Annual Impact Report Extended Story: Becoming a Successful Woman in STEM 1

Kinza Ahmed, Class of 2019 & Current Intern at CHS, Inc.

Kinza Ahmed excelled in her high school internship at Ecolab. So, when she decided to attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities for college, she decided that she wasn’t anywhere near finished with Genesys Works.

To reach her dreams, Kinza knew she had to go above and beyond: “Ever since I was a young girl, I have always had a keen interest in technology and how it has modernized our world and has become a part of our everyday life. I would like to be a successful woman in technology to show the world that women in STEM can also achieve great things,” explained Kinza.

So that summer, she applied for the Talent Development Pipeline (TDP) and was, unsurprisingly, accepted. Kinza joined more than 90 other Genesys Works young professionals in the second year of the program, one that provides professional development, leadership, and networking opportunities for local college students pursuing business technology careers.

As a first-year student at the University of Minnesota, Kinza maintains a full course-load, interns at CHS, Inc. in IT quality assurance, and is an active TDP member. In February, Kinza was even recognized by her supervisor Dawn Wyatt for the Making Internships Meaningful series as an incredible intern and asset for the CHS, Inc. team. Dawn praised, “Not only did she retain information; she also became so proficient in her team’s process that before she moved on to her next intern experience, she created a video that can be used as a training tool for onboarding new members to that group. “

As a college intern and TDP member, Kinza is learning technical and professional skills that will help launch her into a successful career in STEM. But even more, Kinza is getting the opportunity to showcase her talent and drive, and the opportunity to see from her supervisor and others around her what it means to be a successful woman in STEM.

She’s also paving the way for other young professionals like her to find success in their high school internships. Sarah Engstrom, CISO and IT Director of Productivity at CHS, Inc. shared about Kinza and other college interns: “The college students have really helped to provide mentoring, support, and also modeling for our high school interns. The college students have been there and walked in their shoes while we haven’t. They are able to connect with them on their level, which I believe provides an incredible support system to round out a high school intern’s experience.”

It’s significant that two of her leaders have also been women in IT. And, because of her drive, Kinza is also paving the way for those seeking to rise in their careers just behind her.

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