an interview. Attendees then paired off to ask common interview questions to practice. After taking some time to provide feedback, participants discussed with the representative which questions they found difficult, and the representative suggested ways to give good answers. The discussion transitioned into a Q&A where attendees asked questions about the interview process and working at PwC. The event closed with a resume reviews and one-on-ones. The event was very successful. Everyone had fun while learning ways to help them land a job offer. Thank you to Kaitlin for coming and making the event so interactive and enjoyable, and thanks everyone to joined us for this event!
On the 10th of October, WICS hosted their annual WICS games! There were over 78 attendees who came to our event. Company representatives from Google, ProSky, SendGrid, Facebook, and Pariveda Solutions came to join us in our games. Representatives were separated into different groups with WICS members that competed against one another. We started the first round off by letting each group get to know their own members, having them create a group chant and post a funny picture on WICS social medias. There were three rounds of challenging problems that needed to be solved within a time limit. Near the end of the event, scores were calculated and everyone was given the chance to take home swag. This event was a huge success. Everyone enjoyed the games and had a fun time while also given the chance to meet company representatives and other UCI students. Thank you to all the representatives for playing with us and everyone who joined in on our event!