For Alexandra Velez, the most desirable quality in an individual is authenticity. She believes that everything she has achieved thus far has been a direct result of her always being honest and raw. Alexandra believes that this openness is what helped her become a Grace Hopper Celebration Scholar, which she considers to be her biggest accomplishment in life so far.
She is currently a sophomore at Florida State University earning a B.S. in Computer Science (Minor in Mathematics) with a 3.64 GPA, graduating in May 2022. She enjoys keeping her brain stimulated by engaging in critical and logical thinking regularly by solving intricate problems. Moreover, Alexandra Velez is a team player- she loves joining others like herself to work with them in their collective quest to reach a particular goal. Read on to see what this future software developer has to say about being a GHC scholarship recipient, and how being unapologetically herself made that possible for her.
What’s coming up:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I think what might set me apart from a lot of other GHC scholars is that I don’t go to a big name school or what is considered a top ten school. I go to an amazing state school. I don’t have any internships on my resume. I got in because I was real.
Why do you think you were selected?
I was so open and honest in my answers. It was incredibly difficult to be so raw, especially when my advisors read my answers. But I knew that I needed to be honest and I needed this experience in my life.
Have you faced any failures or rejections in your journey so far?
This summer, I applied for about ten internships. I interviewed three of them. I did not receive an internship this summer. I felt extremely discouraged and questioned my abilities. I considered dropping computer science. Then, I got this scholarship and everything changed. Since then, I have achieved many more things that I am proud of. Three months ago, nothing was going right for me. All I had to do was wait. So failure is not forever! Keep working hard and you will succeed.
Do you have any advice you would like to give future applicants?
Be real. If you truly want to be in this industry and you have genuine reasons to want to go to GHC, then you will find your path.
If you found this interview with Alexandra inspirational, there’s potentially more in store for you- Alexandra has expressed her interest in guiding and mentoring future applicants during her free time! Her lessons on being one’s true and real self without shame or regret is something we can apply in our personal as well as professional lives. Alexandra has faced multiple stumbling blocks, rejections, and failures in her life, but that didn’t stop her. In fact, she pushed herself even further because she did not want to give up on her dreams. That’s what makes her the perfect role model- she proves that success is possible for every single one of us, no matter how ordinary we think we are.
Are you a recipient?
We are always looking out for scholarship recipients to feature. Please reach out to discuss how we can use your experience to help others grow. Also reach out if you have been selected any special programs.