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From a Work Perspective

I knew I didn’t sign up to be project lead because I was nervous, but when I saw my name on the final internship roster and saw I wasn’t team lead, I’ll be honest, I was somewhat jealous. Like, I don’t know much, but what much more could this guy know? I eventually calmed down and entrusted the heavy details to him. But of course, be careful what you wish for. As one of the more technically skilled workers on my internship group, I ended up taking more of a lead and a mentorship position than I expected myself to, even volunteering time for other projects in the process! Now as my project itself comes towards a close, I’ll be transitioning more to full length projects within my creative interests and skill range.

In doing the above, I acknowledge that stress is highly probable within my line of work, which is why I will focus on setting reasonable goals and time limits on my work so I don’t become consumed by my workload. In addition, as I transition towards group-based and large-scale projects, I have learned that communication standards are key to ensure everyone is on the same page. As I mentored people over the past few weeks, I’ve seen how receptive others are towards working together, even if the process to the final product is slow and arduous. Accepting that perception and giving my partners credit for being patient will be important as I continue to collaborate in a team environment.

From an Ethical Perspective

Finally, the main issue that stood on my mind was the idea of inequality within the STEM fields. A lot of the curriculum is personally not applicable to many students. While a lot of persistence, dedication, and critical thinking is required in order to practice many of the skills in tech, many of them seem unrelated towards each other. I have seen plenty of students (including myself) give up and ask “why can’t you just do this for me?” The answer itself is (briefly) fulfilling, but finding the answer isn’t, either due to some intangible idea blocking them from further understanding how to proceed or due to lack of interest. And we often don’t know who to turn to in either case.

I’ve been fascinated by the recent STEAM movement and the idea that creativity and tech go hand in hand. Creativity not only makes our work as computer scientists stand out, it drives it forward. I feel that this movement is the next step towards making the STEM field more accessible to a diverse audience, it encourages people of all ages to work with each other, and it makes the skills of computer science more approachable to understand. However, I barely know enough about this to even comment on it further. The next steps from here are listening to multiple stories on their experiences in the tech industry and finding other individuals and communities in favor of integrating equity within the industry.