While I sat in the Girls Who Code classroom and watched Laura Clayton McDonnell, General Manager Microsoft New York Metro, deliver her speaking engagement/presentation, I was in awe of her ease and natural approach. She started her presentation with some personal information and beautiful pictures of her family. Laura’s family is from Panama, however Laura was born in Bermuda and was raised in California. She has a very diverse education background along with a fascinating work history; started her career as an attorney and then moved into sales. Laura’s personal philosophy is “To live life in an exemplary manner that reflects what matters, with curiosity, optimism, courage, humility, compassion and integrity.”
In my opinion, Laura had a brilliant way to approach her presentation, entitled “Empowering You with Super Powers”; she answered the same essay questions that all Girls Who Code candidates had to answer. She shared her views on improving existing technology and why, overcoming challenges, contributing to the success of others and exploring computer science. This was very well-received.
After sharing her views on the essay questions, Laura then moved onto sharing her top 5 life changing ideas and segued into Laura’s challenge to the coders, Diversity = Success.
I watched the girls diligently write in their notebooks during the course of the presentation and asked very intriguing questions.
Laura concluded her presentation by asking the coders what are they going to do with their super power which led into the Q&A session. I found Laura to be very inspirational. The coders asked for her email address and shortly after her departure from the class, the following email was received:
“I wanted to thank you for coming in today and giving an insight into your life beginning from Panama to Microsoft. It gave an idea of how to approach my career through various techniques revolving both personal growth and teamwork. In addition, your job as a business woman working in the field of computer science is a new career that I have begun to consider. It was truly a great experience to meet you.
Hopefully, in the future we may see more of each other.
Once again, a huge thanks.”
Thank you to Laura for helping us inspire the next generation of coders!