2016 gave me many opportunities which were totally unexpected. One among them, being selected as a GHCI student scholar. GHCI, Grace Hopper Celebration India is the largest gathering of women in technology hosted by Anita Borg Institute along with ACM India. This year it was held at Vivanta by Taj and White Orchid convention center, Bangalore.
I heard about GHCI from my senior who attended the conference last year. I decided to give it a try and applied online through the ABI website. Luckily I and my friend got selected. Then came the trouble, our semester exams got scheduled on the same date as that of the event. There was only one option, an alternative examination. We had to go through a lot of procedures to make it done. At last, everything was set, our two exams got rescheduled. We started off our travel by train and reached the destination the next day morning.
We directly went to the luxurious hotel where we were allotted three days of free food and accommodation. That was a cool place. The room was just perfect with all the facilities. We missed our breakfast as we had to catch the bus to the venue which was organised by the team. We could barely conceal our excitement and started taking selfies 🙂 At last, we reached. There was a long queue in front of the registration counter. But organisers were fast enough to handle the queue within minutes. One of them came and announced, the grand lunch. Omg! That was the words that we were waiting to hear, we rushed for the lunch. The sight of the food itself made us feel full.
There were a lot of variety dishes and desserts. We ate a lot and were really tired. But this was not the time to sit comfortably somewhere and take rest. We had some random talks with the student scholars and delegates who were working in reputed companies. They were so friendly. We gathered in the main arena of the conference for the official launch.
Telle Whitney, CEO of ABI gave an introductory talk and pointed out how women are making changes in the field of technology. Mrs. Geetha Kannan, director of ABI India, talked about the empowerment of women in technology. Mrs.Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director of IBM took the Keynote session on how women are both adapting to and driving change in the tech world. Madhav Mukund, Dean of Chennai Mathematical Institute, gave a brief talk on ACM India. The talks were so interactive.
Next session was a discussion by the CXO Panel about Leading in Times of Unprecedented change.
- Panelists: Cynthia Stoddard, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Adobe; Ganesh Balasubramanian, Global Head Design, and ADM, HSBC; Mohit Saxena, Co-Founder, and CTO – InMobi; Prameela Kalive, Executive Vice President, Zensar Technologies. Moderator: Nora Denzel (Independent Director).
Soon after that, we had the tea break. Next session started off with a bang.Dance, Music, DJ party.. the celebration began 🙂
The day ended with lots of energy and cheerfulness. We went back to the hotel, freshened up and then roamed around the streets. How could we miss the chaat 😛 There was a chaat shop nearby our stay. We had spicy panipuris, masala puri, and chana masala.
It is the second day of GHCI and for us “The goodie day” 😉 The venue for the day is Vivanta by Taj. We missed our bus and took the metro to reach the destination. At the entry, we saw the goodie bags being distributed. We collected the bag and went to the Career Fair. A crowd of companies; Google, Amazon, G.E, Cisco, Google, Intuit, Microsoft, NetApp, ANZ, CA Technologies, HP, Symantec, Thomson Reuters, Unilever, WalmartLabs, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Citrix, Dell Inc., EMC, Facebook, Goldman Sachs & Co., Intel Corporation, VMware, Xerox and Xilinx, SAP Labs and the list goes on.
This is the perfect platform to directly connect with professionals and discover the availability of jobs and internships. We registered our details with almost all of the companies and interacted with their team. They also had some funny activities and quiz competitions. We did get a lot of goodies 🙂 Along with career fair, a series of talks, poster displays and presentations were going on. We split up into two directions and attended the talks of our interest. The first talk, “Robots: Where are humans in it?”, by Accenture technologies. This was an advanced level talk. I could not understand much and managed to listen to it for some time. I was interested in knowing about cryptocurrency, so I went to attend the talk “Block chain Decoded” by IBM and VMware. I found the talk really interesting. They explained the block chain network, flow of currency, transaction procedures clearly. They even showed us a demo on how the transaction network works.
Soon after the talk, we had the grand lunch. We roamed through the company stalls again and met some attendees. Thus day 2 came to and end. With the bags full of goodies we went back to the hotel.
We were a little upset as it is our last day at GHCI. We decided to cover the poster presentations. The works were so innovative. Having glanced through each poster, we went around to see the luxurious venue, Vivanta by Taj. The hotel was fully decorated with Christmas lights, so bright and beautiful.
We were hoping if we could stay there for one more day. The time was running short. We collected our certificates and reimbursement fee, bid goodbye to some familiar faces and returned back. GHCI left us with lots of experiences and we would always remember the awesome personalities that we met. We hope to join for #ghci2017 🙂