GHC15 Experience

Yep, fellow readers, it is high time for me to write about my experience at GHC15! During the entire month of September I have been so curious about how it will be, who I’ll meet, what people I’ll listen to and what opportunities I will find out about! I did my best to prepare as good as possible, following the advice I received beforehand: create business cards, a nice resume, practice your elevator pitch, schedule the sessions you don’t want to miss and so on.

Planning?! Heh.. Looking back now, I can see it has been the most wonderful chaos I have ever experienced. Three days packed with amazing events and sessions, the most incredible career fair I have ever attended and an amazing number of talented, super friendly and incredibly smart people!

As an international scholar, I truly felt like a  princess. Our rooms were incredible, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Houston. I can tell you, everything surprised me at this conference! First one: my amazing room at the 19th floor and the crazy lifts! Being 6 hours ahead of everybody, I had loads of energy during the morning, but slowly, after 3pm it was a true struggle to stay awake.

Most of my time has been dedicated to attending the keynote sessions, the career fair, joining amazing company events and talking to incredible people. Second surprise: so much swag! I never received so many t-shirts in my entire life. Pens, notepads, water bottles, lipsticks, candles, bags, speakers, teddy bears, travelling pillows, you name it! All you can imagine had a logo on it and it was waiting there for you to pick it up.

Third surprise: the company events. If you RSVPd, you were able to attend some great events organised by individual companies outside the conference centre. Every day, I got to at least one company event.

  • On Wednesday, I’ve been to : Dropbox, Pixar and Twitter
  • On Thursday: Amazon and Google Women Techmakers
  • On Friday: Facebook’s Empathy Lab and Uber

Each of them was unique, extremely original in their presentation and introduced me to new great people. I learnt a lot from each and every event, where amazing female engineers and researchers shared their experiences and offered advice.

I can go on writing about all the pleasant surprises I had, but I guess it will be easier to follow my (not very professional) photos:

We had to design a cupcake with the dropbox logo on it (please pretend I was successful!):

I had to make a dropbox logo cupcake (please pretend I was successful)

 

Pixar event panel:

 

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The Twitter cocktail:

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Twitter event panel:

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Keynote with Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s CEO, extremely ambitious and smart, mother of 5 and Google’s first landlord (yep, Google started in her garage):

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Google brought these nice photo booths that applied algorithmic effects on our photos:

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Plenary session with Jack Dorsey,  Twitter’s CEO and founder,  Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation and daughter of Bill and Hilary Clinton and Maxine Williams, Global Director for Diversity at Facebook:

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The funniest plenary session with the amazing Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook:

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Google’s Women TechMakers’s party:

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Facebook’s Empathy Lab event. Facebook’s division that tackles accessibility issues and humanitarian projects:

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Cisco had their own t-shirt printing machine:

 

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Around the career fair:

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Yahoo’s Photo Booth:

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Friday night final party @Houston’s Minute Maid Baseball Stadium:

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It wouldn’t have been a complete Texan experience if I hadn’t met a  cowboy with a lasso:

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The dance floor:

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Party glasses from Google (not the Google Glass, but still pretty awesome!)

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@Microsoft’s photo booth at the party:

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@Google’s Photo Booth:

 

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Proper Texan ladies:

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Obviously, we weren’t allowed to smile!

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I hope you enjoyed my blog post, I intended to keep it shorter, but nah, I was waay to excited about my time at the conference!