“Oh my gosh. I’m counting the days down to the end of high school,” said the Grade 12 Cobequid Educational Centre student who will be graduating at month’s end.
What has Landry so eager is that she has been accepted for a three-week internship with Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute at its office in Cambridge, Mass. She leaves July 9.
Landry, 18, is from Elmsdale but decided to transfer to Truro to attend high school because Hants East Rural High does not offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
“It’s sort of like a higher standard of learning and a higher standard in terms of marking and all that,” she said.
Landry has known for a long time that she wanted to pursue postsecondary education in Ontario, where she has been accepted at Queens University in Kingston. And, because of that, she felt the “tougher assignments” and more challenging curriculum of the IB program would better prepare her for university.
Prior to Grade 11, Landry had never given much thought to a career in computer technology. But soon after enrolling in CEC’s computer science class, it opened her mind to a new world of possibility.
“As soon as I got into it, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is where I’m supposed to be.’”
As one of only two females in a class of about 30 students, Landry said things were a bit intimidating at times.
“It was a little bit challenging sometimes, trying to prove that my opinion was valid,” she said. “It can be tough to be heard as a female in the sciences, just because it’s like an unconscious bias a lot of the time where they think guys are smarter and girls are not as smart.”
But that experience only served to make her more determined.
“I’m a very stubborn person. So when somebody says that I can’t do something, it kind of makes me want to do it, like, waaaay more.”
That stubbornness obviously paid off, given that Landry is finishing at the top of her computer sciences class.
“Because I know that I like it and I wasn’t going to stop doing it because somebody was rude. I just want to prove them wrong.”
As for being accepted for the Google internship, Landry said it required filling out an intensive application and as far as she can determine, she is the only Canadian student invited to the Massachusetts institute.
Besides looking forward to what she learns there, Landry hopes the experience will produce other benefits.
“I think the networking is going to be a big aspect of it, so that in four years when I graduate, I can email them again and say: ‘Hey remember me? Wanna give me a job?’ That would be cool.”
But after all is said and done, does she consider herself a nerd?
“Yeah, that would be a safe estimate,” Landry chuckled.