On November 6, WICS held an Amazon tabling event and info session. Approximately 200 people attended in total–one of the highest attendance rates for a WICS event! Students who arrived at the event early received Amazon t-shirts. For the tabling event, a table was set up on the patio outside DBH 6011, where students were able to speak with an Amazon recruiter about internship roles, give out their resumes, and ask questions that they had. After the tabling, the recruiter as well as two Amazon software engineers held an information session to provide more details about the various opportunities at Amazon. As usual, food and drinks were provided!
On October 30, 2017 WICS had their mentorship reveal for the 2017-2018 academic school year! About 120 people attended the event and we had a total of 38 mentor and mentee pairs. This year has been the biggest turnout yet for WICS’s mentorship program, where mentors could take in two mentees if they preferred to do so. For their activity, our WICS committee members prepared small strips of paper that contained a general category for every person and a song lyrics. The general categories helped organized everyone into groups of 10 where the mentees/mentors would find each other by completing their song lyric or finding the artist of the song. After the mentees and mentors have found each other we had a small pumpkin drawing activity in celebration for Halloween! It was pretty chaotic with the amount of people in the room, but everyone had a blast and was happy with their pairs!
On the 23rd of October, WICS held an info session and a Q&A with Twitter. There were approximately 100 attendees! Before the event, the students were able to enjoy refreshing drinks at the 7 Leaves Boba bar outside in the patio area of DBH 6011 which was provided by Twitter. The boba drinks left the students energized and hyped up for the speaker! After, everyone made their way inside to be seated for the info session. All the chairs were filled! Twitter’s recruiter, Kelly, informed us of Twitter’s company culture, and shared the many opportunities provided by Twitter including new graduate careers and undergraduate internships. When the session was over, many students lined up to talk with the recruiter, asking follow up questions about the company and showing her their resumes. It was an overall success!
On the 16th of October, WICS held their annual WICS Games! They had over 80 student participates as well as company representatives from Google, SendGrid, Oath, and Blind Squirrel Entertainments. The company representatives were separated into different teams with about 9 students to one representative and all the teams were against each other. We started the night off with some delicious food and company introductions and then the main event began. There were 3 rounds with 15 minutes during each round. We began the games by having each team get to know their team members through introductions to creating a team chat and even posting a funny photo of themselves on different social media platforms! The rest of the rounds consisted of teams working together to solve logic puzzles and simple coding problems. After all the rounds were completed, students were able to network with the present representatives while the WICS team calculated scores. At the end, everyone was able to take home swag as well as gain new friendships and connections! WICS Games was a great success and the turnout was amazing as well! Students and representatives both had a fun time working together to solve our puzzles as well as getting to know each other in a casual setting. This event would have not been possible without all the great company representatives that were able to attend as well as the UCI students! Thank you to those company representatives that played with us and of course the attendees! We can’t wait for next year’s WICS Games!
Whoo! On Monday, Oct. 9th, WICS hosted their first WICS Mentorship program event: Mentorship Mixer. After consuming pizza and snacks, people settled down and we started our mentor introductions. Mentors filled out their profiles online before the mixer, so mentees did get a chance to view potential mentors before the mixer. Once introductions were complete, mentees chose their top 3 mentors to chat with and from there, both mentors and mentees were able to fill out their preferences. From there, we shall wait until the Mentorship Reveal during week 5 to see the final pairing results.
On Monday, October 2nd WICS held their first General Meeting in DBH 6011. This meeting had about 200+ RSVPs and over 100 students attend. It was the biggest turn out that we ever had anticipated compared to previous years. During this meeting, our co-presidents, Katie Yeh and Ericca Go, introduced our board members, explained what the purpose of what our clubs was and what kind of events we hold. We also had our internal vice president, Alice Wen, talk about the mentorship program and the mentorship mixer we were gonna have next week. Before the meeting ended, we selected several students to receive swag by doing a raffle. It was definitely great to start off the new year with meeting everyone! We hope to see this many people at our next event!
