Doors are opening for incoming freshman with a passion for computer science and all things technology at Queens College.
This past summer, a lucky group of 26 freshmen were competitively selected to be the first cohort to participate in Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute Extension at QC.
“I am very pleased to join with Google to offer students this rich opportunity,” President Félix V. Matos Rodriguez shared with the QC community. Adding, he is “…proud to be among the nine colleges nationwide selected to participate.”
Thirty-three percent of the summer’s cohort was female, in-addition to thirty-three percent of the cohort being a member of minority groups underrepresented in the computer science field. This is reflective of QC and Google’s mission to diversify the profession and create more opportunities for everyone interested in computer science.
The program is inspired by Google’s own time-honored Computer Science Summer Institute program, which takes place in Google offices across the country. The CSSI extension program is run at nine universities across the country by college faculty, but in partnership with Google. QC is the first of the CUNY schools to hold this program on campus.
Through each day in the program, students would have a “soft skills” session where presenters from different companies such as Bloomberg, Google, and Magistek would come in and give students tips on their resumes, interviewing techniques, and networking through the industry.
Freshman computer science major, Ensar Dogrusoz, one of the students in the CSSI-Extension, shared his take-away with the partnership, explaining, “Some of these interview and resume tips were given by Google engineers and recruiters so I feel like we got some of the best advice out there. Also during our visit at the Google NYC office we were able to talk to these engineers and recruiters one on one. This allowed us to learn about their experiences working as a software engineer.”
The majority of the students in the cohort were beginner level in computer science and the program was extremely beneficial in introducing knowledge in the field to students.
Muhammad Hamza Niaz, a freshman computer science major in the CSSI extension cohort, explained his gratitude for the partnership, explaining, “It really had a positive impact on my interest on computer science. Before I was in this program I was losing interest in computer science and began to think of an alternative field for which is better suited for me. After taking this program, I realized that computer science was the field for me. Through the program I met with other students who have similar interests as mine. We worked together and collaborated on projects where we helped each other. It wasn’t all work like in the program, students played board games and had some physical exercises which helped us to you know to not be bored of this program.”
The main goals of CSSI are to increase the enrollment and retention of students in computer science. CSSI gets students at the beginning of their college careers and enriches students in a way that is fun and benefits their futures.
Yasin Ehsan, a sophomore majoring in computer science, economics, and math, who was not a member of the program, shared his thoughts on why it was important to bring the partnership to QC. “I think it’s a really good program. They [QC] didn’t have this when I was a freshman and I would jump into it if it was.”