Facebook awarded Lu a Grace Hopper scholarship last year. She wrote this guest post to share her experience. She recently decided to join Facebook as a software engineer. This year we’ve expanded our scholarship program; you have until July 1st to apply for it.

I don't always read Facebook ads. But this one caught my attention: "Grace Hopper Scholarship." I bookmarked the link but promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward two weeks: It was 11PM, the deadline was midnight, and, to my relief, the application process was relatively painless — I had to write just a few short paragraphs and submit a resume.

Fast forward a few months: I was in Atlanta, Georgia, at the 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing with nearly 2,000 other technical women (and a handful of brave men — kudos to y'all).

The experience was amazing, providing:

  • The kind of networking you secretly want: Accomplished industry professionals, tech recruiters who actually get back to you, fellow CS students. I even ran into someone I knew from high school!
  • Diverse sessions: From mastering technical interviews to fighting cybercrime, some of the sessions were really unexpected. Some gave me practical career-advancement advice, while others explored upcoming research and the role of computing in society.
  • A splash of fun: Held after hours at the Georgia Aquarium, the celebration's final evening was a party alongside whale sharks and belugas.

Fast forward to today: Thanks to the Grace Hopper scholarship from Facebook, I got connected with a terrific group of Facebook engineers. In August, I'll be joining Facebook as a software engineer myself!

I can’t recommend applying for a scholarship enough. The deadline is July 1, 2011. Good luck!

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