Senior at CUNY Brooklyn College Studying Computer Science and Accounting

As a black woman studying computer science, Neissa Dorsinville wants to elevate women and represent women of color in the tech industry. As we all know, in order to stand out in a male-dominated field, women have to work harder. This fuels her drive to take opportunities that will help build her experience and skills. While in university, she completed a virtual experience program, worked as a computer science tutor, and completed a Software Engineering internship with Altcoin Advisors. Describing herself as shy, Neissa also pushed herself to leave her comfort zone through extracurricular activities, such as joining a public speaking club and stepping up to take leadership roles. The culmination of her drive and experiences secured her a job offer as a Software Engineer with JP Morgan Chase before graduating. Neissa credits her career success to Rewriting the Code and Forage for giving her opportunities and helping her along the way — although we credit her success to all the work she has put in to get here!

Joining Rewriting the Code

Neissa was recommended to check out Rewriting the Code by a peer in her computer science club. Through our organization, she was able to find a community that she felt represented in. As a black woman, Neissa is underrepresented in the tech industry. As an organization that supports intersectional groups, Rewriting the Code helped her see her future by arranging events where black women leaders in the tech industry are represented. RTC also provides Neissa with a sense of community that supports her to grow professionally. Her favorite part of RTC is having “the ability to just reach out to anyone from the community”. No matter if she had a question about school or career opportunities, there was someone in the community to turn to for guidance. “Rewriting the Code has taught me to support women in any way possible and showed me that any goal is possible to achieve with the help of the community.”

Leveraging Forage

As a computer science student, Neissa was interested in gaining software engineering experience. This led to her signing up for Forage, a free career education platform that hosts virtual experience programs directly from top companies. Before Forage, she was most familiar with Java, a programming language commonly taught in her classes. Completing JP Morgan Chase’s Software Engineering Virtual Experience Program helped her broaden her knowledge of coding languages. She learned to work with Python and React which she found most useful for the job search. Although Neissa may have come across these languages at a future point in time, Forage helped her to discover them before encountering them in coding assessments and interviews.

Neissa also credits Forage with helping her to narrow down her career path; she said it “helped me with knowing exactly what I want to do”. Completing projects that are typical for a Software Engineer to work on provided her with the experience that solidified her career choice.

Advice for Female Students in Tech

Neissa highly encourages students to put themselves out of their comfort zones. By doing so herself, she has become the VP for her school’s women in computer science club and treasurer of the computer science club, and Secretary of “Smooth Talkers”, a public speaking club. Through these clubs, she received additional opportunities such as joining Rewriting the Code.

Another piece of advice she offers students is to “explore as much as they can because you never know what you can get into by just doing that one project”. By completing the program with Forage, she was able to put the experience on her resume and make companies, such as JP Morgan, interested in connecting with her. By joining Rewriting the Code, she found a community of women in tech that supported her goals. Since Forage and Rewriting the Code opened doors to a plethora of opportunities for her, she highly recommends for other students to not only use Forage but also find a community that lifts them up.

Connect with Neissa on Linkedin here.

Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.

Follow Rewriting the Code on LinkedIn here.

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