Last week I got the privilege of visiting the Google Zürich office and attending the Google Europe ,Middle East and Africa retreat 2011.In attendance were the Google Anita borg EMEAscholars ,Google Anita borg EMEA finalists ,google-zawadi scholarship recipients and the Google Europe scholarship for students with disabilities . I’m currently a google-zawadi recipient .
I have never such a working environment like that in my life!! The design of office is nothing like I have ever seen in my life and I can’t begin to explain. Coming from Uganda, I was a bit overwhelmed with the design of the office.I encourage everyone to go view the pictures of Google Zürich office on the googel search and you will see what I mean.
Besides the fantastic office, the googlers I met were so enthusiastic about their work which was very inspiring. I’m a programmer who’s very interested and enthusiastic mobile phone application and in internet access in rural Africa and the sub Saharan Africa Google team inspired me with their current plans for Africa.
Besides the google team, the scholars from the different countries from Lebanon to Egypt to Iran t Russia to Romina to China and so much more!!.It was a fantastic global buffet. Plus getting to interact with women and men so passionate about computer science from all over the world prove how different but the same we were. I also got to meet the first Ugandan goggle anita borg finalist ,Juliet Komuhendo .
I was really impressed by Juliet Komuhendo who decided to pursue a career in computer science yet discouraged by many since she comes a humble background. Everyone expected her to pursue engineering ,law or medicine which are the current trending careers in Uganda. Even when applying for the google anita borg ,most of her friends gave up but Juliet Komuhendo persisted till the end. I feel blessed to meet such women .
The representation from sub Saharan Africa was still small but larger than last year’s. I’m now on a mission to encourage women pursuing a computer science career of whatever level to apply for the google anita borg scholarship and represent Africa! Besides representing Africa ,the networking opportunities you get are limitless! You also get to visit Zurich J Well if your reading and you do computer science just google “the anita borg scholarship “ and apply!!