Growing up on Florida’s Space Coast and watching shuttle launches inspired Kim Day to pursue a career that would place her at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Before those rocket launches shaped her path, she was involved in For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a leading, nonprofit STEM engagement program for children worldwide. More than robots, FIRST encourages students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields and prepares them to be leaders and innovators.
As the second Farmer Scholar to study at Florida Tech, Day excelled in her coursework with a double major in physics and computer science. In the summers of 2011 and 2012, Day interned at Northrop Grumman as a 2010 NextGen Engineers Scholarship winner. In 2013, she landed a summer internship at Google, where she worked on the Google Accounts team, managing the Google sign-in and account-creation pages. At the end of her internship, she was hired as a full-time employee. Today, she works on the Chromecast team and has embraced the Google culture, joining a yo-yo club, taking tango lessons, performing in the Google orchestra and volunteering to help children with Lego robotics.
Day says the research experience she gained at Florida Tech has proven valuable.
“My time as the administrator for the Tier 3 computer cluster has been surprisingly helpful,” she says. Having served as Association for Computing Machinery president from 2011 to 2013, she says, “our ‘stay-late-and-code sessions’ really did emulate what computer engineers experience in real life!”
[This article is an excerpt from 60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology. To purchase a copy, visit http://alumnit.fit.edu/60fo60 ]