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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
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Friday, October 20 • 3:45pm - 4:40pm
Software, Product and Data across Small Startups and Big Corporations

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What is it like in the tech industry? There is no single answer. During this past summer, we interned at startups and large corporations across different fields including travel, insurance, healthcare, search engines and social media. We experienced different work cultures, tried different roles from software/IT engineer to product manager, faced various challenges and all had great takeaways about what it is like to work in tech. Our panelists will explore the differences and similarities of each type of work environment and discuss the skills and preparation that they found most useful for their line of work.


Daniel Sheldon

Five College Assistant Professor of Computer Science

avatar for Kat Aiello

Kat Aiello

Growing the World's Largest Social Network, Computer Science Major and Nexus in Data Science
Mark Zuckerberg announced in June 2017 that two billion people around the world use Facebook, double its size less than five years ago. How does a social network reach this unprecedented milestone and what do engineers consider when building products for such a massive and diverse... Read More →
avatar for Sara Harda

Sara Harda

Where Does Synergy Lie in the Product Development Process?, Computer Science & Anthropology Major
In the contemporary mythology of business, tech-entrepreneurship is usually synonymous with genius and self-reliance. Start-up moguls are stereotypically portrayed as solitary heroes who built their first product at the back of a garage or in a college dorm. However, the moment one... Read More →
avatar for Shirley Xu

Shirley Xu

Duplicate or Not? It’s Your Call., Statistics Major and Nexus in Data Science
When given "50 College Street MHC 1234”, “50 College St, Mt. Holyoke College, 1234”, and “50 College Street, Mount Holyoke College 1234”, we would probably realize that the three records of address refer to the same place simultaneously. But how would you train a machine... Read More →
avatar for Yu


A Leap from Classroom to Industry: a Summer as Mobile Feature Developer, Computer Science Major
I interned as a software engineer at Google. I worked as an Android feature developer for the Google Search app which has over one billion users. Prior to the internship, I only had one day of experience with Android mobile development at HackHolyoke. However, my partner and I quickly... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 3:45pm - 4:40pm EDT
Kendade 107