For incoming first-year undergraduates, summer is an important time — busy with course selection, packing in hours at summer jobs, studying a campus map — to prepare for the four years ahead. At Break Through Tech, we think it’s never too early to start thinking about how the classes they choose set a student up for their future career.
For incoming first-year undergraduates, summer is an important time — busy with course selection, packing in hours at summer jobs, studying a campus map — to prepare for the four years ahead. At Break Through Tech, we think it’s never too early to start thinking about how the classes they choose set a student up for their future career. While it can feel far away to a student whose life at their university has barely begun, exploring a career in tech early is critical to help students avoid the obstacles women often face breaking into tech pathways. Break Through Tech’s Guild program encourages students to explore their interests in computer science, and what that could mean for their career, outside of the classroom and before other pressures and distractions have begun.
Summer Guild is a one-week, no-experience-necessary program that contextualizes tech skills into real-world applications. Over 250 students participated in Guild this summer: 110 in New York at the City University of New York (CUNY), 20 students in Miami at Florida International University (FIU), 132 students in DC at University of Maryland (UMD) and George Mason University.
Company volunteers are the highlight of the Guild experience. In 2022, we had professional volunteers from:
Accenture, Appian, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, Code/Art, Credit Suisse, C3.ai, Deloitte, Dropbox, Google, Globant, LexisNexis, Lifetime Omics, Mastercard, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, and Verizon.
Guild students at UMD were mentored by 40 volunteers from Accenture, Capital One, Dropbox, Google, Mastercard, Microsoft, Salesforce and Verizon. The involvement of tech leaders from the local tech community is an important piece of the Guild experience — not only so students can understand the applications of their tech skills, but so the connections they’re making are within their region and can continue to serve them throughout their undergraduate career.
“What I was most impressed by was that the whole app idea came about through a conversation about online identity,” said Kevin George, a software engineer at Google who mentored UMD students as they worked on an app to help college students find events matching their interests, as quoted by Katie Bemb in Maryland Today. “The themes of trust and privacy were a constant subject of discussion, and this group had great cohesion as they worked to arrive at a solution.”
Besides gaining confidence in exploring tech careers, part of the goal of the Guild program is to encourage more women and underrepresented students to take a computing science course and consider a major in a computing discipline — part of Break Through Tech’s ambitious goal to increase the share of women graduating with computing degrees.
Molayo Sobande, a student at FIU who will now be pursuing computer science as a major, worked on an app with her Guild team called, “Debris.” The app uses mapping to locate potential accumulations of unmanaged plastic waste. “It’s great getting to see how I can use computing to help solve issues I’m interested in,” she said, as quoted by Alina Perez in FIU News.
Interested in learning more about our computing program? Read more.
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