Orangesoft Women in Technology Scholarship Program ‘22
While applying for scholarships I came across the Orangesoft Women in Technology Scholarship Program ’22. This program is great for women attempting to succeed in the tech industry. I am grateful for the opportunity, and the chance to tout one of my heroes, Katie Moussouris. I included the actual essay I wrote below. Seeing women excel the way Katie has is a great motivation and inspiration to me, and I hope you take the time to read this. Also, if you are a woman studying STEM I hope you take the time to talk about your hero, and apply for this scholarship too.
As a woman studying STEM I tend to be outnumbered in most situations. Although there are quite a few professors, whom I usually find myself hanging out with at events, it does seem that women tend to go in different directions with their education. However, I love technology, and greatly inspired by women who have shined throughout time. My greatest inspiration has been watching the career of Katie Moussouris. I read that she was programming as a kid while the other girls were playing with Barbie dolls. That description fits me to a T. As well, her work on Microsoft’s Bug Bounty program has been a major influence on me while learning development and IT. My ultimate goals are to finish a book, and start my own business in the Technosphere, so seeing her do it in real time has been huge for me, and I know I can follow in her footsteps.
The greatest obstacle I am currently facing is finding the necessary financing to finish my education. It seems to me that there are no jobs for women in tech, and I have exhausted my financial aid to pay for college. Still, I study everything on my own time, and know that education is secondary to knowledge. As well, I have stayed out of trouble throughout my life, and have a clean background which will help with gaining security clearances, which I know are essential to excelling in the IT industry. According to the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law Institute, Katie has advised the Department of Defense and the European Parliament (Katie Moussouris 2019). That is something I feel I can only dream of doing.
Realistically, I know I can achieve what Katie has, and plan to. I have a degree in accounting, am working on another degree in Information Communication Technology, and have certifications in business management. I have also started my own business which did not survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but the experience has given me knowledge that is invaluable and which I would never have gained elsewhere. I have practiced sales skills, communications skills, and business management skills which will help me to achieve my goals in the long run. Because of these experiences I am confident I will start another business, this time around IT, and this one will be built so survive economic catastrophes.
Furthermore, Katie has seen the pay inequality firsthand with her mother, who died before she could ever even afford to retire (Mind the gap 2021). I also have seen my mother struggle to make ends meet working the same jobs as others who seemed to live financially sound. Even myself I have had great struggles finding employment other than as a waitress, even though I have an immaculate background, good education, and am an honors student at my university. The world can be profoundly unfair to those who were born with less, and I know that there are ways beyond that, and entrepreneurship is one of the surest paths.
Seeing a woman like Katie Moussouris succeed in the way she has really shows me that it is possible for women to succeed in a predominantly male industry such as IT. I know that my success is in my own hands, and I hope to follow in her footsteps one day. I am kind of a geek, but that is kind of what makes me unique, and what has separated me from most of my peers who spend most of their time modeling for their Instagram followers, rather than building their minds. If patience is the key, then I feel like I am ready to unlock the door to success. I have shown patience, and will continue to as I build my portfolio, my knowledge base, and my professional experience. Seeing what is possible, makes it possible for me, and I am grateful for pioneers such as Katie Moussouris, who are all great inspirations to myself and hopefully others.
National Security Institute. (2019, April 4). Katie Moussouris. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://nationalsecurity.gmu.edu/katie-moussouris/
Brandom, R. (2021, March 16). Mind the gap. The Verge. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://www.theverge.com/22331972/pay-equity-now-pledge-katie-moussouris-microsoft-lawsuit