A couple times a year, Helpfully offers scholarships to deserving young professionals who want to attend industry events like DIG SOUTH. This spring, a panel of esteemed women judges reviewed several dozen applications and selected Farah Rohman and Megan Landau for the DIG SOUTH scholarship. Here’s a peek into their experience.
Farah hails from Birmingham, Alabama where she works in web strategy and implementation at Influence Health. Her work involves building intuitive digital experiences for the healthcare world. Farah tells us that she was inspired by sessions from DIG SOUTH that were about this critical intersection between technology and humans. Specifically, the Anthrotech presentation by Kit Hughes really spoke to her.
Like many DIG SOUTH attendees, Farah took away the feeling that anything is possible in our future.
“I have met an abundance of incredible people with flourishing ideas and motivation who I hope to constantly stay in touch with. I hope to also do a talk someday that will encourage dreamers to push their ideas to the limits of what we know,” she says.
Farah also told Helpfully that DIG SOUTH definitely sharpened her awareness of the need for ethical boundaries around data collection in the digital age. A very astute observation in this season of GDPR, of course, and this recent news about Amazon’s Echo sharing a couple’s private conversation.
“Throughout the DIG SOUTH conference, lots of diverse ideas were brought up and a wide array of topics were explored ... DIG SOUTH encouraged me to be proactive about pursuing ideas, the importance of keeping updated on innovation, and to strive to continually improve your skills or learning something every day.
- Farah Rohman, Helpfully Scholarship Winner
Megan Landau recently graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Computer Science. Over the last few years in school, Megan was very active in computer science clubs, as well as an internship with Blackbaud. She is passionate about her field and has gained a great amount of experience in a short time. After DIG SOUTH, she jetted straight to Los Angeles to start her new role as a software engineer for Disney ABC Television Group. (Congrats, Megan!)
Megan was especially inspired by the Dig South session called “Cracking the Gender Code: How to Stack the Odds in Your Favor”. She recognized the importance of having discussions where women talk about their struggles as an underrepresented group in their workplace, regardless of industry. Megan also felt a strong emotional connection to Lisa Wang’s talk on Enoughness – focusing on how leaders must practice ‘antifragility’ or the ability to bounce back after hardships. For Megan, conferences like Dig South are a perfect opportunity to challenge both personal and societal limitations so that we can reach our best potential.
Both ladies also shared with Helpfully that Jason Feifer’s keynote on Think Like A Journalist was both fascinating and relevant to them. This message about putting yourself into the shoes of the media (and the reader consuming the media) was something they’d carry with them in their respective career paths.