INI Student Prepares for Engineering Career, Grace Hopper Conference

August 13, 2010

INI student Hong Guo always knew she wanted to be an engineer. The daughter of engineers, Guo was exposed to electrical engineering and technology at an early age, building electronic bells instead of block towers. As a student in the INI's bicoastal Master of Science in Information Technology - Mobility (MSIT-MOB) program, Guo consistently takes advantage of opportunities to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.

One such opportunity has been her summer internship with Verizon in Ashburn, Va. As an IT Open Innovation Strategy Analyst, Guo is able to apply her INI classroom knowledge to real-world projects for one of the biggest telecommunication companies in the U.S. Guo jumped right into her role at Verizon, working on projects with a highly energetic team across multiple locations, with whom she communicates through weekly teleconferences.

Throughout the summer, Guo has researched and analyzed open-source initiatives in the communication, media and Internet industries. She also worked as a Verizon FIOS TV widget developer, creating TV widgets on the Android platform as a way to prototype open-source-based solutions.

"This internship has actually enhanced my career goals. The experience that I am having at Verizon perfectly matches my career interest as a software engineer," Guo said. "I feel really lucky to be exposed to so many cutting-edge technologies and to be able to get my hands on them."

While Guo's internship experience has been truly valuable, she is looking forward to returning to the San Francisco bay area and completing her remaining semester at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley. This fall is particularly special because she was awarded a scholarship to attend her first Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Atlanta, Ga. at the end of September.

The Grace Hopper Celebration is a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. Leading researchers present their current work, while special sessions focus on the role of women in today's technology fields. An estimated 900 women applied for a scholarship to attend, evaluated on their academic achievement, potential in the field and submitted essay.

"I can't wait to meet with other women who share the same passion for information technology, especially those who've already made great contributions in industrial, academic and government communities," Guo said.

Guo will graduate in December 2010 and hopes to secure full-time employment in software engineering for the mobile enterprise, home consumer or automotive industries. She credits the INI with preparing her for her future career and also for instilling a lifelong passion for active learning.

"I cannot even express how much I've benefitted from my program at the INI," Guo said. "What I have gained from the INI is far more than professional knowledge built upon great curriculum. I have also gained great interpersonal skills, presentation skills and the ability to always think creatively."