Every year brings a host of qualified applications from talented college-bound high school students across the country who are interested in pursuing a degree in computer sciences. This year was no different. Amazed by the drive, inspiration, and accomplishments of these young individuals, picking among so many qualified applicants is always a struggle. But this year’s selection took on additional meaning for us. Amidst COVID-19, the 2020 graduating class has faced numerous challenges and unprecedented situations. Yet despite it all, what came through in reading all of the applications was an unwavering excitement to take the next step and an unfailing commitment to pursue their goals. We all could learn a thing or two on resilience from this group of seniors, and we can’t wait to see where these qualities take them!
In light of this, we decided that this year, we would choose not one, but two, recipients for the 2020 Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarship, and add two more scholarships for this upcoming year later this summer.
Join us as we take the next two weeks sharing a bit about both of our first incredible recipients and what led them to pursue a career in computer science.
First Up, Congratulations to Emily Dahl
Emily, a senior graduating from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, captain of her varsity Track & Field team, and a black belt in karate, is planning on attending Creighton University in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Science. One of the things that stood out to us about Emily was her unique interest in applying computer science to an early passion of hers, biology. Emily hopes to use her computer science degree to explore and aid research within the biological sciences, an area where technology has helped make several exciting advancements in the past years. We think she’s got a few things going for her!
Q: When did you first decide you wanted to be a biotechnology software engineer?
After completion of the AP biology course at my high school, I knew I had a love for the science behind our existence. For a long time I thought I would pursue a degree in biology, but realized that I didn’t want to commit to the tedious career path many aspiring doctors take. My AP biology teacher recommended I look into a career within the biology field, but use my computer skills to help in a very different way than I envisioned — as a software engineer.
Q: What made you interested in this field and computer science?
The basis of computer science is founded in math and problem solving, two things which I loved throughout my k-12 education. I knew I wanted to help others, and in this field I realized I could directly contribute to the health and well being of others!
Q: Did you have any educational or extracurricular experiences during your K-12 years that helped you decide on computer science?
Freshmen year, I took Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles which introduced me to the world of computer science. That was the only true computer class I took, but somehow coding managed to find its way into my other classes. I would use the basic skills from this course to create applications for business, english, and science classes!
Q: What school have you selected to attend and why did you choose it for your undergraduate studies?
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. I landed on Creighton University because of the hands-on education they provide, my acceptance into a selective research program, and the strong liberal arts curriculum.
Q: What does the Intertech Foundation Scholarship mean to your academic journey?
The value of the Intertech STEM scholarship will be invaluable to my academic journey. Knowing that there are people who support my desire to pursue a career in a male dominated industry gave me so much confidence and reassurance in my choice. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity.
Q: What would you like to share with others who may be considering a computer science career?
Computer science develops the skills necessary to think logically, collaborate with others, and innovate in extraordinary ways. There also isn’t a better time to pursue a career in computer science! Computer technology is at the heart of many endeavors to make a meaningful difference in the world, whether through medical advances, scientific research, helping marginalized groups, or many other areas.
Thank you, Emily, for applying. We look forward to hearing about many great things from you in the future!
Stay tuned for next week’s article when we will feature our second scholarship recipient, Sulaiman Bada!
Founded in 1991, Intertech delivers software development consulting and IT training to Fortune 500, Government, and Leading Technology institutions. Learn more about us. Whether you are a developer interested in working for a company that invests in its employees or a company looking to partner with a team of technology leaders who provide solutions, mentor staff, and add true business value, we’d like to meet you.