Help students land lifetime careers through the Grace Hopper Celebration

Help students land lifetime careers through the Grace Hopper Celebration

T he Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women in Computing holds the key to success for many Georgia College students. Often, students who attend this annual conference find themselves interviewing and then working for nationwide companies, such as Accenture, Allstate and Bank of America. 

Anna Arnall, ’20, is a business and technology delivery analyst with Accenture Federal Services and knows what it’s like. 

Anna Arnall (left) and Madeline Niersbach at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration.
Anna Arnall (left) and Madeline Niersbach at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration.

“I got a job thanks to this conference,” she said. “I interviewed with five companies as a result of Grace Hopper and started working for Accenture Federal Services in July 2020.”

Arnall works with a database used daily by her clients, where she does everything from teaching technology to visualizing different data to answering help desk tickets. She draws on what she learned at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference and applies it to her profession every day.

“A concept that was displayed at the conference was kindness,” Arnall said. “It leaves a large impact on people. I interacted with hundreds of people there, and I remember those people and companies who displayed kindness to me. Now, I have the opportunity to interact with clients and colleagues using kindness. People notice.”

Arnall also feels that the Grace Hopper champions women in computing.

“You leave knowing nothing can hold you back from what you want to accomplish,” she said. “First hand, you see the women who made the world better for you. They were the start of representation.”

“We are blessed to come from a school where women leadership is not a minority. Women in technology can be the minority,” said Arnall. “The conference gives you a glimpse of the support you can find after leaving Georgia College.” 

Georgia College students and faculty at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration.
Georgia College students and faculty at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration.

For those who attend, the take-a-ways are endless.

“For some, the most important is clearly the Career Expo,” said Dr. Tanya Goette, chair, information systems and computer science. “Students are going with the intent to land a job at a really large company, and they're going to make the most of that. And that's what they do. For many others, it's simply seeing how many females exist in technology, and not feeling like an imposter. Imposter syndrome is very real, and this conference helps students to reduce that feeling.” 

According to Goette, the atmosphere at Grace Hopper is unlike any other conference. 

“Everyone who's there wants to help the students who are starting out in their careers,” she said. “The companies are actually competing with each other to hire the students.”

There are at least 16 simultaneous tracks going on at once. The tracks can range from artificial intelligence, to the internet, to cybersecurity, to leadership and to professional development. 

“So just about any type of technology you want to name, you can find a session on it, if not a whole track on it,” said Goette. “There are literally thousands of networking opportunities at the conference. It’s just an incredible experience.”

Conference participants expand on what they’ve learned in the classroom depending upon which track they attend.

“The important thing is they’re learning to network. They are practicing their elevator speech,” she said. “Many of these women are very shy, so if they can connect through networking at GHC they will be better off.” 

“We are blessed to come from a school where women leadership is not a minority. Women in technology can be the minority. The conference gives you a glimpse of the support you can find after leaving Georgia College.”
– Anna Arnall


Since 2015, 24 Georgia College students received a job as a direct result of the Grace Hopper Celebration Career Expo. According to Goette, Georgia College takes more students based on the percentage of majors than any other university. 

Although Goette has several Grace Hopper Celebration student-success stories, she recalls having an extremely shy female student attend the conference. Faculty attending the conference encouraged her to talk with company representatives, resulting in an internship and job offer with Allstate.  

“She was absolutely so excited over that,” said Goette. “I think without the conference, obtaining a job would’ve been very difficult for her. The Grace Hopper Celebration enabled her to get more comfortable and talk to more companies than she would have on her own.”

Her favorite part of the Grace Hopper Celebration is the confidence it provides students.

“I really enjoy looking into the students’ eyes, when they score an interview with their dream company, or when they realize that they are truly good enough to be in technology and to compete with everybody else,” said Goette. “I also like to see these students get to know each other when they really hadn't even met before.”

However, these experiences would not be possible without scholarships. Goette knows first-hand the importance of providing funds to students, so they can attend the Grace Hopper Celebration.

“Georgia College is all about transformational experiences, and this conference is one of the most transformational experiences an individual can have,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for our students to show the large employers how great Georgia College is. Companies like Accenture Federal Services, ADP, Allstate, Bank of America and PricewaterhouseCoopers have hired at least one other GC student after hiring one the year before.”

To Arnall, the conference offers limitless career opportunities.

“I made connections with jobs, companies and people,” she said. “I now work for one of my dream companies. The conference gave me an opportunity to know my worth in the job market and compare job opportunities across the industry. I networked with people from some of my dream companies. These women are encouraging and take action to impact future generations.”

Arnall thanks donors for the priceless career she gained as a result of the Grace Hopper Celebration.

“I hold some of the highest regards to Georgia College for giving me the opportunity to attend this conference,” she said. “You allowed for me to dream big and interview with jobs across America.”

Learn how you can help students land their dream career through the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference.