Four University of New Orleans computer science students got a head start on the spring semester with a career visit in downtown New Orleans. The students met with GE employees who offered job insights and encouragement.
The students said they were inspired by the similarities between themselves and the UNO alumni at GE, and that the interaction made the students excited and less anxious about their own futures.
The Jan. 10 visit is part of the University’s Scholarships in STEM program (S-STEM) which provides research and career connections for students pursuing majors in computer science, biology and chemistry. The National Science Foundation funds scholarships for the S-STEM program.
The students said they were surprised to find they shared so much in common with the working professionals.
Student Christina Bui said she was surprised to learn that GE employee Banan Ibrahim had, like her, never coded before attending college.
“It gives me joy to know that someone in the industry relates to what I am going through,” Bui said.
Ibrahim is an ideal role model. She quickly gained the respect of colleagues at GE, ascending from intern to technical product manager when she completed her degree. She is a regular host for UNO visits to the company.
Student Edward Barranco said he was surprised to find that his uncertainty about his qualifications to intern had been shared by every single person he met at GE.
“There was a current intern who expressed the same self-doubt about applying for the internship he has right now,” Barranco said. “In fact, everyone we talked to said they had that doubtful feeling at some point in their career.”