Podcasts You Should Listen To

As busy students, we need to optimize our time. One way to learn on-the-go when you want is through podcasts.

For International Podcast Day, let’s go over some of my favorite podcasts.


  1. Rocket with Microsoft PM and former Mashable Senior Tech Correspondent Christina Warren, game developer Brianna Wu, and diversity writer Simone de Rochefort goes over tech, games, movies, books, comics, tech conferences, smart phones, iOS development, and more.
  2. Startup School Radio has two key founders or investors give practical advice for starting, funding, and scaling companies. They also go over their mistakes, regrets, their paths and lessons, and more.
  3. She Did it Her Way with Amanda Boleyn features interviews with women entrepreneurs who “did it their way.”
  4. 99% Invisible delves into details that people don’t normally think about, like architecture, design, cities, technology, history, sounds, objects, and more.

Race, Culture, Gender, and More

  1. Mashup Americans with Korean-American Amy Choi and Salvadoran-Jewish-American Rebecca Lehrer go over life in multi-cultural America, covering everything from food to names to crazy family members at holidays.
  2. Another Round with Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton goes over race, gender, and pop culture. They’ve interviewed folks like Margaret Cho, Roxane Gay, and David Simon. One popular segment includes “Drunken Debates.”
  3. Slate‘s DoubleX GabFest goes over feminism, pop culture, and current events. Hosts June Thomas, Hannah Rosin and Noreen Malone have recently discussed sexism in tech and rape in the military, and sometimes have guests like journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  4. 2 Dope Queens with hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams (from”The Daily Show”) covers stand-up and storytelling regarding sex, race, and life from two top NYC comediennes.
  5. Sincerely, X from TED talks anonymously goes over intense, sensitive, painful, or damaging stories of victims, perpetrators, investigators, activists, and more.

History, News, and More

  1. Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell (author of the Tipping Point and Outliers) revisits an old topic, idea, event, or person that may have been overlooked. This is really fun and enlightening.
  2. This American Life is difficult to sum up because each episode features a few stories related to a different theme each week, but this podcast is diverse, enlightening and educational.
  3. Up First from NPR is a great time-saving conversation-starter that sums up the daily news in ten minutes.


Summer Summary: Bi-Co Tech Intern Panel

What should you consider when interviewing with companies? How do you prepare for tech interviews? What can you do over the summer with a computer science major? How can you prepare for a tech internship?

These are some of the questions that were addressed at the Bi-Co Tech Intern Panel which I was on. From left to right, it featured Katherine Lee (JP Morgan Chase Tech Analyst), myself (Twilio developer evangelist intern), Kevin Liao (Facebook intern), Rachel Xu (Groupon intern), Ann Tran (PricewaterhouseCoopers consultant intern), Sam Partee (Cray Supercomputers intern), and Kellie Dinh (Bentley Systems Product Design intern.)

One takeaway I (and attendees had, I gather) is that a computer science degree can lead you down many different paths. Some of us on the panel wrote code everyday, some worked in industries other than technology, some used skills they picked up in classes, some traveled for work every few days or weeks, some were located all over the country, and more.

Listening to the other panelists reinforced my belief that there is no better place than Bryn Mawr to study computer science, or any STEM field. Panelists talked about problems they encountered and solved in the interview process and at their internships, and about the stereotypical awkward engineer. Surrounded by these strong women and men, I realized that our Bi-Co classes (computer science and other ones) teach you how to consider edge cases, how to break down problems, and how to view things logically and critically.

The liberal arts curriculum differs from typical engineering ones in that we learn how to write and communicate. Though engineers don’t do these often, both are important skills that help differentiate us from other engineers.

As a women’s college, Bryn Mawr also teaches us to aim high, contribute to discussions, and to be outside of our comfort zones. Looking around, the interns on the panel certainly had more confidence than other tech interns I’ve met from other colleges, and could hold their own in a room full of men. That is in part to Bryn Mawr’s atmosphere.

As a developer evangelist intern, I had to write blog posts about apps I coded and also gave talks at conferences and meetups like the one below.

