EBay vice president gives guest lecture at AHS
It’s as difficult as it sounds, if not more so, to arrange an event with the vice president of eBay, Dane Glasgow, but senior Meghna Satish succeeded after extensive planning for the tech talk on April 21 after school. Having seen one of Glasgow’s talks during a Girls Who Code summer immersion program in 2013, Satish first emailed him in November 2014 “with an enthusiastic page-long proposal about a tech talk at American High School.”
“Many of us decide to go into the [technological] industry with some experience—maybe with coding, robotics, etc. but without an idea of where we would go, how we would use the skills we gain, what kind of lives we’d lead if we chose a career in a field that is always advancing,” Satish said. “Advice from someone who has experienced what we will experience is invaluable. With this in mind I decided to host a tech talk at AHS.”
Following 5 months of preparation, drawn out by Glasgow’s busy schedule, the tech talk finally came to fruition. Because Theatre 50 was occupied for a staff meeting, the talk began in the library but later moved to the theatre after the meeting ended in roughly 20 minutes. For about an hour in Theatre 50, Glasgow spoke about his background, work at eBay and other projects, and then concluded the talk with advice.
As Satish intended, students saw the talk as a chance to learn about potential involvement in the technological industry.
“I attended this event because I’m really interested in the technological field,” sophomore Sophy Peng said. “I know for sure that I want to do something technology-related in the future, but I’m still working out the specifics. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to familiarize myself with the different jobs available in the tech industry.”
Attendees weren’t disappointed, as they found the tech talk very useful and informative.
“The talk was extremely helpful,” sophomore Rohan Bharadwaj said. “It helped me understand that being a software developer is more than sitting behind a computer screen, and that it means you keep learning, you keep working to help the world. It definitely gave me a different outlook on a subject, that before the talk, I had thought I had known a lot about.”
If students missed out on this event or seek more knowledge from a notable figure in the tech industry, they might be in luck–it’s possible that there could be more tech talks in the future. However, their continuance next year and beyond is dependent on the same, dedicated initiative that Satish showcased.
“Now that I have a basic idea of the process involved, scheduling another tech talk should take far less time,” Satish said. “I definitely hope that it will happen before the end of this school year, but I can’t be sure. I was lucky that Mr. Glasgow actually took the time to read my email and respond. Other individuals I try to connect with may not reply at all. But whether another one occurs this year or not, I definitely believe that tech talks could become regular events. I trust that others at our school, especially members of AHS Girls Who Code, will take the initiative to get in touch with people who inspire them. It’s not difficult at all and there’s nothing to lose.”