Sunday, June 3, 2012

Take Five: Julia Josefina Berg (BDPA Boston)

Our blog tries to share insights on BDPA from a variety of perspectives. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) exists to raise money to support BDPA programs, scholarships and services. Sometimes it helps to hear from those who benefit from BDPA.

For example, Julia Josefina Berg is a young woman who participated as a member of the 2004 national high school computer competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Boston chapter. She went off to college to major in Interactive Media and Game Development. Now she is working for Deloitte.

BETF is very happy that Julia agreed to participate in its 'Take Five' interview series.

  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - My freshman year in high school I enrolled in a 4-year Computer Programming course part of the Rindge School of Technical Arts program at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. My high school was predominately minority students with low numbers in technology courses. While this was frustrating at times, it also allowed me to have a lot of 1 vs. 1 attention with my good friend, mentor, and teacher Ms. Williams, whom encouraged me to challenge myself to starting my own web design company and finding other minorities interested in pursuing computer science careers. It was she who sent me information about my local BDPA chapter and helped me to enroll in the Saturday training courses.
  2. Did BDPA have any influence on your college or career choices? - Definitely, BDPA gave me exposure to different careers and companies that were interested in minority women in the computer science field. It helped me realized that my skills were in high demand and that with continued dedication in my education, I could have a successful career. I also found that my mentors in my Saturday courses provided me with real-world examples of how they used the technical skills they taught me, which made me explore the different career paths computer science could lead to.
  3. What do you like most about being a technology consultant with Deloitte? - My favorite part about being a technology consultant with Deloitte is the fact that I am constantly challenged; I have worked in 6 states the last year, each time with a completely different team, client, and technical problem to solve. Part of what I loved most about the HSCC was being thrown a challenge and having to work as a team under pressure to solve a problem, my career choice compliments this aspect completely.
  4. What future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA's STEM-based training? - I would like to see some remote training available for those in areas without current chapter teams, perhaps an online mentorship program that would allow mentors like myself who are unable to commit to one location, to help students with AP computer science prep, technical skill building, HSCC training, etc.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BDPA Education and Technology Foundation? - BDPA taught me that where you are from and the culture you are raised in has a lasting impact in establishing your identity, but should not limit your success. I credit my college scholarship and current career in technology consulting, to Ms. Williams, and all of my BDPA minority mentors in technology that both paved the way for me, as well as taught me the important of continuing the tradition.

BDPA has trained thousands of young people like Julia over the years. We could use your support if we hope to train thousands more in the coming weeks, months and years.

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