Progressing to Hewlett Packard

Rocklin club visits HP for the first time


Emily Broad

Every Thursday at lunch in J-7, a group of six or so girls sit around several tables pushed together, the Girls Who Code (GWC). On November 13th, the GWC chapter at Rocklin High School (RHS) all piled into a van and made the short trip to Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) in Roseville for the first time. 

Among them were Emily Broad and Shea Coughlin, the President and Vice President of the club. Additionally, Carol Shao, Nicole Maria, Sunny Liu, Dhriti Jagadish, Sophia Samson, Melody Gill, Sierra Janson and Kyra Burns attended.

In the past, GWC has had guest speakers and gone after school to help middle schoolers at Granite Oaks Middle School practice coding on Arduinos (microcontrollers). This year, however, it has been a goal to explore jobs in the computer science and engineering industry.

As a result, the club advisor Mr. Werner worked with HPE to organize a field trip where GWC could go on a tour and talk to some women in the computer science industry.

From the outside, HPE appeared to be a normal office building. Once the tour inside started though, led by HPE employee Andrew Crabtree, they realized that it wasn’t a traditional office building. First on the list was a tour of a hardware lab, where prototypes are tested and developed. 

After a tour of the hardware lab, they moved on to find a conference room where they met with several women in computer science and engineering positions. For two hours, these women discussed their own journeys in computer science.

“It was cool! They were all really helpful and sweet and focused on how we could get to where we wanted to be [in the computer science industry]. They also talked about how there are a hundred different things you do in each job position, and there are so many different jobs in the industry to choose from,” said sophomore Shea Coughlin.

Among these women was RHS alumni, Navpreet Kaur. She talked about her journey from RHS to college to HP and the importance of really learning material in classes in order to have a grasp of the content before college. Kaur also describes how her experiences in the computer science program at RHS, such as participating in HPE’s CodeWars, set her up for success at HPE, where she is a college intern.

The day after this field trip, GWC met again to debrief at lunch. After their trip, they decided to make some changes to the club. Some of these changes include creating LinkedIn accounts to network within the industry and starting to learn Python. While the trip itself didn’t even last the whole day, it will have lasting effects on the mission of the club.