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How Black Women Inspire the Next Generation in STEM

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Nnennaya Udochu joined Intel as an intern seven years ago. Now, she works as an analog engineer with data platforms and is making it her mission to reach back and inspire other Black women to enter STEM fields. 

In addition to her day-to-day job, Nnennaya values networking and mentor-mentee relationships like those she had during her time as intern. Intel provides plenty of resources and opportunitiesfrom networking events to employee resource groupsthat allow people to explore their passions outside of their job titles. 

The impact of employee resource groups
“One of the events that has been the most impactful for me is the Women at Intel Network (WIN), because I get to meet a lot of senior and technical leaders and connect with recent college graduates, and it’s a place where women in STEM-related fields all come together,” she said.

Nnennaya is also a member of Next(gen), another employee resource group supporting early career professionals who are new to Intel. Being a part of WIN and Next(gen) has enabled Nnennaya to take on both mentor and mentee roles.

“I really emphasize there is so much power and benefit in both having and being a mentor. I have both technical and non-technical mentors because as much as your technical skills are important, your soft skills are also very important,” she shared. “Being a mentor to interns and contributing to our retention program at Intel has been very, very fulfilling because helping people, watching them grow, believing in them, helping them achieve their dreams and their goals, feels really good. This has actually been one of the many great accomplishments that I’ve had at Intel.” 

Receiving recognition beyond Intel
In her five years working at Intel in both client computing and data platforms, Nnennaya has had the opportunity to coach her teammates through projects, pick up new skill sets, and learn from her mentors. All of this led to her being awarded the Dr. Lydia W. Thomas Legacy Black Engineer of the Year award for innovation.

“I actually won it as a woman, as an engineer, as a woman of color,” Nnennaya said about the pivotal moment. “I hope that inspires other young girls out there and other women engineers that they are very capable, their dreams are valued, and anything they want to become is achievable with hard work, persistence, and resilience.”

Being an engineer at Intel isn’t just about innovative tech projects, though. Nnennaya is also given space to be an activist, which is something she’s passionate about. Her work at Intel even paved the way for her to speak at the United Nations in New York during UN Women’s Day. And she continues to pursue her dual roles as tech leader and role model.

“I hope that by coming to work every single day and putting my best foot forward as a woman of color, as an African woman, I inspire the young girl so that she wants to go to school, she wants to be educated,” Nnennaya said. “I would hope that she does chase her dreams.”  

 

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