I feel like Tech Exchange more than anything showed me what it was like to be in the industry. I feel like it really closed the gap on where my education was at and where it needs to be for me to be a working member of society. I’m Katherine Sweeby. I am a junior at New Mexico State University I would say New Mexico State is really chill. It doesn’t really matter what major you’re in or
what activities you’re involved with. Everyone here is extremely friendly. But sometimes I get tired of spending all of
my time here in the computer science lab. New Mexico has really great hiking trails, so I like to spend my time outdoors. Not only am I a full time student, I’m also a mom. It requires a lot of time organization.
I have a set amount of time where I have to get everything done. When I commute to campus, I either go here and through, this is our busy area of town and then hit the highway and it’s super scenic, super chill, that’s the way I’m going. I heard about the tech exchange program last spring.
I thought it was a really cool opportunity to take a semester and learn in a nontraditional way. the first time I heard the Tech Exchange program from Google was through
CAHSI. CAHSI is the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions and all realizing that there is a absolute lack of diversity in terms of Hispanic
participation in the field of computing. Google approached us with the idea of
actually having institution from CHASI joining this program. I was super excited because that seems really the missing piece. Our students here at NMSU will gets a lot of experience participating in the Google Tech Exchange program. They have classroom experience, they have
learning experience, but they’re getting sort of real world experience working with engineers and computer software programmers at Google The students have just come back this semester and I have three of those
students in this program. What I noticed from all three of them is a much more
advanced ability to understand the requirements from the class, capture the
material that’s in the classwork. They just seem a lot more mature about what they’re doing and much more prepared. I remember when she first came back, I asked her, “So how does it feel to be
back on NMSU? Does it feel normal?” And she actually told me no. She felt more
normal at the Google Tech Exchange because her days were structured and she had certain things to do for coursework. But then she also got to interact with
her research team and so she was really enjoying that experience. My family has been really happy with my life after Tech Exchange I was able to
get an internship this summer with New Mexico’s top startup. I also have a lot more confidence in myself to apply for positions that I probably would not have applied for before My time at Google Tech Exchange and my experiences here at NMSU’s use computer science department helped me realize that even being a single mom trying to pursue a career in computer science, there truly are no limitations. And if you want it just simply do it.