Participating in the program was an experience unlike any other. I believe the program was very engaging and intuitive. I appreciated the Guided affinity groups as they increased learning in technical conference sessions. The Mentor Protégé Program was also worthwhile since it matched us with SIAM CSE community members, giving us the opportunity to connect with seasoned professionals, get advice, and explore their questions about academic, career, and professional pathways. I also enjoyed the Tour & Career/Professional Development Session at Google Fibre Academy as I learned about Google Fiber, explored the Google facility in Atlanta, and heard from Google staff about information related to career/professional opportunities.
I believe the most influential aspect of the program was the Mentor Protégé Program since I was specifically paired with mentors that are professionals in my current field of interest, which pertain to Data Science. I was delighted to hear about their life journeys, and the paths they took to arrive where they are now in their lives. What I appreciated most from these conversations was hearing the obstacles they have faced throughout their careers, and learning how they were able to rebound from these inconveniences. It served as learning experiences for me to keep in mind when possibly faced with something similar in the future. In general, just talking with these individuals and extracting all the knowledge and expertise they possess in their respective fields was worthwhile, exciting, and motivational to hear.