by Miriam Nebu '25
Last Friday, a group of students from Notre Dame’s robotics team, The Janksters, attended The Tech Interactive’s Pave it Forward Luncheon. This event, hosted yearly by The Tech Interactive, is designed to expose more young women and non-binary individuals to STEM by providing an opportunity to interact with professionals in various STEM fields. It allowed students to network with professionals, ask them questions, and have conversations about their careers.
The event was split into three main sections. The first section involved students being able to network with the professionals at the event. Students took this time to talk about the team and gain insight from multiple sources, and get professional headshots taken for future use. Janksters were able to speak with engineers, STEM educators, and other people with experience in STEM. This provided an opportunity to develop communication and interpersonal skills. During lunch, students were able to converse individually with the professionals at their table. The event also hosted speakers during this time, including Janine Pelosi, chief marketing officer for Zoom. Students asked questions about her job, journey, challenges, and involvement with STEM, and were able to hear and learn from a successful woman in STEM.
One student that attended the Pave it Forward Luncheon said, “I enjoyed conversing with females who work in stem industries and learning about their stories and the challenges they faced. I could draw a lot of connections between the challenges they faced in the workplace with those that we face in our robotics team. By the end of the conference, I felt inspired and gained many lifelong connections.” Another student commented, “The luncheon opened my eyes to different areas of tech and inspired me to explore new career paths for my future.”
Overall, attending the Pave it Forward Luncheon was an excellent way for Janksters to expand their knowledge about different careers they can pursue, and to start creating a professional circle. The event provided them with valuable experience and insights from established professionals and helped them develop skills that can be useful in any career path and professional setting. By engaging with the professionals who are paving the way today, The Janksters gained a new perspective on the opportunities available to them in the STEM field.