On this day, 31st of Dec, as I’m leaving 2015 year and saying a proper good bye, I couldn’t come up with new resolutions for the upcoming on the corner new year 2016. It is not easy at all, to think about things that you want to definitely be doing all the coming 12 months of your life.
I have a lot and a lot of ongoing projects and I’m putting all my efforts into them, but looking back to 2015, trying to remember the most amazing things I loved and I did, I can honestly say: it is two main things, being an intern at Mozilla, and being a mentor at NYUAD hackathon.
And here I go, as I have told my story on being a mentor in NYUAD hackathon previously, now it is time to tell a story of the beautiful days I’ve spent being an intern at Mozilla. 😀
Let me tell you the story of how I got there. Yes It is something very unique. I always wanted to get the chance to work for a big awesome web company. So how about having this dream coming true? For a whole month (October 2015) I was a mentee and intern at Mozilla and my mentor was Rina Jensen who I was shadowing and learning from her experience, and working with her on my own project which is Education for Refugees. I got the chance to be an intern there by getting accepted in the TechWomen program 2015, an initiative by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which is by itself a very special and prestigious program that gathered 99 women in tech from 19 countries, and yes I will write a separate blog about it, mentioning all amazing events and site visits we had in October.
What to remember from those times? Or the proper question should be: What things I never forgot about being a Mozillian?
- You always belong. Being a Mozillian means you always belong here, you are welcomed to be part of this community all the time. Just come with new ideas and bring your efforts on the table and you’ll be up and ready.
- The awesome Mozilla spaces. (They are every where!) Do you know how awesome to visit a Mozilla space every single day? I simply love these posters on the walls!
- Rina Jensen. Yes, my awesome mentor! Who I spent most of my time there with her, learning from her experience, she gave me resources, inspiration, thoughts, ideas and opened my eyes on new fields in user experience and user research, a field I always enjoyed and wanted to learn more about it, and while being there I enjoyed attending meetings with her team and learned methods and techniques in User Research.
- Mozillians Mentors: Larissa Shapiro, Rina Jensen, Lizz Noonan, Marcia Knous, Rachel McGuigan, Krupa Raj, Lindsay Saunders, and Ilana Segall. These are the awesome fairies who made our time at Mozilla awesome and beneficial. They organized a lot of meetings for us with different departments and people at Mozilla. We had the chance to meet Mozillians from different projects and departments, in HR, global engagement and diversity team, User Experience team, Virtual Reality team, Branding and Marketing, top management, Spacing and Events, IT and Developers. They opened the place for us, they encouraged us to ask questions, and look for details. We felt like we have been in our home companies, we have been truly Mozillians.
- Mozillians TechWomen fellows, yes we were 6 TechWomen mentees at Mozilla, distributed between San Francisco space and Mountain View space. Ayah Soufan, Esraa Abdelhalim, Lara Ammar, Mutriba Akhmedova, Kumba Musa and me, each one of us is unique, different, and I learned from them listening to their professional and personal stories.
- Executive Chairwoman of the Mozilla, Mitchell Baker! Yes we had an exclusive internal meeting with the Chairwoman at Mozilla. She is very inspiring person, we talked with her about our experience as inters, we offered ideas and suggestions, we talked about our projects when we got back to our homes and daily work. Each one of the us the inters had ideas and projects to work on when we got back.
- Mozilla Reps: We had the chance to meet George Roter who is leading the Participation Team and Emma Irwin who is a Community Development Team Mozilla Rep. George spoke to us about the participation team and the role they play at Mozilla, and he spoke to us about the power of people and the open internet. In addition to that Emma spoke to us about the Mozilla Reps, a program to empower the Mozillians volunteers who would like to be a reps for Mozilla in their region, and also about WebMaker, which is a software allows webmakers to create content and understand how the web works.
- Mozillians.org community! I used it to find Mozillians (either the employees, reps or the volunteers) from around the world, who helped me to collect info and thoughts about the project idea I was working on while I was at Mozilla.
- Work Meetings! The way the meetings are done at Mozilla, how each one is arranging their daily work with meetings and the punctuality of time. Especially my mentor Rina, she is the perfect in leading meetings and get things done 😀
- Rally for the user! Yes, building all these awesome tools considering the benefits for the user. Even though I couldn’t attend that event, it was very important to me to read about it, and know what Firefox is bringing to the user is really something unique, and how to give back the control and security to the user.
- Web developers :D. Yes I met with developers, Dev Tools developers, UI designers and other people. I was happy to interview them and learning about how they do their jobs on a daily level, how they deal with releases, products defects, working under pressures, working with other developers around the world either in the same time zone of different times zones.
Finally, I can honestly say that while writing all these words, I kept smiling, remembering all the previous awesome moments of being at Mozilla. And so, at the end I really send my thankful words to everyone helped me making my dream coming true, my mentors and TechWomen team, and I promise to keep putting all my efforts in continuous learning and inspiring next generations!
Photo Credits: special thanks for Mutriba Akhmedova, Lizz Noonan and Larissa Shapiro.