My roadmap to Generation Google Scholarship’21 (previously WTM)

In this blog, I’ll be sharing my experience of Generation Google Scholarship, previously known as Google Women Techmakers Scholarship(formerly Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship).

Generation Google Scholarship

This scholars program is basically divided into three regions -APAC (Asia PACific), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and US (United States), and it includes a scholarship amount ranging from 1,000 USD to 10,000 USD depending on the region, a fully funded retreat at any of the Google headquarters where you will meet other Scholars, Googlers, and access to exclusive resources and a community where you can stay in touch with all the scholars.

My journey of Google Women Techmakers Scholarship

I first came to know about this scholarship through one of the meetups hosted by Coding Blocks and Microsoft Student Partners in November 2019. This opportunity actually made me introspect about the impact that I’ve created and my contributions to the community as a Woman in Computer Science and Technology. The main aim of this scholarship program is to recognize the efforts of those who have been contributing to the field of STEM to propagate the vision of Anita Borg of achieving gender equity in tech and empowering the underrepresented groups.

This event served as a milestone as I interacted with a lot of wonderful people and collaborated with them for and a lot more.

WTM scholar Sashrika Kaur sharing her retreat experience

Eligibility criteria for scholarship (APAC region) -

To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Identify as female
  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time student for the 2021–2022 academic year
  • Be a 1st year or 2nd year student in a Bachelors program at an accredited university in the Asia Pacific, countries/regions: India, Taiwan, Southeast Asia+ -Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Be studying computer science, or a closely related technical field
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record
  • Exemplify leadership and demonstrate a passion for improving the representation of underrepresented groups in computer science and technology.

If you fulfill all the minimum requirements, you can apply here.

Perks of this scholarship 💫

Being one of the most coveted scholarships for women in science and technology, this once in a lifetime opportunity definitely comes with a lot of special perks for the scholars -

  • Scholarship - An academic scholarship varying on the region(1000 USD for APAC region) is awarded to the scholars based on their academic performance, leadership, and impact on the community of women in tech, each academic year.
  • Scholars’ retreat - An invitation to attend the annual Women Techmakers Scholars’ Retreat in one of Google’s Asia Pacific offices. It’s an opportunity to connect with fellow scholars and Google mentors while participating in professional and personal development training and workshops. (Going virtual due to the pandemic and lockdown restrictions)
  • Community - As a Women Techmakers Scholar, you’ll be joining a community of WTM scholars and Nooglers where you’ll get access to exclusive resources, mentorship and other opportunities. You’ll be able to interact and collaborate with other scholars on projects and projects to work towards the greater cause. Professional development and community outreach opportunities will continue to be offered after the retreat.

Not only this, as a part of the global Google scholars community, your name would be in the scholars’ hall of fame. How cool is that? 😎

Google Scholars

Application Process

The application process is divided into three rounds -

Round 1 - Essay & Resume

It is the first part of the application process. The application generally requests the following from all the applicants -

  • General background information (contact information and information about your academic background)
  • Academic transcripts (official or unofficial)
  • Current resume: Make sure it’s as up-to-date as possible! Try to squash all the relevant information into a single-page resume.
  • Responses to 2-3 short answer questions: The questions vary year to year but generally revolve around the field of Science and Technology to know more about your passion for Computer Science and the underrepresented community in tech. Generally one of the questions is there to check the technical aspects while the other one revolves around community impact and outreach activities. These answers serve as a crucial factor in deciding whether you are worthy of the scholarship.

These serve as the basis of your application and it is equally important to focus on these because your interview would be directly based on whatever you will mention in your application. You can read more about it here.

Round 2 - Online Challenges

These are generally held a few weeks after the submission of applications. This year(2021-22), we had two online challenges, where one tested our Reasoning and Aptitude while the other one tested our technical knowledge of basic DS and Algo. These were held back-to-back with no negative marking.

More information about this round can be found here.

Round 3 - Interview

If you are shortlisted for the further rounds, you’ll receive a mail to have a friendly conversation with a Noogler. This serves as an opportunity for them to know more about you and your future goals and ambitions, what the community means to you and how you are planning to empower it through technology and your outreach initiatives. It is also a great chance for you to interact with a Noogler and you can ask any question that is in your mind, regarding Google or their journey to Google.

You can read more about my interview experience here.

All rounds are done, now what?

After this, all you have to do is patiently wait. This part is the hardest of all because there is always uncertainty whether you’ll be selected or not based on the overall strength of your application amongst a pool of other candidates.

WTM Scholarship Rejection mail — Better luck next time :(

Last year, when I applied for the Women Techmakers scholarship, I didn’t know how far I’d be able to make it. For a student in their first year, I was more into exploring various domains rather than sticking with one and diving deeper into it. As a result, my learning curve was more complex and distorted. Plus I had just started attending meetups and the first event that I organized ended up being a disaster. Despite that, I decided to give it a shot anyway and ended up getting rejected 🙂 🥲

I was devastated when I got the rejection mail. But, as we all say,

Despite the lockdown, I got various opportunities to give back to the amazing communities. This helped me to learn more about the struggles and challenges of underrepresented groups while working with them and I utilized these opportunities to empower them through Technology. This further helped me during my interview when I was asked about my outreach activities to promote inclusivity and diversity amongst communities and empowering the underrepresented communities in Tech.

Glad that my hard work finally made my dream come true and one such day, on the 31st of May, I refreshed my mail to receive the best surprise.. 🤩

Selection mail for Generation Google Scholarship’21

I couldn’t believe my eyes. It took me few seconds to realize that it’s true but for the safer side, I re-read it thrice to make sure that there is no misinterpretation. And after that,

Finally, I did it

Celebrate, because you deserve it.

I’m really excited for the Virtual retreat(though silently missing amazing retreats across APAC) and to meet all the amazing scholars and Nooglers. A blog on the retreat experience coming soon :)

In the end, I’d like to say that even if you don’t make it, don’t get disheartened. I know that it’s not easy to deal with rejection but in the end, either you earn or you learn. It’s a win-win situation both ways.

There are a lot of opportunities out there and even if you don’t find them, they’ll end up finding you if you are on the right track. So,

ALL THE BEST to all the future Women Techmakers. 💖

Cheers!!

I’ve tried to mention everything in as much detail as possible. If you feel that there is something that I’ve missed or you wish to know more, then feel free to connect with me on any of the social media platforms(you can check my bio for more details), or if you have any questions, drop me a mail on saloniankitaa@gmail.com and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Till then, Keep hustling.. Keep rocking.. ✨

Google DSC Lead’21 | Generation Google APAC Scholar’21 | SME @Chegg | Former ML Intern @Omdena | Aspiring #DevRel | Author