Natasha Nogueira ’18 is a Junior from Santa Cruz, CA that recently went on a trip with the CIL to San Fransisco to see different tech startups. We talked with her about her main takeaways from the trip.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Natasha Nogueira, I am a junior from Santa Cruz, California. I am an Engineering Major and an Astronomy Minor. At Swarthmore, I am a Telescope Research assistant for the Peter van de Kamp Observatory, a Library Assistant for Underhill Library, and I am currently working on a project in the Engineering department, funded by the Halpern Fund, which support students pursuing engineering projects of their choosing. I spend my free time singing through the Music 48 program and in a women’s vocal quartet.
What surprised you most about the trip?
What surprised me the most about the trip was how important and vital a supportive and inclusive environment workplace is to being successful and growing in your job and how each company strives to define a set of company values that its employees abide by. I was also very surprised to visit Stitch Fix and see a company founded by a woman, with a large female workforce, which represented the overall growing diversity in the tech field.
What was your main takeaway from the places you visited?
The main takeaway I got from visiting these companies was from the advice and mentorship of the alumni we met, especially regarding the sometimes unexpected paths their careers took before they reached their current positions. A few of them placed an emphasis on the importance of “knowing yourself” in order to be successful and happy with your work, which not only can still be attained after college, but also through honest reflection. This notion was an important aspect and piece of advice to receive for me, as a junior in the beginnings of the Grad-School and Job hunt.
What would you tell students who are considering applying?
If you are interested in the tech world, in entrepreneurship, or in working for a VC firm, this trip is the perfect opportunity for you to not only get an inside glimpse of what life is like in each of these companies, but also to meet Swarthmore alumni who are excited and willing to share their stories of how they got to where they are today. By visiting the companies, I got to experience, to some extent, how the atmosphere, policies, and values of a company shape the company itself and what it would be like to work in this environment.