Computer science student gains tech field experience through ‘self-advocacy’


Courtesy Photo

Camille Buranday poses next to a Google sign. Buranday attended Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute the summer before her senior year of high school.

For a freshman, management information systems major Camille Buranday is already ahead of the game, having spent the last few years exploring her preferred career field — technology.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be in tech — I just didn’t know if I wanted to work on the software, hardware or business side,” Buranday said. “I’ll most likely end up as an IT analyst, but, as long as I am working in the tech field, I know I’ll be happy.”

Buranday said she learned a number of valuable lessons from her high school teachers.

“The biggest thing I learned from my mentors in high school is self-advocacy,” Buranday said. “You have to go out there and create these opportunities because they won’t be handed to you.”

Just before her junior year of high school, Buranday began seeking out opportunities and applying for internships to get a head start on her goals. Taking initiative paid off.

For three weeks during the summer before her senior year of high school, Buranday attended Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute, where she learned about various coding languages and heard professionals speak about key aspects of jobs within the technology field.

The summer before that, she had the opportunity to study abroad at Pembroke College in Oxford, England.

“The application was extremely tedious,” Buranday said. “Several essays, a few short answers, numerous reference letters and typical things like transcript, resume, etc. The program actually only offered me a half scholarship, but I kept pushing them to reconsider my application. I honestly thought they got annoyed at me, but they finally got back to me with a full scholarship offer.”

Upon receiving the full scholarship, Buranday spent her the summer before her junior year as a student in Oxford. Attending classes during the day and exploring the city during her downtime, she was able to get a sense of what collegiate life would entail prior to enrolling for her first semester at Wichita State.

“It was honestly a lot like college,” Buranday said. “A typical day would be class for a few hours in the morning, lunch, and then you were free to explore the city on your own, do homework, or participate in pre-planned activities. We also had field trips, talent shows, and a homecoming-type dance on Fridays.”

The entire program even took a day trip to London.

Even though she said her experience at Google is what really pushed her to pursue a degree in management information systems, Buranday said the effort and dedication that the Oxford application required, taught her a lot about how to take steps towards achieving her goals.

“My Oxford trip taught me that self-advocacy can get you to places you never thought you’d end up — literally,” Buranday said. “Being proactive and constantly putting myself out there were definitely my keys to success.”