Like so many industries and institutions, high tech has lagged at offering job opportunities for people of color. As a diversity talent and outreach specialist for Google, Landon has been working to change that since she took an internship with the tech giant before her senior year. Most of her work centers around historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), recruiting students and sending Google engineers to teach courses. Since 2013, the Google-in-residence program her team created has reached more than 4,000 students at nine HBCUs and minority-serving institutions.
Based in New York City, the psychology major and part-time actress says that eight years ago Google hadn’t hired anyone from an HBCU into an entry-level software engineering role. Since then, Google has added hundreds of Black and Latino hires for internships and jobs. “I meet some of the hungriest students,” Landon says. “They’re excited to work on their coding and take this industry by storm.”