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Interviews

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I’m Brenon, a second-generation Filipino-American born and raised in Vallejo, California, right outside of San Francisco. I currently live in Harlem, New York and recently joined AppNexus as a UX Designer. Before AppNexus, I worked at Havas as an Experience Designer, Bloomberg as a UX Research & Design Intern, and Comrade (now CI&T) as a UX Designer. User experience design is a pretty nebulous term, but if I had to summarize what I do, it would be this: I understand

While in elementary school in Clinton, Maryland, Ijeoma grew up with a passion for reading and learning new languages. She never thought she would find herself in the technology industry. Initially, she dreamt about being an entrepreneur, owning an international hotel chain and traveling all around the world. However, during high school, she joined a pilot robotics program, which opened her eyes to the world of engineering. While learning about robotics and practicing coding, she developed a strong desire to build things. One of her most memorable projects was hacking

We caught up with the amazing Fikile M Kani about her amazing new original webseries Tech Bae… As soon as we heard the premise of a black women founder trying to create a better dating experience for black women we had to find out more. Have a look at her tweet thread before deliving into our interview. Aya’s story needs to be on peoples’ screens not only to bring light issues around bias, but to add more black women’s faces in spaces where they are underrepresented–the tech/startup worlds and on

Shelly Bell has lived many lives. She’s a computer scientist, a former high school teacher, a performance poet, a community organizer, a founder, and a CEO. She has two successful apparel printing businesses: MsPrint USA—through which she creates swag for clients like Amazon and Google with a team of women designers and printers—and Made By A Black Woman, which celebrates products made by Black women. Every project Bell undertakes is designed to empower women, especially women of color, which is why two years ago, she began her latest enterprise, Black

A conversation with the hilarious ex Googler and now stand-up comic and author Sarah Cooper. We talk her career transition, Trump, Beyonce and Jay-Z and her brand new book: How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women I think the obvious question to start with is how does one go from being a Googler to a comic/author? It was all based on a viral article that I wrote called “10 tricks to appear smart meetings” I wrote while I was working at Google as a

How Pitzer College Alumna and NSBE member Cindy Onyekwelu built her own degree and company During undergrad at Pitzer College, Cindy set her sights on becoming a pharmacist. Her parents thought pharmacy school would be the best career path for her and she wanted to make them proud, but after taking one lower division chemistry course she knew her heart wasn’t in it. While at Pitzer, she started exploring other courses offered by the Claremont Colleges. Cindy decided to take on Zachary Dodd’s programming class at Harvey Mudd College, and found

We hear the story of Shereen Messi, the technical lead of Re: Coded Iraq [a program that creates future tech leaders of Iraq and Turkey], She coaches fellows to become incredible Android and full-stack developers in class and throughout their client projects. “I always loved science and math, but when I was a kid I didn’t know that one day I would go to college. None of my family members went to university or even high school. As a kid, I thought that people only go to middle school and

By all traditional estimates, Merline Saintil was not destined for success. Growing up as a poor girl in Haiti, she never dreamed of working side by side with world-class engineers and leaders in Silicon Valley. But, one afternoon at a career fair changed everything. “Actually, my first love was math. I only stumbled into computer science (CS) during a career fair in college. I credit this fortuitous event for propelling me from humble beginnings as a 5-year-old immigrant to living in the epicenter of Silicon Valley in less than a

“From a young age, I always learned to look at the situation that you’re in and consider what a faster, more innovative approach is.” This mindset has guided Fereshteh Forough on a pretty remarkable path, launching Code to Inspire, the first coding school for girls in Afghanistan. While a deep passion for rebuilding Afghanistan drives Fereshteh, she was born in a refugee camp in Iran. Her parents were forced to leave Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion in the early 1980s, and the first time she stepped foot in her home

Erika Hairston grew up playing video games like Dance Dance Revolution and Need for Speed with her older brother, which sparked her interest in learning more about tech. When a high school research project led her to a documentary produced by Stanford University, entitled She++, about the lack of women in tech, Erika knew she wanted to change that reality. She took her first Computer Science class in college and hated it. Instead of being discouraged, she remembered the documentary, which prefaced that computer science wouldn’t always be easy, but

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