Women in Technology: Spotlight on C2 Summer Intern, Meghan Collins
We’re excited to welcome 2017 summer intern Meghan Collins to the C2 team. Naomi Firlik, C2 Web Analyst, will be mentoring her for the next several months as she works on diverse projects within the company. Read on to learn more about Meghan’s hopes and plans for the summer.
The eldest daughter of C2’s own Jim Collins, Meghan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Colchester High School (2016) and is currently a National Merit Scholar at the University of Alabama, where she’s pursuing a degree in Computer Science. Among many talents, Meghan is a saxophone virtuoso and a Black Belt in Taekwondo.
– Understanding business process and career options
– Applying programming skills in a creative fashion
– Developing consulting skills
– Learning more about big data and statistics
Below are some excerpts from my recent interview with Meghan and Naomi:
How’s the internship so far?
Meghan: Going well! I’ve been going into the field and getting hands on experience with technology. It’s been a good learning experience.
What’s your technology background? How did you get this internship?
Meghan: My dad has worked here for over 20 years. So I’ve grown up around technology and computers; and then I decided to major in computer science in school. So I was excited to come back after a year of studying and just try it in a real world application.
Did any subject in particular call to you?
Meghan: I want to do something with programming, but I also want to explore options and see what’s out there.
What inspired your mentorship with Naomi?
Meghan: She works across practices at C2 and has a good understanding of the different technologies. I also think the team thought it would be good for me to have a female role model in the office.
Naomi: She’s already helping out on many projects being a great team player. I’m looking forward to working with her more as the summer goes on and to see how her interest in technology expands. Maybe she’ll stick with programming, or maybe she’ll get exposed to another area that interests her.
Naomi, how did you get involved in this company and in the tech world?
Naomi: I landed at C2 through a referral, and have been here for eight and a half years. I got my start in IT right out of college when I worked for an eCommerce development firm. With a marketing degree, I didn’t have a lot of technology knowledge to start with, but have honed my skills over time through hands-on experience and training opportunities. I focus mostly on business reporting and analysis, but also work with the development, infrastructure and managed services teams.
That’s cool. And so do you have a curriculum planned for Meghan?
Naomi: One of Meghan’s goals for the summer is to understand the career options in technology. I’m working with the teams and getting her involved with various projects so she has exposure to the different roles we have at C2 from systems engineers, software engineers, project managers, web analysts, etc.
I’d love your perspective as women in an industry that historically has had more men in it. What’s your experience been like in tech?
Meghan: It can be a challenge to be a woman in a male-dominated field, but it can also be an asset. You bring a different perspective to things. I really don’t mind being in the minority as far as that’s concerned, and I think anyone interested in technology should definitely pursue it.
Naomi: I’ve really admired C2’s commitment to women in tech; in fact, two of the four C2 founding partners were women. Therefore, my experience here has been great in terms of opportunities and being on an even keel with my peers. While my experience has been positive at C2 and throughout my career, I do recognize there is still work to be done to bridge the gap. There has been some real traction around awareness through local organizations like Girl Develop It and the Vermont Coders Connection – led by women tech leaders in the community. C2 is involved and often sponsors events run by these groups. Other initiatives like Innovation Week help draw attention to tech but also highlights the strong women in tech roles and the great opportunity that exists for young girls to get involved from an early age.
That’s great. So as we wrap this up… are there any like projects on the horizon that have got you excited?
Meghan: I started working with a software called Splunk that basically makes machine data more accessible, and I’ve been configuring apps that can be installed with it. Soon I will be working on an uCommerce project with the eBusiness team doing development work so I’m excited for that as I’ll be learning a new programming language that I won’t be learning at school until next semester.
Congratulations again to Meghan, and we hope the summer is a productive and fun one!