#LifeAtGA Category Archives - General Assembly Blog | Page 4

The Economics of Gender Equality: Why We All Need Women in STEM

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Young boys have consistently grown up with a myriad of role models around them, shaping their ambitions and ideas of their future selves. They are met with visions of leadership, confidence, and innovation. From Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk—there has been no shortage of male engineers, scientists, mathematicians, technologists, entrepreneurs, and inventors for little boys to look up to. But what about the women?

There’s nothing in a girl’s bio-genetic makeup that suggests an inherent lack of ability or interest in the sciences or math. Quite the contrary: in the U.S., 74% of middle school girls express interest in STEM. Yet, by the time they reach high school, only 0.4% of girls plan to major in computer science. Continue reading

#THXFor Making 2015 Our Best Year Yet

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2015 has been our best year yet here at GA. To our community of students, instructors, and staff — #THXFor helping us reach more students in more cities than ever before!

Now it’s time to show some love: Take your own #THXFor pics, and tag the people in your life who have helped you reach your goals in this year. Make sure to include @GeneralAssembly for a chance to be featured! And, look for our #THXFOR selfie stations at our campuses worldwide.

Happy holidays, and happy snapping!

See what others are saying #THXFOR

Give Back This Season by Supporting Opportunity Fund Fellows

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Since it’s inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has grown to encompass over 30,000 organizations around the globe that participate in a movement centered around generosity and gratitude.

This #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting our mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love by opening up our Opportunity Fund to donors of all sizes. Opportunity Fund is General Assembly’s philanthropic fellowship program which allows individuals from underrepresented communities—with a special focus on women, people of color, opportunity youth, and veterans—to access our immersive courses, at no cost, and help prepare for jobs as junior-level web developers and UX designers.

Our Opportunity Fund fellows have transformative experiences and we’ve partnered with NationSwell to share one of those stories. This documentary follows Lyn, an early Opportunity Fund recipient who took full advantage of the scholarship to change her family’s life and give back to her community.

We’re incredibly grateful that we’ve been able to award more than 100 fellowships through our Opportunity Fund, thanks to the generous support of benefactors like AT&T, Capital One, and McDonald’s. That’s 100 individuals, who like Lyn, might not have otherwise pursued skills in technology. Lyn’s experience is only one of many amazing stories of transformation and we’re excited to continue to increase access to education opportunities and support a diverse talent pipeline.

Donate here to make a tax-deductible contribution to help the next generation of Opportunity Fund fellows. We’ll will match every dollar donated to underwrite the cost of more fellowships for the future leaders in technology and design.

Thank you for your support!

-Brimer

Donate Now

 

Bridging the Gap: Can Student Aid Help More Learners Acquire Skills for the New Economy?

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When our co-founders launched General Assembly in 2011, they didn’t set out to start an education company – let alone, an entirely new category of education. To put things in perspective, at the end of 2013, GA had served just over 5,000 students. By the end of this year, over 20,000 students will have completed our programs in technology, business, data, and design.

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SOLA/HACK! A Design Hackathon for Change in South LA

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“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker

SOLA/HACK was a design hackathon I organized, hosted by General Assembly’s downtown L.A. campus. Participants included current students and alumni from General Assembly and USC. The objective of the hackathon was to apply design thinking and UX design principles to issues specific to the South L.A. community, with an eye toward how appropriate uses of technology could be used to help address social, economic, and environmental problems. While technology can be a powerful tool for change (think of the crucial role of cell phones during the Arab Spring uprising), it was stressed that there is not an easy techno-fix to every social problem. So participants were encouraged to look beyond just apps or websites and employ systems-based thinking on their solutions.

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GA alum Advocates Importance of UX Design in Cambodia

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Since graduating from GA DC’s first UXDI course last year summer, Nina has honed her skills with freelance gigs, one of them at a big political consulting firm. When Nina wasn’t freelancing or leading a Code for America chapter, she made time for Visual Design this spring. Since her second GA graduation, she’s been exploring the nonprofit space by working with the Asia Foundation. After her work in Cambodia, Nina is considering other ways she can share the value of good UX in DC and beyond.

Keep up with Nina on Twitter @nbaliga1.

What were you doing before you came to GA?

I was a freelance UX designer and digital strategist. Prior to doing freelance UX, I was working at several digital marketing agencies as a project manager/account manager/digital strategist.

What did you choose to take a course with us?

I wanted to develop my portfolio to make myself more marketable. I also wanted to leverage the GA network to make more contacts to increase my number of freelance gigs.

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Instructor Stories: Faz Besharatian Inspires Students to Work as a Team in UXDI

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Faz (top row second from the left) with his UXDI students at General Assembly.

After several years designing for nonprofits and companies, Faz decided to make a go of freelancing full-time. After almost three years of choosing his own projects and clients, Faz committed to teaching the first UXDI course at General Assembly DC. He’s taught almost every UXDI cohort since.

Follow Faz on Twitter @faz Continue reading

NYC Becomes a More Talented Tech Hub Thanks to New CTO, Minerva Tantoco

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It was a Tuesday morning deep in Lower Manhattan, steps away from the World Trade Center and City Hall. While suits swarmed the sidewalks on their way to offices in the sky, we made our way to LMHQ, which hosts events and allows space for coworking.

Fellow startup folks filled the main room, chatting, exchanging cards, drinking coffee, and taking pictures of the whiteboard art. It seemed exactly like the kind of place where Techweek New York would kick off, with none-other than a CTO as the featured speaker. But this wasn’t the kind of CTO the startup crowd is used to hearing — it was Minerva Tantoco, the very first CTO for the government of the City of New York.

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“Let Dreams Evolve,” A Conversation with Kristian Nairn of Game of Thrones

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Fans of Kristian Nairn, known for playing the well-loved character of Hodor on the TV phenomenon, Game of Thrones, may be surprised to know that he’s enjoyed a thriving DJ career for the past two decades. His latest, and perhaps most notable, set being Rave of Thrones—an epic dance party that brings together die-hard Game of Thrones fans and music lovers from around the world.

We caught up with Nairn backstage at the Hard Rock cafe, right before he played a rowdy crowd of ravers and cosplay enthusiasts at this year’s Comic Con in New York City.

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Bridging the Diversity Gap in Tech, One Student at a Time

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Toptal developers are providing mentorship to Opporunity Fund fellows from around the world.

The White House estimates that there are half a million tech jobs available in the U.S. alone, meanwhile more than 5% of the U.S. population remains unemployed. There aren’t enough skilled professionals to assume these roles, and despite thousands of people learning to code, the tech workforce continues to be fairly homogenous.

Our society can only benefit from having a variety of people pursue work in tech. A more diverse workforce means more innovative ideas and stronger solutions. That’s why fellowships like General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund are working to make tech education more accessible to underrepresented groups like women, people of color, veterans, and individuals from low-income backgrounds. Students can apply for scholarships and support for our full-time, career-changing programs in either web development or user experience design.

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