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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.
avatar for Kat Aiello

Kat Aiello

Computer Science Major and Nexus in Data Science
Growing the World's Largest Social Network
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 user base?
Kat Aiello worked as a software engineer this summer on Facebook’s Growth team. She applied skills she learned from her computer science major and data science NEXUS minor to write algorithms that encourage growth and connections among billions of people. Kat will talk about building for scalability and internationalization and how this thinking is encouraged at Facebook. She will also discuss the pros and cons of working at Facebook, company culture, and the skills that enabled her to succeed.