NAME: Terri Burns
SCHOOL: New York University
DEGREE: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
GRADUATION YEAR: 2016
The summer after my freshman year of college, I applied to Google's Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development Immersion program, geared for non-technical majors. It was my first time visiting a technology company and while I was there, I saw a talk by Megan Smith, now CTO of the United States. Smith talked about the power of technology in enhancing people's lives around the world, and I was hooked. I decided to start learning how to code that summer and ended up changing my major fall of my sophomore year.
On What Inspired Terri To Pursue Computer Science
Tech@NYU, NYC's largest student technology organization, is what encouraged me to pursue computer science. The fall semester of my sophomore year, when I decided to change my major to computer science, I also joined the executive board of Tech@NYU. I was so fortunate to be around incredibly interesting, driven, and smart computer scientists-- especially at a time when I knew very little about the field of technology. Tech@NYU not only pushed me to stick to the field, but it also encouraged me to apply to other programs and internships where I've met other amazing people in the industry.
On Working While In College
My dear friend Cassidy Williams reached out to me on Twitter about a position at Venmo. At the time, I knew her through a Tech@NYU event which I planned and where she spoke. I was actually living in London at the time, so I had a few remote interviews and then got the job which I started when I returned to New York. Before then, I had worked at my school's IT department for a year and a half, did some volunteering at a startup in my hometown called Chicks Can Code, and was a Google Student Ambassador.
On Being Involved With A Campus Club Like Tech@NYU
I feel so honored to be part of the Tech@NYU family. I was surrounded by a team that consists of some of the brightest student technologists in NYC. As President, my role is mainly to facilitate the execution of events/projects for each of our internal teams, which includes Infrastructure, Startup Week, Hack Days, Freshman Circuit, Design Days, After Hours, and Demo Days. Everyone on our board is super talented and are great leaders, which makes my job easy. Again, I'm super honored (and lucky!) to have been accepted to join the board my sophomore fall, so I just feel really grateful to be where I am now.
For Students Interested In Attending The Grace Hopper Conference
Last year was my second year attending. I was able to connect with a lot of people I'd met over the years through internships, tech events, and the internet. That year I spent most of my time interviewing for full time positions, because I'm a senior. (It's great the GHC gives students an opportunity to do so many interviews in a short period of time, rather than spreading it out.) The Anita Borg institute fortunately let me do an Instagram takeover for their account, so I was also able to keep track of what I was doing and share it with everyone who follows the account! I think that GHC is a great opportunity to connect, and will get better over time as it focuses more on intersectional feminism. After the conference, I was featured as a guest writer and got to write a piece on my feedback for the Anita Borg account.