Redefining Boundaries Fellowship
18 March 2019
With support from the Santander Universities Mobility Bursary, George from Mechanical Engineering took part in the Redefining Boundaries Fellowship in San Francisco.
George Imafidon, Mechanical Engineering
The Redefining Boundaries Fellowship was a summer activity held in San Francisco that brought together 15 dynamic and committed black technologists from across the world. The main purpose being to help re-imagine the role of a black technologists in the industry and build a legacy to promote excellence and inclusion in technology for generations to come. This consisted of a developing my coding skills learnt on my degree programme through a hackathon, fireside chats, seminars with renowned techies, harnessing personal and professional skills and nurturing genuine and last lasting relationships with like-minded individuals.
The main benefits of the US programme were gaining an international network of technologists who I’m regularly in contact with to collaborate on projects. Alongside this, I was also be considered for several internship opportunities by companies such as Google, Airbnb, Facebook and Pinterest. I decided to intern at Google. These will be extremely beneficial as I venture into setting up a technology consultancy upon graduation.
As I have intentions to work within the United States during the early stages of my career, this opportunity was a perfect springboard to building my network and employment opportunities. Furthermore, I am now more likely to consider undertaking a further Master’s in Computer Science at Stanford University. Travelling to the United States allowed me to explore Stanford’s campus, learn about the course and attend events (i.e. an event hosted by Next Play) to further discover opportunities.
The personal highlights of the programme were having very candid conversations sitting around fireplaces in San Francisco or in corporate offices (especially Google’s Mountain View office which was like Disney Land!). As it was my first time on the West Coast of the US, the sightseeing throughout California was particularly satisfying, and Stanford’s campus felt very much like a resort in Palo Alto. I found these activities to be significantly stimulating and they helped to reshape my perspective and outlook on what I believe I can achieve as a student and graduate.
This opportunity is perfect for getting out of your comfort zone and exploring your interests’. It can open up doors for following internships, as in my case, and building a robust international support network. I would certainly do it all over again if I had the chance.