In my college coursework and internship experiences, however, I did not easily find a focus on human-centered technology. Additionally, after participating in an "alternative spring break" trip about housing inequality in the Bay Area and learning from community activists, I realized how destructive these tech companies are to their surrounding communities.
In my senior year, an exciting opportunity came my way - I was hired as the first Public Interest Technology Student Assistant at the Haas Center for Public Service. In this role, I researched, created, and and raised awareness about public interest tech career and volunteer opportunities - opportunities I wish I had at the start of college. Some of my tasks included:
- adding 10 public interest tech placements to our post-grad fellowships. This included reaching out to numerous tech non profits and government branches and conversing with their recruiters and employees.
- creating an open-source list of all the public interest tech organizations and contacts in collaboration with students groups like CS+Social Good.
- starting a public interest tech careers newsletter. This involved looking through dozens of job boards for internships and entry-level positions each week.
- hosting panels on technology's relationship to ethics and Covid-19, racial justice, and politics in collaboration with other student groups & university departments.
- facilitating collaboration and communication about public interest tech across different labs, departments, student groups, and organizations.
- advocating for awareness of public interest tech among mainstream computer science events, such as the annual hackathon and career fairs.
- recording a presentation about finding a career in public interest tech.
- creating and sharing flyers for public interest tech events.