And it doesn’t stop me from me being thrilled to join over 2,000 women at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2 days. The GHC is a unique event – hundreds of women of all ages, cultures and academic disciplines gathering in one spot to inspire and be inspired, to learn and to teach. So how do I make the most of every minute? How do I make sure I resist any urges to over-indulge in solitary recharging?
- I volunteered to work as a Hopper. True, I just love the idea of helping an event like this be a success. And I like the free conference registration. But the bonus: for at least 8 hours, I am now required to be somewhere doing something. And because I don't pick my exact assignment, I may get to meet some women I may have otherwise missed.
- I booked a room with an extra bed. At my first GHC last year, I shared a room with 2 women I’d never met before. It turned out to be one of the best parts of my trip and I still keep in touch with them. So this year, I wanted to make sure that option was still open for me. Good thing, too: at the last minute I was able to offer my extra space to someone inquiring about rooms on Twitter. Turns out she's an HCI professor at a university in Ghana and is also a presenter at this year's GHC - pretty good luck for a recent HCI grad who's looking forward to presenting someday. (If you get a roommate be sure to read @lexyholloway's Do-Over #4 in her blog post Five do-overs since my first Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing.)
- I used Twitter to do some pre-conference networking. I followed other attendees whose GHC comments peaked my interest so now I have some faces to look out for.
- I'm using the GHC mobile app to connect with anyone I remembered from the last conference, anyone I've been communicating with on Twitter and any company reps that have contacted me. So if you see my name in your GHC mobile app's Contact list, it means I would love the chance to say hi in person!
- I'm reviewing this great presentation by Whitney Hess. She presented this on the last day of the recent UPA conference and I remembered thinking it should have been presented on the first day. It's useful for any field, not just UX. If you don't have 48 minutes to listen to it - take 3 minutes to click through the slides - they're very digestible:
- I'm reviewing this must-read for introverts by Sacha Chua. Great networking advice for introverts and for shy people. Also very digestible - takes just 3 or 4 minutes to go through the slides:
- I'm letting my music move me. I'm spending today with piano solos by Philip Wesley and George Winston so I can relax, center myself and think about my goals for this trip. Over the next couple of days I'll progress through motivational songs like Katy Perry's Firework to inspirational tunes like Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror to chill-icious, bold beats like Run-DMC's Sucker MCs to gutsy ballads like Melissa Etheridge's Brave & Crazy. By Tuesday morning I'll be ready to Raise My Glass (of iced tea!) with Pink in the ultimate too-school-for-cool, underdog anthem. Look out, Portland.