This is my first blog-post, that I am writing about Google Women Techmakers (WTM) Scholarship. I was selected as one of the scholars by Google under Asia-pacific women techmakers scholarship program in 2017.
I was always waiting for a perfect topic to post my first blog and I got one. You all will be thinking that there are so many blogs on WTM scholarship then how this is different from others, why do you need to read one more? Yes, you are right but also wrong. This post will help you to walk through a journey that WTM provides you from a scholarship to a community that is always there like a family. In WTM, I met other scholars who were also selected for the scholarship, and they have been a true motivation for me and also for many other people. They have capabilities to change the world and to lead it with all their passion. This blog I am writing mainly about all those lovely young ladies, and I am very happy to dedicate this to all of them as a gift. This will surely help you to see how even a small strongly bounded community can change your life and perspectives.
I will explain the application process briefly:
- Apply for WTM: To apply for WTM, you should be enrolled in undergraduate, masters, or Ph.D. program for the respective academic year. Then you can register for Google women techmakers scholarship program. They will ask you for your basic personal details and you also need to write the answers to five essay questions including the details of your technical projects. For essays, I will suggest, explain the answers in briefly but focussing on the main points so that they don’t get missed. It will also be good if you write few answers using bullet points for the questions like what problems you have faced in the technical community being a woman.
- This scholarship is given to the women for their outreach events to help other women in the technical community, so, a great importance is given to the programs that you have organized including your leadership roles.
- Interview: If your application is shortlisted, they will mail you and will fix a suitable time for the interview. The interview is a formal-cum-casual discussion with a Google employee, at least I see it this way. Still, it will be good if you prepare for it as the final shortlisting is based on your performance in the interview: Re-read your essay answers that you wrote in the application, you should be clear about everything that you have mentioned in your resume and also about your projects. I will also suggest that prepare for some general questions that can be asked during the interview like:
- How do you see that the gender equality will help the technical community?
- Why do most of the women quit their professional career?
- What kind of affirmative/supportive actions can be taken to increase the ratio of women in the technical community?
- If you see a woman quitting from the technical educational program, how will you convince and motivate her to continue the same?
- What is the best age to motivate girls to study the science?
- Who is your role model and what impact s/he has on your career choices?
Except this, I will advise you that you read some good articles which talk about the gender biases in the existing society. It will surely help you to be confident and prepare for other random questions. I will just suggest you, be honest and confident and I am sure you will win it. 🙂 The interview was scheduled for 30 minutes but the discussion was going nice and interesting, so, it was continued for around 45 minutes.
Retreat: The Real Fun
And if you are selected after interview… just cheer… you will be invited by Google to attend the retreat at one of the Google offices and the best part starts there… you are gonna meet all amazing girls. We were invited Google office, Seoul, South Korea for the retreat. Trust me this was the first time in my life when I got a chance to meet so many highly motivated, amazing and technical girls.
WTM scholarship provides you two types of opportunities (this is completely my categorization 😛 ) 1. Direct benefits, 2. Indirect benefits.
Direct benefits: They can be listed as:
- WTM retreat: As I told, Google will invite you for the retreat. Google will take care of everything like your travel, stay and even they provided us the details how to reach your hotel from the airport as it was the first international trip for most of the girls. They also try to group the people to book the tickets so that you will be having a good company and also enough time to mingle with the people who are going to be there with you. This retreat was organized for 3.5 days and it was started with a welcome dinner and continued with motivational talks, technical discussions, games, scavenger hunt, and of course last and the most important tasty food. In accommodation, you will get a double sharing room and they make sure that your roommate is from a different country. In all the group events, they always keep shuffling the people in the group so that you can channel with as many people. I will suggest try to talk and meet as many people as you can, even spend time in the evening with them, talk to then before and after the retreat, because this will be one of the best community you will belong to. They (Google event organizers) also created a facebook group for all the scholars, so it will help you to get each others details. We also created WhatsApp group and there you can ask all stupid questions related to retreat even what to wear on which day 😛
- Scholarship: Once the retreat is over, Google will start the scholarship payment process and you will receive the scholarship amount and also the reimbursement of the bills that you have paid like visa and all. During retreat, Google also gonna give you lots of swags, so have some space in your baggage 🙂
Indirect benefits: All direct benefits were really great but for me, indirect benefits were life-changing. They have especially motivated me to write this post because these things will be rarely shared with you until and unless you meet a WTM scholar personally.
- GOOD FRIENDS: This is the first one and the most important one. All WTM scholars are amazing, they all are selected for their contribution to the community and all these people are very kind and helping. This scholarship will give you a chance to meet them all and surely you are gonna end up being friend as there is a very high probability that you will be having at least something in common, it may be one of your outreach ideas or your technical projects or your future plans. And I can bet it but you can hope for more 😛
- Motivation: A community where so many people are doing so many amazing things and continuously sharing the story of their success, I see it’s next to impossible that you can be demotivated there. Even you can help others to organize their events and you will get your share in return too 🙂 You will also get a chance to meet former scholars and Google employees, and they all share the story of their journey with each other.
- Invitation to attend more events: After this, Google invited some of the scholars for Google Developer Day. Except this, they also select some scholars and fund their trip to attend GHCI (Grace Hopper Celebration India). In GHCI, you will also be invited to attend a dinner with other scholars of Google under different scholarship programs and Google employees. For me this was one of the best discussions. We came to know about many more exciting new projects that Google is working on. You will also get a chance to discuss your ideas, and you can get collaborators too.
- Google Funds to Organize Outreach Events: Google will help you further to organize more events. They might provide you funds or swags to make your event more successful.
- I am yet to know more: Yes, I have been the part of this community for the past 4 months and I had so much to write. I am still on the journey to explore more and more and will share with you for sure 🙂
There are so many beautiful memories and I can’t write down all of them but whenever I think of that time, it makes me happy and overwhelmed.
Final suggestion: Never ever miss it, Just Apply and before that don’t forget to make your contribution towards the society. Your small efforts will make this place better for others. You will be a motivational icon for others and you can be, just trust yourself. 🙂
There are also some other blogs on how to apply for the scholarship by other co-scholars and their experiences. You can take a look: