Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (IIIA) of the Spanish
Research Council (CSIC), Spain
A good friend encouraged me to do so. She sent an email to everyone she thought that, like herself, matched the profile. I am very grateful to her.
It has had a big impact on my career and has made me feel more confident. It helped me to realise the relevance of all the hard work that I have done in the past. Being a scholarship recipient is an important achievement which has raised my profile in the scientific community. I also met really interesting people and had an enjoyable time with them. I received several employment enquiries and also the media took an interest in me. Can you imagine me, a computer engineer, in newspapers, on the radio and TV? Crazy, isn’t it? Crazy but fun.
University of Cyprus, Cyprus
A poster for the Google Anita Borg Scholarship on a noticeboard at my University attracted my interest. I visited the official website of the scholarship to learn more about it. I found Google’s initiative of funding women in order to encourage their participation in technology-related fields very worthy. Initially I was a bit reluctant to apply, since I knew that the process was going to be competitive. However I did apply, since I found it a great challenge to give a try for a scholarship from a prestigious company such as Google; it could benefit me a lot!
The scholarship, as a recognition coming from outside the boundaries of the University I study in, was very important to me. It increased my self-confidence and encouraged me to continue with what I am doing. It was like a reward for all of my efforts so far. Being awarded the scholarship was a lesson; it is worth pursuing high goals and believing that you can achieve them. The scholarship was also a useful vehicle to meet an interesting community at the retreat: scholarship finalists and Googlers. It was great to meet so many talented people and talk about things of common interest with them.
University of Cambridge, UK
To be totally honest I initially had two main motives for applying. The first was of purely pragmatic nature: I am three years into my PhD and am running out of funding and although I already have enough experiments to make for a dissertation, I still have a couple of new ideas I am really excited about, which I would need time to test, and the scholarship would allow me to do this. The second reason was probably curiosity, I wanted to meet Googlers, to learn more about what they do, how they work and to see if they are interested in what I do.
After I actually got the scholarship, I realized that its impact is much greater than that. First of all, it made me feel much more confident in that my research is interesting and useful for the community. But the most valuable is that it made me believe that it is possible to achieve anything one strives for regardless of whether one is a woman or a man, in the field of computer science and beyond. On a side note, the scholarship made all the men in my lab extremely jealous. :)
I am used to being among computer scientists all the time, but normally they are all men. The first impression of the retreat was pretty surreal: the same chat, the same atmosphere, but then they were all women! The retreat was a great experience, I met lots of very interesting people, who have exciting ideas and think differently from others. Meeting all these people was definitely the most valuable part of the retreat. But along with this I learned more about Google as a company, gained a better understanding what life in industry is like as opposed to university, heard lots of interesting talks and just had fun!
Alexandria University, Egypt
I heard about this scholarship from a teaching assistant colleague who is also a Google Student Ambassador in Alexandria University. I found it a good, challenging opportunity for me to apply for this scholarship. I was eager to get it to be able to visit Google’s office in Zurich, and to have the opportunity to meet and share experience with other CS students and Googlers.
The Retreat was very exciting; visiting Google’s office in reality, instead of only seeing it in photos was a new experience. I liked the environment so much and think it is the best to work in. Designing a product during the workshop, working in a team whose members had never met each other before, and sharing ideas together to come up with a product at the end was very good. I had the chance to meet Googlers and people with common interests from different cultures and I am still in touch with them. I enjoyed the time we spent together and the places we visited which I‘ve had no chance to go to before. Anita Borg’s video was very inspiring, she was such a great woman who lived for others and as Albert Einstein said: "Only a life lived for others is worth living" - I hope I can be like her one day.
Combining the Anita Borg Scholarship Retreat with the Retreat for the Scholarship for Students with Disabilities was a very great step and meeting them was very impressive. After attending this Retreat, I am encouraged to tell more CS women to apply for this scholarship to have such a great experience.
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
I heard about the Scholarship from a good friend who’s an engineer herself. She encouraged me to apply, and though I had no idea whether I had a chance to become a finalist, I thought that even just writing the application would be a new and interesting experience. At the time I was beginning my MS studies, and the scarcity of fellow female students in comparison to my BS studies was very noticeable. I liked the idea behind the scholarship, of women taking a more active and leading part in creating technology. I decided to go for it, and it turned out to be a very positive experience.
Participating in the retreat was very exciting – it was a great opportunity to meet other researchers from different fields of Computer Science and hear about their experiences. It has changed my perspective in that I now feel part of a wider community. I was especially inspired by the way the women I met managed to combine outstanding professional achievements with extensive social activities and a multitude of other interests. The talks, panels and discussions, all held by female engineers, focused on issues of shared interest and relevance, such as choosing between an academic career and industry. We also got a glimpse of what it’s like to work at Google. More generally, I feel that receiving the scholarship has changed my way of thinking, in that I am now more confident about what I can achieve, both professionally and in the ongoing effort to support women in technology.
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
A friend of mine told me about Anita Borg Scholarship. There are very few women who follow my programme at my university, and I liked the idea that Google was encouraging women to become leaders in technology. It made me curious to meet other women in the field, and I wanted to try something new and fun!
I applied for the scholarship last year, and since then many things have changed in my life. The most important was that I found people with similar interests and similar problems and by talking to them and by taking part at the discussions and panels I have become more decisive about my future. I’ve also gained more confidence. In addition, I decided to apply for a Google internship which I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. Being chosen as an Anita Borg 2007 finalist encouraged me in my studies, efforts and activities to support women in the computer science community.
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
|Programme:||Bioinformatics and Computational Biology|
The Google Anita Borg Scholarship has a unique appeal for me in that it evaluates candidates not only by grade performance and publishing record but also in examining the candidate as a whole person. Moreover, what made me enthusiastic about this scholarship and made me decide to apply is the clear social message that goes beyond Computer Science and technology.
Learning about Anita Borg, who was an excellent computer scientist and drove women to excel in technology, was very inspiring. Because of my affiliation with the Anita Borg scholarship, I have had the honor of meeting exceptional female computer scientists, some of whom are mothers, some of whom are senior engineers in Google. In addition, networking with female computer scientists from different fields has opened my mind and has given me a wider perspective on the field of Computer Science. The experience was inspiring and motivating, and I believe I am more confident now about what I can achieve, either in academia or in industry.
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
|Programme:||Programme: Computer Science (Medical Image Analysis)|
I got told about the scholarship by one of the senior researchers at our department and thought it would be a great way to get to know Google and to support my PhD project funding for conference travel and research stays abroad if I was awarded the scholarship.
Now I am able to attend conferences that I could not have attended otherwise. In particular, it gives me the chance to broaden the my interests by giving me the opportunity to attend not only medical imaging conferences, but also computer vision conferences.
I am already quite active in teaching and would also like to continue with that. For me teaching is a great way of inspiring women in computer science, since they can see me lecturing and can see that a girl can do a PhD in computer science.
The most interesting thing was to meet all the girls. We all came from quite different backgrounds, but had something in common; we are passionate about computer science. That was really inspiring! And it was great to see Google and to get introduced to their way of research and development.
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
At first, I did not want to apply. Considering that women from across Europe were sending in applications for the scholarship, I did not think I stood any chance of being selected. However, my friends encouraged me and I reconsidered. After all, it was an interesting opportunity to benchmark myself against other women in IT and possibly to meet them and find new friends. I was also curious to find out whether my friends were correct and I started to consider this scholarship as a true challenge.
I always kept asking myself whether choosing a subject as difficult as computer science was the right path for me, and whether I had a chance of success. Being an Anita Borg scholar provided me with tremendous encouragement, as I could finally answer the question. Being recipient of the scholarship gave me more confidence in my abilities. I was also given an opportunity to meet many like-minded women and I found a new community to share my ideas. Being a scholar also had an effect on the people around me. I meet high-school students very often and this award helps them to see that, if they try hard, they can achieve a lot.
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
|Programme:||European Masters Program in Computational Logic|
A friend of mine applied in 2008 for the scholarship and was one of the finalists. Both meeting women from academia who are passionate about computer science and having the opportunity to meet and interact with people working in the industry was very appealing to me.
Another reason for applying was to find an answer to this question: "Will I be chosen given my achievements up to now?" I applied in 2009 and had been chosen as a finalist. The retreat was very inspiring and this made me apply again in 2010 with a lot of enthusiasm.
The scholarship helped me a lot in raising my self confidence and was a confirmation that I am following a good path in my career. I received the news about being awarded the scholarship in a period when I lost a very dear person and lack of financial support was making it difficult to continue work on one of my projects. I saw it as a real miracle and encouragement to continue fighting for my dreams. From my point of view the Anita Borg scholarship singles one out as a person who has potential for a great career, Let’s admit it: it looks very nice when "Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship" is written on your CV.
The other impact was during the retreat when I got in contact with people with the same interests as me and I saw there is a very promising possibility of collaboration between women from different research centers.
