Peggy: Day 1 Reflections

We flew up to Baltimore in the morning and checked into our hotels. Since not everybody from Duke was on the same flight and staying at the hotel, it took a little longer to sort out the logistics. On the bright side, our room at the Sheraton is really nice, and the hotel is under a ten-minute walk from the Baltimore Convention Center where the Grace Hopper conference is being held.

Even in the hotel lobby where we were waiting, I started to notice women carrying the blue Grace Hopper conference bag for this year, and the numbers only increased as we headed to the BCC in the afternoon. Although I knew there would be over 3000 attendees so the attendance wasn’t necessarily a surprise, it was still remarkable to see so many women, from students to industry representatives to professors. It was really exciting to finally register and receive my Grace Hopper bag and name tag!

After lunch with a few other Duke students at the food court, we decided to attend a panel talk called “How to Optimize Your Job Search” together. All in all, it was pretty good, although I personally felt that the emphasis for most of the concrete tips revolved around LinkedIn and networking, and I would have liked to hear more about, say, websites or events to be on the lookout for when career searching.

On my way down an escalator later, I accidentally bumped into a woman who I assumed was a college professor attending the conference – it turns out that she was the conference director, oops!

My evening was spent at the Career Fair, which included practically every large tech company I could think of as well as numerous graduate school programs from universities across the country. It was honestly a little overwhelming and intimidating at first, but after visiting several booths, I began to feel more comfortable speaking with recruiters and engineers alike and coming up with questions that I wanted to ask. I had an interview with one company that I had set up prior to arrival, but enjoyed having the rest of the time to learn more about different companies and of course, collecting some free swag!


About Me: I’m a junior at Duke majoring in Computer Science and Economics. This was my first (and hopefully not last) time attending the Grace Hopper Conference.

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