This spring, PCSE majors Alexandra (Lexi) Burroughs, junior, information science, and Kayla Davis, senior, computer science, participated in a virtual mentorship program offered by Microsoft. The opportunity came via email forwarded by the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering.
The 6-week program took place remotely on Microsoft Teams and consisted of weekly meetings with a mentor and a group of students from around the United States. Microsoft employees served as mentors coaching small groups on strategies to navigate challenges both in and out of the classroom. Through my interview, Lexi and Kayla shared their experiences and the highlights of the program. Both commented favorably that it has been a positive experience. They were able to develop their interpersonal skills alongside other students and at times, felt they were pushed out of their comfort zones and encouraged to reflect in order to improve their problem solving and teamwork skills.
Additionally, both Lexi and Kayla noted that they were able to talk to other mentees about their struggles and realized that they were not alone as technical majors. They were able to build their networks by making friends with students from all over as well as connect with Microsoft professionals.
“This program has been incredibly helpful for building my soft skills that I can apply directly to my classes and internship”, said Lexi Burroughs. Lexi plans to continue to meet monthly with her Microsoft mentor. “This program is definitely worth the time and it helped me learn ways to be resilient and cope with adversity”, said Kayla Davis.
PCSE students, be on the lookout for the next opportunity to apply to this awesome program. Many thanks to Lexi and Kayla for taking the time to reflect on your experience in the Microsoft Mentoring Program.
Posted by: Erin Rutan, Computer Science, Class of 2021