Creating a Tech Career with a Little Help from Lander College for Women
Hear Why Chana Chambre is Passionate about STEM Leadership and AmEx Internship Opportunities
Chana Chambre, a computer science major at Touro’s Lander College for Women (LCW), has worked as a Teaching Assistant at Girls Who Code. After receiving offers from companies including Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, she signed an internship position at American Express (AMEX). She demonstrates her passion for STEM by developing and teaching a STEM curriculum in a local high school. Chambre shares her love of computer science — and hackathons! — talks about her future plans, and explains how Touro has guided her every step of the way—from internship placements to resume building and interview prep.
Can you talk a bit about your career journey so far?
This past summer, I worked as a Teaching Assistant on the Virtual Summer Immersion Program run by Girls Who Code. Through Girls Who Code, I started networking and began learning and exploring the exciting opportunities the Computer Science major has to offer. At LCW, I also recently became the Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and created a Girls Who Code College Loops club, which is designed for women interested in tech to support one another and help each other persist and succeed in the field. These are two computer science initiatives that hopefully can provide more resources in the department.
Additionally, I met with Sarri Singer of LCW Career Services to make a résumé and prepare to enter the job market. She coached me though countless interviews, contract negotiations, and was there throughout my journey. After a successful recruiting season, I am thrilled to be heading to American Express and am excited for this next stage in my career!
Did you know when you started at Touro that computer science was the field you wanted to enter?
Definitely. Starting 11th grade, I took AP computer science principles. Subsequently, I took more programming courses in 12th grade where my teacher Mrs. Kaufman brought us to LCW to compete in the Hack It Together hackathon, which I won with a team of friends. There I met Dr. Katz, my current advisor, after seeing the Computer Science department at Touro I knew there was a future for me here. I saw that LCW cares about promoting women in technology and has the dedication and positive environment to help us succeed. I left the hackathon excited about Touro and the LCW experience, so I applied and was accepted into the Honors Program. The choice to come to LCW felt very natural because I had such positive experiences, and I knew this was the place I wanted to build my career.
You’re very involved with this year's upcoming hackathon. Do you feel that your ability to be involved in this hackathon is based on your experience in the previous hackathon? Does it encourage you to be part of that group?
Yes, I am excited to be one of the organizers of the upcoming event! As a student participating in the hackathon, it’s exhilarating to know you have 12 hours, one day, to go from A to Z, brainstorm a project, spend the day developing the project, and then present to judges. As a group of high school students, we did not expect to win, we had come to explore at an event geared toward college-aged students. So, when the time came to announce the winner, we started packing our bags. We assumed the college students who had experience building fancy apps and fancy websites would surely win but much to our surprise our name was called! The judges told us that while our app was the most unique and creative project, it was something never done before. That was such a validating and rewarding moment, as I saw that I could blend my technical skills with creativity to produce great results. The whole experience was a highlight for me, so I want to give back and help others have that same experience.
Is there anything you would say to a prospective student looking to come to LCW? Anything specifically for a potential computer science major?
In the computer science department, there is camaraderie among the students, and we all support each other. Dr. Katz, our advisor and professor, is always available during lunch and office hours to offer support aimed at helping us succeed with the rigorous coursework. All the professors have a student-first mindset and show they are dedicated to helping us reach our fullest potential. School is academically challenging, and I could not be happier here. The environment at LCW is one conducive to success and if you are a prospective student, know that the pathway to all your career goals can begin here.