I just recently went for a job interview with an esteemed government agency and was asked what most interested me about their company. I told them that their dedication to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) was key and one of the main reasons why I was so interested. They also have a program that helps women, especially minority women become the best in their fields. As a minority woman myself, I understand the struggles and very much wanted to become part of their agency. I told them about the girls in my hood, and why STEM fields interested me so much.
My blog was originally started to help those who are new to Web design/development, and was dedicated to minority women like myself who grow up to believe that science and technology fields are not catered to us. It’s unfortunate that “in my hood” we strive to become the next Beyoncé instead of the greatest technological minds working to improve the world with great advances in science. I actually stated this in my interview because I feel it is true, and I did not want to seem pretentious in front of my interviewers. By the way, Beyoncé is my favorite female entertainer and I find much in common with her. It is probably a Virgo thing—passion, drive, perfection. One of the interviewers actually liked and laughed at the analogy about the girls in my hood becoming the next Beyoncé instead of a scientist, technologist, engineer, or mathematician. There is nothing wrong with that, but honestly we can be so much more than what we are. With numerous reality television shows portraying us as loud, overbearing, paper chasing, gold diggers, I believe this is the wrong message we are sending to our young girls. As the saying goes perception is reality.
I must mention, I had not interviewed in years and was very nervous during my interview and hoped for the best. A few days before, I did research on the company, its employees, and programs. I was impressed. Of course, I expressed my nervousness to my interviewers but in the process I was able to explain my achievements, answer their questions to the best of my abilities, and express interest in their agency. This was not my best interview by far, but I know with each one I will improve until I find my career. I not only want to do well in my craft but also obtain a position where I can inspire, and motivate the girls in my hood.
WE CAN BECOME MORE THAN WHAT WE ARE
Black Girls CODE: Making Technology Accessible, Huffington Post.