Libby Bradford, coordinator of outreach and student career management at Break Through Tech for the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University, used to be a female percussionist. She knows first-hand what it’s like to be the only girl in the room.
It takes a lot of gumption to be in that kind of situation, she says, but it can be worth it.
“One of the things I love to do is help students find opportunities, especially women and underrepresented students,” Bradford says. “I want them to know there are computer science and information technology opportunities for them, and to not be afraid. It’s an exciting career path to explore.”
With a career spanning over two decades in the education field, and two master’s degrees under her belt, Bradford brings plenty of experience to her role at Break Through Tech. Although her music background may at first seem counterintuitive to the work she currently does, she says it has given her the creative scope to help college students.
“Each student is different, and has a different journey, different aspirations,” she says. “Sometimes it takes outside of the box thinking and brainstorming to help them get where they want to go. My experience with music sets me up perfectly for this as my mind is trained to find those creative solutions.”
Listening well and being open to learning are traits she has picked up along the way, and she says these skills are instrumental when it comes to working with students, or talking to companies.
She sees learning more about Break Through Tech students in the coming months, getting them into the workspace as soon as possible, expanding Sprinternships, and getting more companies on board are just a few of the goals she’ll focus on.
“I’m in a job I love,” Bradford says. “Helping students, helping companies see their talent, and matching them up is so rewarding. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
For more information about Break Through Tech, visit https://dc.breakthroughtech.org
Libby Bradford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org