• Sam Collins

Building Bridges with Zapata Computing

Updated: Jul 26

EWAAB is dedicated to building a world where young women and non-binary folks can enter and rise in any field they choose. Following our Bridge mentorship program we strive to provide students with access to internships and other professional opportunities so they can put their newfound skills and confidence into practice.


In order to bridge the gap between students and the professional world we collaborate with corporate partners ready to make an impact on young women and non-binary folks. Our partners are advocates for equal gender representation, intentional in their recruitment strategy to obtain diverse candidates, excited to have their employees give back to the next generation and are willing to invest in multiple solutions to a global problem.


 

Meet Zapata Computing Inc., a 2022 Bridge Innovation Sprint Partner.


Zapata Computing builds software for the enterprise to solve the world’s most computationally complex problems using quantum computing and machine learning. We are a global team of scientists, engineers and businesspeople working to unlock unprecedented human progress across a range of industries including chemistry, finance, mobility, energy, and health. Our platform, OrquestraⓇ, for building quantum-ready applicationsⓇ and upgrading their infrastructure for the quantum future.


Discovering Quantum Advantage


Zapata is focused on finding and delivering the most valuable and realistic applications of quantum computing, or as they say “delivering quantum advantage”, selected students will be joining in on this effort! Since the quantum community currently does not have an organized, well-researched resource for quantum application instances, EWAAB students will first be working on synthesizing this material. Interns will be digesting, distilling, and communicating quantum application instances from the quantum literature and community to scientists at Zapata - overall helping with the quantum advantage effort!



Meet their Summer Students.


Paola Leon

Bridge Community College 2022 Graduate


Paola Leon is a student at Hudson County Community College finishing her Early Childhood Education A.S degree. She will be transferring to Rutgers Newark to pursue a Supply Chain Management B.S degree. As a first-generation immigrant student, she has participated in several different organizations such as YearUp, Girlz Love Tech, America Needs You, VITA, and Financial Literacy Camp at NJIT. Currently works at BNYMellon in the Investment Management Technology department as an IS and Planning consultant while mentoring interns from the YearUp program. Passionate and excited to help and contribute to the career growth of underrepresented youth please feel free to reach out to her at www.linkedin.com/in/paolaastridleon with any questions!


What does having this opportunity mean to you?


This opportunity means I can work with professionals within the quantum computing sector and learn from them even though I am not a computer science major. This means "access" to opportunities that can broaden my knowledge without the barriers of "not being a good fit" due to my major or lack of connections as a first-generation, female, and immigrant student. In the long term learning about quantum computing will be another tool/skill I can count on to bring a fresh perspective to future projects whether that is in project management at BNYMellon, education through mentoring at YearUp, or my small business.


What are you most excited for in this internship?


With my background in project management, business administration, and education I'd like to learn more about the possibilities that could be unleashed within these sectors using the power of quantum computing. I can't wait to learn more about superposition and how it can affect the speed as to which we advance and predict economic and technological innovation.


How has EWAAB’s program so far helped you to prepare for this opportunity?


EWAAB has provided a network and community of professionals and fellow women interested in not only growing but helping each other out. Specifically, my mentor Giselle Espinoza and CEO Sam Collins have met with me to remind me I can always reach out to them with any challenges and encourage me always to go further!



Abigail Kama Kargbo

Bridge University 2022 Graduate


Abigail Kargbo is a student at the University of Melbourne studying Computer Science. She has a range of interests, from using technology to problem-solve to performing plays at her university theatre. She is currently doing an internship at Zapata Computing, a quantum computing company. Fun fact she has lived in 6 countries!


What does having this opportunity mean to you?


As a university student, finding internships to gain relevant work experience is invaluable. I have learned a lot of concepts about computer science and the world of tech in theory but never applied them in a professional setting. This internship will help me understand how what I've learned in lecture rooms is relevant to the problems we face in society. Additionally, this could lead me to discover a new passion in the quantum world.


What are you most excited for in this internship?


Quantum computing is a relatively new and emerging area of technology and has the potential to be revolutionary. One of the reasons I chose to study computer science is because it's about merging logical and theoretical concepts with creativity and innovation to solve problems. Quantum computing is an extension of that. Therefore, researching its advantages in-depth will be a fun and educational process. I am also excited to meet people with a common interest, learn about their careers and collaborate with my fellow interns to build a useful resource.


How has EWAAB’s program so far helped you to prepare for this opportunity?


I applied to join the EWAAB mentorship program when I felt the opportunities and representation for women in tech were lacking, and I didn't know how to maneuver that. Through continuous mentorship, I have learned multiple skills that will be useful in a professional workspace, ranging from time management to effective communication to building self-confidence. My first EWAAB meeting with my mentor was about setting SMART goals. For the internship, which is a project, we have autonomy over structuring our approach; thus, setting SMART goals will be a crucial part of the process. EWAAB has given me the foundational knowledge I need to thrive in a professional setting, which I hope to use to make the most of this opportunity.


Riya Shrivastava

Bridge University 2022 Graduate


Riya Shrivastava is a rising junior at Caltech studying computer science and astrophysics. She is interested in exploring the intersection of the two fields! Her hobbies include playing water polo, skiing, and reading.


What are you most excited for in this internship?


I'm super excited to get a chance to learn more about quantum computing. I took a class this past term that was called Intro to Quantum Computation and Quantum Algorithms, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the everyday applications of these technologies could look like.


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