Students visit Google Cloud, spend day with women engineers

A group of Santa Catalina School students took a field trip to Google Cloud, where they heard from female software engineers about their work and experiences as women in tech.

The students included members of the robotics team, Girls Who Code club, and the senior Advanced Topics: Computer Science and Technology class. They spent the day with Google engineers Wenjia Zhang, Cici Huang, and Dixita Narang, who work on an open source system called Kubernetes, as well as Autumn Quinn ’00, who has worked at Google for 17 years and is currently the strategy and operations lead for Android.

The engineers explained the basics of Google Cloud and how streaming apps like Spotify work, and showed the students ways they can get involved in open source projects. In a panel discussion later, students asked how they use AI, why they chose to work at Google, and what advice they would give to high school students (overriding theme: the humanities are helpful!). The panelists also addressed their experiences as women working in tech, emphasizing the importance of speaking up, sharing ideas, and lifting each other up.

Students took a tour of Google Cloud’s Sunnyvale campus, which included an arcade, library, and plenty of places for snacks. They also enjoyed lunch with their hosts, giving them a chance to ask questions and have informal conversations.

The day provided students the opportunity to experience a small slice of life at Google, learn about jobs that go beyond coding, and meet women who are thriving in tech careers.

Santa Catalina would like to thank each of the women who devoted their day to the students; Jago Macleod, Catalina parent and director of engineering for Kubernetes, who helped organize the trip; and computer science teacher Amy Azevedo Mulgrew ’02.

A panel of three women and one man speak at the front of a conference room with an audience of Catalina girls

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