This Monday 08/18 and Tuesday 08/19 our alumnae and current Ceiba female students had the amazing opportunity to participate in the GenHERation Discovery Days: San Francisco. These Discovery Days are designed to empower and inspire women to take on leadership roles in the career field they are interested in.
On Day 1, these young ladies visited the headquarters of IDEO, Twitter, Sephora, and Adobe where they were able to interact with the female executives and get exposed to the world of technology and business. We began our day visiting the IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm, in San Francisco where we talked to various project managers and received a tour of their cool office. Our ladies were able to learn from these experts about the subject of failure and ambiguity. Not only were they able to ask questions, but they were also able to practice their elevator pitch skills!
Afterwards we kicked off our second visit to Twitter!
Twitter had an incredible set of panelists ranging from software engineers to marketing experts. All these high profile women talked about the importance of not being afraid to start over in one’s career, being confident of one’s capabilities, and not letting anyone stop one from achieving one’s goals. It felt surreal being at the Twitter SF headquarters since it is such a popular site and to be in the center of it all was just amazing.
At Twitter we participated in an activity where we created our Twitter bios and shared them to the other 50 participants and some Twitter executives. All of our Ceiba ladies were proud to use #EducatedLatinas or #FirstGen in our bios. It was important to represent our community in an environment where there is a lack of educated Latina representation. Funny enough, even though there was no Latina professional at Twitter during our visit they did provide us with some tasty Mexican food! Despite the change in environment, it was important to be exposed to these high profile companies because it is the first step of “leaning in”.
On our third stop, we visited Sephora- Every girls’ dream!
At Sephora, we learned how the female executives changed their careers because they wanted a new challenge. These highly prepared professionals talked about taking risks and using every opportunity as an avenue to learn and build skills because one is never done learning. They also spoke about exploring options because one never knows what is going to learn from that one experience and who they will meet that will later on will help them advance their career.
We also presented out new products to Sephora executives and were evaluated on presentation skills and project innovation.
We concluded our visit at Adobe! At Adobe we learned about the various products/ projects Adobe launched as well as their female executive team. Some of the ladies talked about how they took a 180 degree change in their career because they discovered they wanted a change or more of a challenge. One of the senior communications executive mentioned how she was actually an opera singer, but decided she wanted to work in the the tech world. She built her skills and was able to demonstrate she had a strong work ethic and analytic skills necessary to lead a group. It was these kinds of stories that depicted how one can always try new things and how one’s college major does not define what they will do the rest of their career. Through their stories, we learned the leadership skills necessary to thrive in a competitive environment and the need to advocate for oneself. In order to put these skills into practice, as participants, we were separated into teams in order to create a video for a presidential campaign where the platform was to encourage more women in the world of the sciences. The Adobe representatives for their new program Adobe Spark, which facilitates the process of making very elaborate videos or posters even for those have no prior experience in multimedia creation, taught us how to navigate their program. This exercise was designed not only to advance our technological skills, but also to develop a sense creativity as an integral part our our work.
Our Ceiba ladies had a great time at GenHERation and cannot wait until next year!