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Alexandra Ghergina, Software Engineer at Google

On May 21st we had the pleasure of welcoming Google's Alexandra Ghergina to the Corpus Christi Auditorium. This event was our first opportunity to co-host with Oxford Women in Computer Science. Our two societies attracted a wide range of technical and business-minded individuals. Alexandra shared her experiences from growing up and taking part in computer science programmes to landing her dream job at Google as a software engineer. Hearing Alexandra's story was particularly inspiring as it demonstrated that commitment to self-training can reap great rewards. Many audience members were interested in Alexandra's experiences operating in a typically male-dominated industry. According to a recent report it has been revealed that although girls are just as likely as boys to study Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at GCSE very few women take up STEM internships and as a result only 13% of all STEM jobs in the UK are occupied by women. This problem was emphasised in Alexandra's talk and she encouraged the women in the audience to apply for these internships and jobs. Alexandra noted herself that friends and family were often suprised at her interest in STEM and encouraged her to opt for a more 'feminine' career path. Despite this Alexandra was determined to press on and pursue the sort of work that excited her most. Hearing about the perks of working at Google was yet another highlight of the talk. Located in central London, characterised by their aesthetically pleasing and relaxed environment, the Google offices certainly sound like a fantastic place to work. Our attendees, clutching their newly acquired Google stash, spoke highly of Alexandra as they enjoyed a glass of wine after the event on the Corpus Christi roof terrace. We look forward to the prospect of working with Google and Oxford Women in Computer Science again.

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