The most valuable thing I found in the retreat was the glitter in the eyes of people while talking about their career and their interests. The poster presentations had something very important: you could see the research path of tens of research centers from different areas. Some ideas made me rethink my current research from a different angle. I would also say that the presentations given by Googlers were very interesting. I was able to ask people about which are the best research centers, what would be the best way to follow my interests: a PhD or a career in industry and as well to practise (discover, mostly) my Project Management skills by means of a very interesting tutorial and exercises.
University of Oxford, UK
|Degree:||DPhil (PhD equivalent)|
Quite honestly, I applied for the obvious reasons: getting a connection with Google, improving my CV, meeting up with other female computer scientists – and who can’t do with a little extra money? Even the application was worth it in and of itself, as it made me think about my position as a woman in computer science. I had to consider what I liked, and what I missed – how the current situation might be improved, and how I could be part of that. It was an experience in itself to take the time to think about the bigger picture.
When the finalists were announced, we all got in contact with each other via a mailing list. Most of us wrote a short introduction, and I know some got in closer contact because they worked on related topics, or had similar interests in general. It was really inspiring to see how many talented female computer scientists were out there – and they all did cool stuff in their free time, too. Admittedly, it was also a bit overwhelming (if not scary) to hear about so many excellent girls. At the retreat we all got to meet each other, and that was fantastic. No fear any more, but lots of friendly and very interesting people. You wouldn’t believe how much drive it can give you to see and especially talk to other women in your area if you usually work with men. The tech talks, all held by female Googlers, made it much clearer to me that they could actually be successful in computer science. In the end there is a difference in reassuring yourself and experiencing that it really does work. The panel discussions, in particular, were a forum where we could ask all sorts of questions (especially the critical ones!) They were very insightful and reassuring. How the scholarship has impacted me? It has made me more self-aware and more confident. It enabled me to establish valuable contacts with people that I appreciate on both a professional and personal level. Meeting people, and staying in touch with them is definitely something you can’t just get anywhere, and that I feel is the greatest prize included in this scholarship.
Rhodes University, Grahamstown South Africa
I was browsing the internet for scholarships and I happened to come across this one. At first I thought of the odds that Google would consider my application out of a pool of applicants from all over the world, but I decided to challenge myself by applying anyway. A very close friend of mine, Hilton, encouraged me to apply telling me that all things are possible - and for sure they are.
To sum it all up I applied so that I can pay my final year schooling, but I got a whole lot more than I had bargained for. I was worried so much about my fees and obtaining a scholarship, that I forgot that it came with a trip to Switzerland! Which was exciting news when I got the letter to confirm my being a scholar.
It has encouraged me and taught me that I should not limit myself from great opportunities. I realized the impact of obtaining this scholarship when it was announced at my university that I had won a prestigious scholarship and many people, including the media, suddenly showed interest in my work and that was new and exciting. This achievement has been one of my best experiences and I feel honoured, especially considering the number of people who applied. This scholarship has truly made me more aware of my abilities as a woman and also more confident in my work and in voicing my ideas.
Amazing is all I can say. I met friendly women from all over the world pursuing a career in the Computer Science field and now I have great contacts with many people in high places. It was great discussing and talking about our experiences and projects. I was worried about making new friends but all that changed because there was so much to talk about and so many people to meet. The talks during the retreat were interesting and so relevant and I must admit I would have enjoyed more discussions on them; there seemed to be little time because it was a fun experience.
Google is a very interesting company and I know so much about it now. The story about Anita Borg is very inspiring and it touched me in a special way, it has taught me that with an idea that is voiced, one can build others to be better people and that has given me the desire to encourage women to continue in this field. Last but not least I had a chance to travel abroad and walk the streets of Switzerland and also have a taste of the Swiss chocolates at their origins.
Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Russia
I think the Google Anita Borg Scholarship is a unique opportunity for all female students because it turns on its head the usual disadvantage we face. During my studies and while looking for a job I had been experiencing prejudice against women in computer science and I had been working hard to overcome it. So the Google Anita Borg Scholarship was like recompense for it. I was very excited about this opportunity and of course I sent application.
Being a scholarship recipient gave me great confidence in my abilities and made me believe that I could make a successful career out of what I studied. The retreat in Zurich and acquaintance with talented girls studying Computer Science was the most thrilling experience. I hadn’t seen so many top-flight women who could understand technical discussions before. I am delighted at having got to know them. Talking to the girls and the Googlers at the retreat and the story of Anita Borg was very inspiring. I realized that there are a lot of opportunities for me to develop, and maybe I can change the world!