The Girls of FRC 1547 share their Girls in ICT Day Experience

Last week I shared my thoughts on Girls in ICT Day at our Toronto office. But I believe Girls in ICT Day is really about the girls and their experience, and how we can encourage more girls to enter mathematics, science and engineering.

In this spirit I asked the girls of Trafalgar Castle’s FIRST Robotics Canada team, Team FRC 1547, to share their thoughts after spending Girls in ICT Day with Cisco. The below is what they had to say.

Spending a day at Cisco was definitely eye opening for the members of FIRST Team 1547 “Where’s Waldo?” They couldn’t believe the vast world behind the seemingly simple technology we use in our everyday lives. From the Telepresence to the Speed Mentoring, the girls of Waldo were exposed to new technology, and also introduced to the many inspirational Cisco employees. The favourite parts of their day were being toured around the Cisco office, connecting with the girls in Texas and Oakville, and learning that technology is actually a very broad field.

The Cisco office is easily the most high-tech office that any of the girls have ever seen. This was evident from the state of the art TelePresence rooms, and even the elevator! The Waldo girls couldn’t believe the technology they only thought possible in movies was there before them. The girls were greeted by a Cisco employee in the reception room on the 35th floor. This room featured beautiful floor to ceiling windows, offering a great view of the lake. The sunny atmosphere of the office was reflected by the upbeat and excited Cisco employees who were eager and ready to greet us. The girls of Waldo felt instantly welcomed, and enthusiastically looked forward to the day ahead of them. 

Two Trafalgar Castle students record their thoughts on Girls in ICT Day

Two Trafalgar Castle students record their thoughts on Girls in ICT Day

Connecting with the girls in Texas via TelePresence was a truly unique experience for the girls of Waldo. They couldn’t believe the image/sound quality that the TelePresence provided and how it actually looked like everyone was at a meeting together, even though half of the girls were thousands of miles away. They really enjoyed learning about how the other girls interact with technology and the way technology influences them in their everyday lives. Their favourite part of the TelePresence event was sharing information about their robotics team, and educating the girls a world over about FIRST, gracious professionalism and robotics.

The Waldo girls all agree that the Speed Mentoring part of the day was truly inspiring and the various Cisco employees opened the girls’ eyes to the world of technology. Before coming to Cisco, the girls were under the impression that a job in technology only applied to engineering or computer sciences. What they didn’t realize is that technology is in fact a very broad field. Many people can get involved in the technology field because this field needs engineers and scientists as well as artists, business people, and managers. This fact taught many of the girls on our team that they too could pursue a career in technology, even if it is in a non-traditional way.

Overall, the girls of Waldo loved their day at Cisco. Touring the Cisco office, connecting with other girls via TelePresence, and having the opportunity to speak with Cisco employees are things they will always remember. The day at Cisco has opened their eyes to the field of technology, and now they want to get involved in a variety of ways. They would like to thank Cisco for putting on this fantastic event, and can definitely say that what they learned will help them in the future.

My sincere thanks go to the girls of Trafalgar Castle’s FIRST Robotics Team 1547 for sharing their experiences with us.

Thank you as well to everyone who volunteered their time to make Girls in ICT Day 2013 at our office such a huge success: Francis Gotopo, Tsega Mehari, Luz Saldana, Amrew Badr, Remi Ferreres, Katie Jensen, Yelitza Rodriguez, Bill Kastelic, Simon Vaillancourt, Tiffany Hsieh, Derek Goreski, Mauricio Beltran, Victoria Venere, Jennifer Rideout, Justin Chin-You, Christine Morgan, Ingrid Usic, Ester Quattrucci, Linda Kistner, Wadih Zaatar and Genna Cargill.

About Trina Alexson

Trina Alexson is the head of Advanced Services for the Service Provider Segment at Cisco Canada. In her role, she leads engineering teams that work directly with Cisco Service Provider customers to help them plan, build and operate their networks. Trina has over 25 years experience in the information technology industry and has been with Cisco since 1996. Prior to her role in the services organization she led software development teams responsible for high availability features in Cisco’s premier routing platforms. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. Trina Alexson est la responsable des services avancés offerts au segment des fournisseurs de services chez Cisco Canada. Dans le cadre de ses fonctions, elle dirige les équipes d'ingénierie qui travaillent directement avec les clients prestataires de services afin de les aider à planifier, à créer et à exploiter leurs réseaux. Forte d'une expérience de plus de 25 ans dans le secteur des technologies de l'information, Trina œuvre chez Cisco depuis 1996. Avant d'occuper son poste dans le domaine de l'organisation des services, elle dirigeait les équipes de conception de logiciels responsables des fonctions à disponibilité élevée dans les plateformes de routage de premier ordre de Cisco. Trina détient un baccalauréat en ingénierie de la Memorial University of Newfoundland ainsi qu'un MBA de la Richard Ivey School of Business de la University of Western Ontario.
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