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As a female headed into a Computer Science degree, would it be wise to try to be more assertive so my voice will be heard. My concern is I'm shy but I can grasp the computer tech field good. I want to be successful and respected for my knowledge.

In the Fall of 2016 I will be starting college, I will be an undergraduate in pursuit of a major in Computer Science (Bachelor of Science). I want any tips in how I can be a successful women in tech field. #science #computer #programming #networking #bachelor #succession-planning

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Michael’s Answer

Be yourself, there is no difference whether you are a man or a woman. There are shy relatively unassertive men and very aggressive women and vice versa. Start thinking of your self and everyone else as individuals and not as part of some "group". It is helpful no matter what sex you are to be relatively more outgoing and have good communication skills as the ability to clearly present your ideas is important to succeed. I would focus more on becoming an expert in your chosen field, and developing the ability to speak and write clearly and persuasively. If you can do these things well you will not have to worry about being assertive or not regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. You will naturally be more confident and this will translate into superior performance in your career.

That's a great way to put it. I couldn't have said it better! Sam T.

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Francis’s Answer

Hi Josefina,

Thank you for your question. Being a male responding, I am certain I lack the major depth of your concern but I would like to iterate what the other guys have stated. College is a time for learning, not only book knowledge but also learning who you are and who you want to be. I don't believe you necessarily have to go out of your way to be assertive but I must encourage you that if you ask a question and feel like your concern hasn't been addressed in class feel free to follow up with professor after class. This action normally allows your professor to put a face to your name and it does impact, normally positively, how they view you. Outside of college however I would encourage you to work on being less shy but maintain being reserved. Being shy/reserved normally gives you more opportunities at observing which is a great way to learn but be sure give feedback every now and again as you want to make sure that you are adding value to conversations.

Hope that makes sense. Good luck, we need you!


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Daniel’s Answer

For the short term focus on learning. As far as assertiveness goes in class - if you have a question or are confused on some thing, speak up and ask questions during class. Even if you think it's a dumb question, there's a good chance that a bunch of other people in the class are wondering the same thing. Try to make sure you understand everything the professors are talking about (and if you don't get enough answers during, follow up and figure it out after class).