Words to the Wise

STEM speaker Series #1,

By Terence Lee, July 29, 2016

On July 23, 2016, Ms. Rhonda Mak, an intern writer at Los Altos Town Crier visited with EqOpTech and shared her knowledge, experience and words of wisdom on college and career. Rhonda is currently a rising sophomore at Boston University and a graduate of Monta Vista High school. 

Left to right, Rhonda Mak, Terence Lee, David Ding, Jane Zhao

Left to right, Rhonda Mak, Terence Lee, David Ding, Jane Zhao

Rhonda is pursuing a major in Computer Science and a minor in Journalism or Communications at Boston University. Rhonda's interest in writing started in her junior year at Monta High School where she produced content for the school news magazine El Estoque. At El Estoque, Rhonda served as design editor for two years, providing guidance on the overall design of the magazine on top of writing articles on a regular basis. At Boston University, she managed social media and web support as multimedia editor at The Daily Free Press, contributing her expertise in video and web design work. Visit here to see her work. During this summer, she interns at Los Altos Town Crier where she enjoys researching and writing stories about a variety of different topics and people. She said that journalism is a human collection of stories that come together that tells people who we are and what we do. She has written about many different topics, from bank fraud to an autistic teen who self-publishes comic books.

New Ways to tell stories

With a computer science major and journalism minor, Rhonda hopes to explore the new and exciting field of Data Journalism. Data journalism uses numerical data analysis to tell stories and predict the future; turning data into information, intelligence and forecast. We have seen an explosion of data due to the proliferation of digital devices in recent years. With the advent of Big Data, data journalists can use statistics, calculus and computer science tools to tell a compelling story backed by data analysis and visualization. For example, an interesting application of data journalism is the 2016 Presidential Election forecast.

Rhonda also said that her CS major and Journalism minor opens up interesting opportunities into Tech Journalism such as the Wired Magazine

Get out of your comfort zone and explore…

When asked about how she decided on computer science major and journalism minor for her college, Rhonda provided this advice to students trying to decide on their majors. “Come out of your shell, put yourself in a nasty situation and be open minded,” Rhonda said. “Explore and try different things, expose yourself in a broad spectrum of subjects.” This is so true, take some risks and follow your passion.

Rhonda also has the following advice for college applications: know your deadlines, apply for scholarships, research schools that are strong in your major. On essay writing, she said write essays early, ask friends, teachers to review and edit, always highlight your good traits and character and tell your unique stories. As most essay has a general prompt, you can start with the common app essay and tailor the essay to other applications.

Thank you for these words of wisdom, Rhonda

EqOpTech would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ms. Rhonda Mak for spending a Saturday morning sharing her invaluable insight and words of wisdom.