Guest post by Lamia Ben Hiba
You are insatiable. Foolish and hungry. You want to make a dent in the universe. Be one of those people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world. Say no more, I know exactly how you feel. I wake up everyday with the hope I can make a difference, I can upgrade my knowledge, I can turn the potential (mine and that of people around me) into action…It sometimes feels like a lonely state, but the truth is, it really is everything but that. There are lots of people out there just as passionate, as driven as you are. All you have to do is find them. And that’s why I’m here. I’m here to sell you the ‘apply-to-techwomen’ approach. A novel way to open up to a whole network of innovative, technical savvy women from the famous Silicon Valley and from all over the Arab world. The official version actually goes like this. :)
TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) that will identify approximately 42 women who are emerging leaders in technology sectors for a five-week program, including project-based mentorships at leading companies in California, workshops, networking events, a conference, and meetings in Washington, D.C.
From my own experience, I can break it down into these few point:
- You get to be, yes BE, in Silicon Valley for weeks (this one was the major sell point for me, but I’m sure you’re more profound)
- You get to visit the coolest Tech companies out there (Google, Twitter Inc., Facebook…)
- You get to meet people who are behind the software and hardware you use everyday (It goes beyond that, but I’m just an IT Geek)
- You get to have mentors who will share their experience and wisdom with you as you work on a project
- You get to make great friends who share your passion and engagement (God knows how rare these are)
- You get to widen your horizons and empower yourself to be the Linchpin* you ought to be
And with that, I rest my case. The rest is up to you! ;)
*Linchpin as defined by Seth Godin is an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen. (while we’re at it, that’s a book worth reading!)
Lamia Ben Hiba is a 2011 TechWomen Mentee. She was mentored at Carnegie Mellon University in Silicon Valley. Lamia is a Business Intelligence Software Engineer at the National Office for Drinking Water (ONEP), Morocco. She is fascinated with the effect of social networks on our lives and tries to leverage new media to bring about social change on environmental issues.