The Computer Science departments at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford have grown over my years here, and more and more companies are recruiting here. Facebook and Google now come every year to talk about job opportunities and provide interview preparation. Something I’m excited for is AppliedCS @ Bryn Mawr, a weeklong Google developed and led program on-campus over winter break where participants will develop several apps with Android AppEngine.

I’m excited to see what’s next for these Bi-Co tech interns as well as the tech community on-campus.

Ideate, Create, Collaborate: PennApps Fall 2017


A hackathon is a 12-48 hour event where people come together to solve a problem, often through computer programming. “Hacking” in this case means playing around with new technologies and languages and building something, often with a group.

I attended PennApps, which is Penn’s hackathon, last weekend. This time, I did not go to submit a hackathon for the competition. I went to soak up the innovative and creative atmosphere, and it did not disappoint.

I enjoyed seeing projects, also known as hacks, which included both software to hardware, like Amazon Echos, Arduinos, Raspberry Pi’s, and more.

Some cool hacks made that weekend included a lamp that changes color based on the conversation, a walking-at-night-safety app, a burrito-making machine, a YouTube karaoke Chrome extension, and more.

I also caught up with friends I met at other tech events, went through some online tutorials, and participated in the fun side-events PennApps hosted, like a ping pong tournament, a 5K run, ice skating, and more.

Why should you attend a hackathon?

  1. You will learn. There are plenty of workshops, mentors, teachers, and people to help you learn something new. They’re beginner-friendly, don’t worry!
  2. You will meet amazing people. I still keep in touch with people I met at hackathons from my first year! There’s something uniting and inspiring about giving up your weekend to build something and learn new things, and that brings people together.
  3. You will network. Hacks I made at hackathons have helped me get interviews, and they’ve helped boost my resume. I’m confident I would not have gotten, or done as well, at my last two internships had it not been for things I learned and built at hackathons.
  4. You will leave hungry for more. I’ve failed at these events (hey, coding for 12 hours straight, sometimes with a new language, is rough!) I’ve learned persistence, resilience, patience, empathy, and ultimately, how to stick with something. Seeing what others build is motivating. I remember high schoolers building medical apps to help fight cancer, and being in awe at them. Gosh darn it, those hackers inspire me to learn more after the hackathon is done!


Parade Night Viewed from the Senior Steps

Some college traditions are like wine: they get better with age.

I’ve loved most Bryn Mawr traditions since my first year, but Parade Night was not one of them. Yes, I stayed until the end of the night my first year, and I teared up as I walked through the line of Mawrters as they held their lanterns and sang. I did feel welcomed home that night, but that feeling was not enough to keep me and some classmates coming back the next year. Our sophomore year, we skipped Parade Night to attend PennApps, Penn’s biannual college hackathon (48-hour computer programming competition.) Others had similar sentiments this year: two sophomore tennis teammates forewent attending Parade Night to attend a concert in Philly.

This year, as the first years ran down past the Great Hall and the Senior Steps for Parade Night, I began to reflect.

Maybe it was because we seniors were getting sentimental. Maybe it was the great weather (a light breeze, not too warm and not too cold.) Whatever it was, the atmosphere surrounding the Senior Steps on which I finally sat this year was difficult to describe. I felt connected to classmates I’d barely talked to before, or who I’d only seen in passing. I felt supported, empowered, and ready to tackle senior year. I smiled as I looked out at the other classes sitting to the left, right, and in front of the senior class, and sought out familiar faces.

In the past, I’ve sung quietly to myself during Step Sing. Yet this Parade Night, my classmates and I sang loudly and clearly to our hearts’ content. I noted that the other classes were more hesitant, and I reflected on that change. The Class of 2018 has been through a lot together, and our four years of shared experiences have brought us closer. Feeling truly at home after a summer of being away from campus, I felt like I could better welcome home the underclass students.

My only hope now is that I can continue to make Bryn Mawr home for others as others did so for me. All the traditions help a lot with that, and I’m glad I realized that as I start my fourth and final year.