Expectations vs. Reality
By Tina Huynh
When applying to Bridge to Connect, I was still newly declared as a computer science major at California State University, Fullerton. I felt as if there was a tsunami of questions waiting to be answered regarding the process of becoming a software engineer and an iOS application developer. This fueled my excitement when I learned about the opportunity to have a mentor to guide me through my own development.
When I got the acceptance call the day after Christmas, I was ecstatic with hopes of gaining clarity of what it means to be a developer. But instead of focusing on my hopes to be a software engineer, Bridge to Connect has given me both the support and encouragement to question fundamental assumptions about becoming a software engineer and learn what it means to be a professional.
After the first few months working with my advisors – Caecilia, Terry, Noemi – and my mentor, Robert, I realized that they would guide me through finding answers about how to be a professional, but I had to come up with my own conclusions regarding my career and the kind of future I wish to build. I also learned that, even though there are many personal questions I have to face myself, every single member of the organization is standing by my side and rooting for my success.
Bridge to Connect has connected me with an extremely supportive, encouraging, and loving group of people whose belief in my ability to succeed has given me more confidence in myself and the years ahead. Through this program, I have a community of people to discuss the process of growing not only as a computer science student but also as someone aiming to start a professional career and a successful brand for myself.
Every week I get the chance to experience different workshops and practice a variety of social experiments with my advisors that help me become more socially aware. The advisors and mentor are quick, straightforward and respectful when telling the mentees where we can improve. They are also very generous with praise for all the work that we do both inside and outside the program. I also have the opportunity to talk to my mentor about my personal professional concerns throughout the week. This program has helped me in areas such as: interview skills, writing resumes and cover letters, job fair attendance and follow-up, interpersonal communication skills, and project management.
I started this program thinking I would learn how to be a software engineer from my mentor but Bridge to Connect has forced me to take a step back and see the bigger picture. BRDG connected me with such a diverse group of people who are committed to guiding me to achieve only the best lifestyle I envision for myself five, ten years from now. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for being a part of such an irreplaceable team.