The RunDown

The RunDown

Kaitlyn Bridge (’17) Returns to Address Club She Started

Irene Cho
Mrs. Bridges talking with Girls Who Code in Dr. Chu’s classroom.
Mrs. Bridge, shown here, in 2022.

This past November 14th, Kaitlyn Bridge, RD graduate and the valedictorian of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, addressed Dr. Chu’s club Girls Who Code.  Bridge founded the club at River Dell High School in June of 2017.

Presently Bridge works at IMB as a front end developer and firmware engineer.  Dr. Chu felt that it would be inspiring for members of his club to hear Bridge’s reflections on her past experiences at RD and Penn State.

Dr. Chu, who ran the club alongside Mrs. Bridge, expressed satisfaction for the club’s current alignment with its original goal: to get more girls interested in computer science. “I’m very happy to say that each year we have an increase in the number of female students who express and even commit to computer science related college majors”

During her speech, a dozen members crowded around Bridge as she discussed her time at RD, college life, and strategies she employed that help her land a trio of internships at IBM before graduating from PSU.  Bridge explained, “So many follow ups that I’ve gotten with companies are because I researched the companies beforehand. I always found it helpful to go to the company with a specific question about one of their products, or one of their services that they provide, because then they can tell ‘Oh wow, this person knows who we are! This person researched us! This person is interested in us.’”

Bridge concluded on a cheerful note. “It was my senior year of high school when [Dr. Chu and I] tried to make this club. And I think when I was in it there were 3 members. Our meetings were nowhere near this large, so it makes me very happy to see you all here”

After the thoughtful speech, some students were asked to share some of their feelings.

Ariel Lee, class of 2027, dreams of one day becoming an anesthesiologist.  She shared some of her lingering doubts.  “I’m still a little bit worried about the whole job process. But it’s a little less worrying now that I know a little more of what to expect.”

On the other hand, Sarisha Someshekar, class of 2024 felt fully empowered by Bridge’s insights. “She gave us super useful advice especially what she said about the college fair. I didn’t think of such an important thing like asking questions and showing them I care.”

Dr. Chu, the advisor of Girls Who Code, truly believes that the club is meeting its original goals and noted that he is excited to bring more fulfilling experiences like this alumna guest speaker to the GWC club.

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