Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blogger Writing Struggle

A large handful of bloggers write because they enjoy it or it's their job. I started blogging partly to enhance my writing skills. This is a post about a writing struggle situation I've personally encountered.

Unicorns. Write a paper that intelligently proves they exist or FAIL? Being given an assignment with limited background information is where I shy away in regards to persuasive papers. That’s why in ENL 101 the time when I struggled with a writing task was when we had to write about nootropic drugs. The task was to create a claim about Nootropic drugs that is related to education. For example; do they help or damage student performance, should nootropic drugs be further invested, are they better than drugs prescribed for students with ADHD/ADD? What did I do to overcome the issue? Well obviously I had to go out and actually try out the nootropic drugs. As an engineer I like to base my arguments off of hard primary facts and with a lack of experiments with nootropic drugs I set out to find the freshman Adderall provider and personally try a nootropic drug. In class we talked about the pros and cons of nootropic drugs, so that everyone had a miniscule pool of background information before creating our thesis. I wanted to prove that nootropic drugs should be invested in because traditional drugs for ADHD students were more detrimental than not. Well an olde to my procrastination habit for allowing me to actually dodge trying to find nootropic drugs and guiding me to using online scholarly articles and sites and fuel my argument.

My paper was like the epitome of the paper that freshman are used to presenting, straight out of high school, as mentioned in Kelsey Diaz’s paper, “Seven Ways High School Prepares You for Failure”. I grabbed some important looking quotes, slapped them into a word document, restated them, and felt pretty good about actually completing a paper on a topic that I was reluctant to start due to lack of background information. If I don’t know about it, it is a daunting task to defend it (Side note: I plan to attack daunting task this semester, with a dauntless approach).

Photo has nothing to do with writing. Wanted to share because it has everything to do with my academic and professional development. US Senator Elizabeth Warren and I. 

My approach is probably similar to the first draft approach of the authors from Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts” excerpt; however, “All good writers write them” (Lamott 301). So I must be progressing somehow because I had no idea where to start but as Lamott quotes from a writer, “you can either type or kill yourself.” And with goals of achieving an A in ENL 101, I typed.

I appreciate freedom in allowing students to hunt down their own thesis; however, I ask for specific assignment requirements and directions. If I don’t know what you are expecting as a desired finished product than please spare me the adverse thoughts you may have from the journey that my imagination has commenced. For students like me, I would recommend a push in creativity. My other classes don’t allow a lot of speaking time for my creativity so, it stays hidden in its dressing for quite some time. And when my creativity is presented with appearance opportunities, I either walk out of the dressing room in casual attire or a sparkly gown for a big sha-bang. In other words, the range at which I am creative in my writing can depend on the assignment and how much teachers push me. I understand that writing is important as I progress in my career so, I look forward to conquering my some of my writing struggles.

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

*Disclaimer: This is an assignment I did in my first year English class about a personal writing struggle situation*

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Women Engineer In Training: WECode Harvard Experience

I would like to send my love and appreciation to everyone I met and networked with at #WeCode Harvard and look forward to staying connected and possibly working with you lovely ladies in the future!

I am sharing my notes and thoughts from WeCode Harvard, a conference for technical college students, because; 1) I am a huge advocate for information being easily available to everyone. 2) I aim to start a conversation around Women in Tech or any topic mentioned below. 3) I am documenting my journey as a W.E.T (Women Engineer in Training). Join me and freely share your thoughts and opinions below. I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it!

#WeCode Notes
  • Print resume on card stock
  • For career fairs:
  • Look up recruiter and connect with them (i.e. fun facts)
  • your pitch
  • banter (questions for the company)
  • logistics questions for recruiters
  • follow up

  • Dona Sarkar’s advice: Learn swift and build an iphone app.
    • Sites that help me:
  • Keynote talk:
    • Be customer obsesses
    • Watch someone who uses your product. (i.e watch someone read my blog: find flaws, pros and cons)
    • First to market is better than perfect
    • Customer need = greatest negotiation tactic
    • Website to visit: I Want Her Job (get connected w/ Women in Tech)
    • Explore your curiosity (i.e try classed that fuel your passion during your undergrad
    • Keep up with the future (i.e idea: make wearables attractive!)
    • The Future; Nobodynamics luna (a housewife robot), Saving lives with 3D printing, Shoes of Prey (Innovation for demands with no solutions), Hololens (a plug about a Microsoft product that emphasizes; design, exploration, communication)
    • “Technologist are the modern day alchemist”
    • Must see Ted-talk: Start With Why

  • Notes from next keynotes:
  • If someone invests in you, latch on!
  • Check out LinkedIn Women program (huge want!)
  • Facebook Lean In mission: To empower all women to achieve their ambitions
  • Goldman Sachs favors Harvard students (tip: Fill up resume with all Harvard programs attended) (P.S My team won 3rd place at #WeCode Harvard so Goldman Sachs if you’re reading this I am a first year mechanical engineer to look out for!)
  • Look up: Conway’s law

  • Laura from Facebook and She++
    • Talk about: An idea to product
    • Product finder > Business finder
    • Product designing: Fight for the people and for the product
    • Introduced Facebook’s new product ‘Place Tips’
What we learned:
Place Tips pop up on your phone when near a Facebook Bluetooth beacons. Wifi then alerts phone of location active with Place Tips and you see place feed of said location. The place feed includes; people’s post from their experiences there and which allows customers to better interact with the business.
    • My personal research and review of Place Tips after #WeCode: Place Tips is basically, Yelp + Foursquare had a child and out came FB’s Place Tips. The product is great for travelers, date preparation, and business press. Receives an 8 out of 10 in my book, seems like a pretty legit product. 
    • Entrepreneurship talk: motivational, keep going with your ideas!

Was there a piece of advice that stood out to you?

If you are in the tech field what piece of advice would you give to a WET (Women Engineer in Training)?

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

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