CODE2040 Fellows: Amy Quispe
By Amy Quispe, CODE2040 Fellow, @amyquispe
I'm a rising senior in the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. After spending one summer at a finance company and one summer at a large tech company, both in NYC, I decided that it was time to get some Silicon Valley in my system. However, the New York startups were the ones that stole my heart. I ultimately decided to go to Tumblr.
This summer I had the great honor of being a hackNY fellow and a CODE2040 fellow. HackNY helped me become friends with other hackers and get even more excited about the tech scene in New York. On the other hand, CODE2040 helped me reach a summer goal that I had given up on - getting to know Silicon Valley.
CODE2040 is a fellowship for high performing minority engineers. Tristan Walker, one of the founders, had heard about me from a friend-of-a-friend and tweeted at me, and we started corresponding via email. I had just accepted my Tumblr internship, but we hopped on the phone anyway, and before I knew it, I was invited to be a remote 2040 fellow.
A lot of times it was difficult. Several nights a week, I learned all about the shortcomings of VoIP and about startups in general as I video-chatted into a lot of the speaker series. We heard from people in all sorts of roles in Silicon Valley, from founders to VCs to Product leads. I also took the time to fly out for three different weekends and join for some of our events live, including more speakers, executive coaching, company tours, and interactive workshops.
It was clear that one of the purposes of CODE2040 was to help us (the fellows) get an "in" into Silicon Valley. I'm happy to say that it worked. I recently went to the White House, representing 2040 in a Tech Inclusion Roundtable - and when I got there, I saw people that I already knew thanks to 2040. That was a pretty magical moment.
After having The Best Summer Ever, I'm very inspired about the tech industry. In my own university, I lead a small project to make APIs for school data and it's been fun to watch it grow bigger into a university group and an intercollegiate project. However, I felt intimidated. Now that I've seen some of the startup world, I'm inspired to make something and hope that it grows big.
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