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Alexa J. '20

Sep 4 2018

The 9-to-5 grind

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What really happens during a 9-to-5 job? Is it possible that people really just sit in front of a computer for 8 hours a day? Do you work on the same code all day? All questions that concerned me and the next 40 years of my career. Well, this reporter’s got the inside scoop, having infiltrated the Google Pittsburgh office this summer as an intern.

Disclaimer: My experience was pampered by the incredible spoils that come with working at a large tech giant, and the perks were an added bonus to the interesting problems I tackled and the imposter-syndrome-inducing people I met. These opinions are in every way my own and don’t reflect Google’s views.

I was on a Site Reliability Engineering team, which managed the data center lifecycle. More specifically, I was helping automate the launch process for new data centers. Some days flew by packed, and others dragged me a through the molasses stereotype of a 9-to-5 desk job. I’ve blended together a few that had busier schedules.

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Discussion

Jun 18 2018

How to Meet More People

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What follows is a thought that I've mulled over recently put into beautiful words by my dear friend Amy F. '20. It's conclusions she's come to (sometimes the hard way) after making it halfway through hell. Without further ado...

How do I meet know more people

(To new friendships! A special thanks to my dear friends Matt Q. ‘19 and Noah M. ‘20)

Recently, a friend in search of more friends, new experiences, and potentially a significant other asked me, "How do I meet more people?” Except, I think what he really meant was, “How do I know more people?”, because in my experience, making the effort to know, rather than meet, others has always led to the strongest friendships.

For example, I met my best friend (hey Alex!) four months ago. In that time, where we proceeded to hang out almost daily, he's gotten to know me better than nearly anyone else at MIT. He inspires me to be a better person everyday, shows me why it is crucial to always be kind, and teaches me so many things... read the post »

Discussion

Apr 30 2018

How to not love CPW but love MIT

Posted in: Freshman Applicants, Information, Prepare for MIT, Life & Culture

Two years ago (wow time flies), I went to CPW, and I came away feeling disenchanted by a place that had been previously shrouded in a mystical fog of technological magic and innovation. I still decided to come, swayed by other factors important to me, including distance from home, upperclassmen I knew from high school, and of course the academic excellence and intensity.

I wanted to address some of the fears and concerns I struggled with after CPW, having now lived through 3 CPW’s. Hopefully, those who are wondering about this haven’t committed yet –– apologies for procrastinating on this.

Feeling #1: Everyone seemed so comfortable with themselves and confident. Both other prefrosh and students seemed like they were the best at something and everything, while in high school, I felt that I had attempted to be (for lack of a better cliche) jack of all trades and therefore, master of none. I was more of a humanities/social sciences person in high school (thought that I would go on... read the post »

Discussion

Mar 26 2018

11.125

Posted in: Academics & Research, Life & Culture

Instead of doing an overview of the classes I’m taking this semester, I want to spotlight a few of them because they are just. that. cool. wow. First up, 11.125: Understanding and Evaluating Education CI-H HASS 12 Units.

“Subject uses K-12 classroom experiences, along with student-centered classroom activities and student-led classes, to explore issues in schools and education. Students in this course spend time each week observing pre-college math and science classes. Topics of study include design and implementation of curriculum, addressing the needs of a diversity of students, standards in math and science, student misconceptions, methods of instruction, the digital divide, teaching through different media, and student assessment.”

What it boils down to is an analysis on the current state of education, with some mind-blowing observations sprinkled in. Because education is so integral to the present and future of the world, especially the public schools that educate the... read the post »

Discussion

Feb 17 2018

Ciao, Italy! (Part 2)

Posted in: Academics & Research, Life & Culture

Part 2/2 documenting my Italy IAP trip :) Enjoy!

Day 15: A magical day in Bologna, especially after chancing upon a fellow group of internationals at my hostel. More churches and panoramic views, but this time, accented by sightseeing of seven of the city’s “secrets” from an Argentinian girl studying abroad in the quaint city. They included a window into a small canal called “Little Venice” and hidden pictorial inscriptions of old storefronts by the main square. We communicated through a plethora of languages, a flurry of French, Spanish, English, and Italian words, moderated by a fearless French girl, who knew all four. In that beautiful moment, I wished I could understand it all, and I promised myself that I would take more language classes (in vain, given the hell that is this semester’s upcoming schedule). It was one flaw of my packed technical curriculum; in the hopes of learning as much as I can in my major, my humanities side is often neglected.

 

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Ragù (Bolognese)... read the post »

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