FVGCC wants to thank Julie Pak for an amazing web chat on Friday, February 24. Ms. Pak shared her experiences in business and computer science that led to her starting her own company, RazorX2, while still in her 20’s. Here are some of the highlights of her background and our web chat discussion. Ms. Pak received a Business degree from University of Illinois and a Masters degree in Computer Science from University of Chicago. Ms. Pak’s career has spanned investment banking, working for the Department of Defense, and now running her own successful business that finds effective and efficient solutions for federal government projects.
While speaking with FVGCC, Ms. Pak shared activities that would be great for girls looking to explore computer science:
- Hack-a-thons: Participate in one! You can be a novice or a seasoned programmer – just join in.
- Internships – look for paid or unpaid opportunities in a career that appeals to you.
- Start a blog or a website. Just find something that interests you and start a project now!
- Get an account on GitHub and start creating.
- Use free online resources to always be learning: Code Academy, Code.org, etc.
- Find a programming language that speaks to you and learn that one first.
- Read! Some potential books to start with: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett, or Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Ms. Pak also shared great advice on supporting other girls who have similar interests in technology. She reminded our FVGCC girls that it is great to look ahead at your future and to look up for your mentors, but to also remember to look back to help other girls who are looking to you as an example. During the web chat, she also let the girls know that it is important to know that you have earned the opportunities you get and your “seat at the table”. Don’t discount your abilities even if you are the only girl at the table. Her final message was to support each other. This is a sisterhood. So, learn all you can, support others, create what interests you and solves a problem, and BE KIND!
Thanks Ms. Pak for your great insight and inspiration!