Industry: Computer Science/Technology
Type of Internship: Education: Teaching/Training/Lesson Planning
Student Name: Esther Tzau
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: American Studies, Computer Science
Minor: None
Position Title: Summer Immersion Program Teaching Assistant
Hours: 40 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Paid, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?

I am a TA for a classroom of seventeen high school girls. Every day, I answer questions and help students debug, lead bonding activities, supervise field trips, communicate with visiting speakers, and assist the instructor in teaching fundamental programming concepts (in Python, HTML/CSS/JavaScript, Arduino C, and data science). During the last two weeks of the seven-week program, I supervised seven final project teams. A large part of this role is mentoring young girls and building intentional relationships with them as a role model in tech.

How did you find this internship?

Girls Who Code SIP alumni Facebook group

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

I really enjoy helping to build/foster a supportive community of young women interested in STEM and brainstorming creative approaches to teaching abstract concepts with the instructor and other TA. This is an awesome opportunity to experience what it is like to work in the industry, since classrooms are hosted by exciting tech companies all over the country.

What do you find challenging?

I definitely practiced classroom management skills - in a classroom of ~20 students, conflicts are bound to occur. You also learn how to adapt your teaching style to different types of learners. It is important to do adequate prep before each class (especially when you have little experience using certain tools and programming languages) in order to best help your students.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the employees of the company that is hosting your classroom. Our classroom was hosted by Riot Games, and since I am interested in combining art/design with tech, I was able to connect with software engineers and technical artists for League of Legends and learn valuable lessons from them.

About the Organization

Girls Who Code
Los Angeles, California

Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, College Loops program and New York Times best-selling series, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached over 185,000 girls in all 50 states and several US territories.