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group photo from Grace Hopper Celebration

October 24, 2022

iii Community Reflects on Grace Hopper Celebration 2022 Experience

Grace Hopper Celebration connects thousands of women and non-binary technologists

By Jess Ignasky

This past month, members of the CMU iii community traveled to the 2022 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Orlando, Florida. GHC, an event that connects thousands of women and non-binary technologists, is an event that allows attendees to network, learn from keynote speakers and panelists, and connect with fellow tech industry professionals. 

This year, the iii was represented by student volunteers and attendees, staff, alumni speaking as panelists, and students serving on the board of trustees at

One such student was Jessica Ezemba (MIIPS ‘22) who attended the conference as a student volunteer.

Jessica poses outside of the Google booth in the Expo Hall

Jessica poses outside of the Google booth in the Expo Hall

“GHC was a different kind of conference than I was used to because it had a variety of speakers and topics that ranged from bias in computing to the importance of a financial planner,” said Ezemba. “It was extremely beneficial to interact with company representatives both in and out of the Expo Hall. Multiple companies held networking events, so I was able to learn about what fellow engineers did at those companies and make great connections in the process.”

Because of the conference, I have a better idea of what kind of roles I want to pursue and I was able to listen to some amazing thought-provoking speeches that got me thinking about my impact on the workforce.”

“I also had fun at the iii booth volunteering because I got to meet so many people from multiple backgrounds from all over the world and was able to share my experience with them and even make connections with some of them! And finally, my highlight was being able to meet fellow CMU students and alumni and talk about what it is like to be in the workforce and get an inside scoop on their companies. GHC was a great experience and I am definitely looking forward to future events.”

Jessica shares a photo from a GHC Keynote Event

Jessica shares a photo from a GHC Keynote Event

The iii was also pleased to have alumni from our MIIPS and MSTV programs presenting at panels during the conference. 

Seema Bansal (MIIPS ‘19), Product Manager at Microsoft Teams, and Aditi Chalisgaonkar (MIIPS ‘17), Staff Product Manager at Store No. 8, Walmart, shared findings from their experience as PMs together on a panel during the conference. The pair spoke about designing experiences for large audiences, doing user research with a wide variety of users, and how to prioritize between operational excellence and customer delight.

At another panel during the conference, Shreya Agarwal (MSTV ‘), founder and CEO of Selfbest and Sheryl Root, MSTV Program Director, spoke about metrics that drive product success through Selfbest.


Shreya Agrawal poses with Sheryl Root at GHC’22 after their panel

“My experience of speaking at GHC on "metrics that drive product success" was one of a kind,” Agrawal shared. “The platform enabled me to share unique learnings that I had through my entrepreneurship journey from ideation to launch. The best part was doing it with my co-speaker Sheryl Root, who is an inspiration for everyone out there who is trying to make a mark.”

“Our room was a workshop style room with a capacity of 800 attendees. Having had prior knowledge of the room layout, we had planned the workshop activity in a way that could call for collaboration from the attendees around the table.The attendees consisted of product managers of all stages, students, engineers wanting to switch into product management and entrepreneurs. We had a personalized Q&A session and a networking meetup post-talk where attendees came up to us and asked about metrics for their own products.”

“All in all I would say, the experience of speaking at GHC extended outside the speaker's room. From informal meetups, to turning ordinary moments to extraordinary conversations, it was a space for idea exchange and meaningful discussions!”

"GHC helps women uplift themselves with the support that comes with this conference and all the participants," shares Root. "It is a great energizing environment with lots of sharing of ideas, opportunities, and new thinking. I enjoyed working with Shreya Agarwal during our talk (and the conference) on Measures for Success and adding to the fun. Seeing so much of the CMU ladies at the conference was inspiring and it was an honor to be with them. "

Congratulations on a successful conference, iii community! We look forward to next year’s celebration and the continued learnings we will experience together.

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