On Thursday, September 28th, WICS had their very first week 0 social. The event was located in the common room of the Berkeley Court Clubhouse, so there had to be walk groups from the flagpoles to the location so no one would get lost. The social was meant for WICS members (new and old) to get to know each other and socialize. More people came than expected (about 65 people came total), so some adjustments had to be made with the snacks. Besides some of the initial difficulties with having enough for all 65 people to eat, everyone seemed to be having a great time with lots of great conversation.
On the 13th of April. WICS toured Riot Games’ corporate campus in Los Angeles to gain insight of the game development industry as well as learn what drives the success behind Riot’s popular game, League of Legends.
Upon our arrival at the campus, we were warmly greeted by Grant Cushman, Riot’s University Relations Recruiter, who was our guide for the tour. After getting our name tags, Grant gave us a brief introduction to what League of Legends is and shared with us how it has grew to become a big part of competitive eSports. We were then greeted by a large Annie and Tibbers statue in the main lobby and all of us were excited to take pictures with it. Next, we were led to see meeting rooms themed after League of Legends’ champions, a cafe with a Bilgewater (pirate) interior, a large cafeteria serving a wide selection of food, an arcade filled with retro game machines, an internet cafe lined with rows of gaming computers and open workspaces in which almost every desk had at least two monitors and a hardworking employee.
Our tour was wrapped up by a Q&A session with 3 software engineers who worked in different departments. They shed some light into the life of working in a game company, the challenges they face as well as how working in the game industry contrasts to working in other industries. Since we were a small group of 18, we were able to ask all of our questions and learned a lot from these experienced programmers. We were also inspired by how Riot employees seemed to have a “work hard, play hard” philosophy, as many of them play games together while still taking their work very seriously.
Overall, we are truly grateful to Riot Games for giving us this opportunity to tour their campus as we learned a lot about the game industry. Thanks to everyone who participated and we hope to see you again!
January 28, 2017 – February 16, 2017
It’s an awesome time for Orange County youths to get their feet wet in Computer Science! This winter, WICS has paired up with Girls Who Code at Woodbridge High School to host a series of workshops for youths to explore the field of Computer Science. Mentors spent 4 weeks with 35 eager students at Lathrop Intermediate school learning about careers in the STEM field through computing and app development workshops!
Under the guidance of 11 experienced mentors, Aspire IT students had the opportunity to practice essential coding and product development skills using MIT’s Scratch, JoyLabz Makey Makey Boards, and MIT’s App Inventor. After grasping the basics, the students worked in teams to showcase a culminating project they developed using Scratch. We also had guest speakers from Amazon to help us breakdown CS stereotypes and educate the students on real opportunities in the industry. And of course, in between grind time we had plenty of creative activities to keep us on our toes!
Between each workshop, we gathered feedback from our Aspire students. We were elated to find that the program achieved its desired outcomes. One student when asked what they got out of the experience said, “I got that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still make an app.” Not only were we successfully able to break CS stereotypes, but the students also had a lot of fun! When asked how much they enjoyed the program on a scale of 1 to 10, 88% reported 10 (or more) and the remaining reported 9. We plan to continue providing this fun learning experience for more youth like our friends at Lathrop Intermediate.
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On April 18th, it was a warm and sunny Tuesday morning at the UCI flagpoles; 23 students eagerly waited for rides heading towards the Blizzard tour. WICS Corporate made sure everyone was present before we embarked to the site. Upon arriving, many were delighted to see the Blizzard sign with its amazing banners and statues. All of the students were really excited to see some of Blizzard’s buildings and works stationed outside of the courtyard plaza. Throughout the tour, light chatter and awe were lit on many faces. Many students were impressed and attentive, asking questions at some of the highlights of the tour. Towards the end, we thanked our guide and took pictures, keeping them for keepsakes of the amazing experience we had. This event allowed our students the opportunity to meet with talent acquisition and network with Blizzard. Our students are now inspired to work there!