2018 was the best year of my life. Not even in my wildest dreams, would I ever have imagined it happening to me. I’m happy for this beautiful year which led me to believe that the year 2019 could also be full of surprises!
I have shared with you in the past my accomplishments in 2016 and my successes in 2017. I almost did not do it this year. I’m afraid that by reading this article, some readers will compare their lives to mine… Which is not the purpose of this article at all. The goal is to force ourselves to examine what has happened in the last year and to appreciate the work we have done. And above all, be proud of ourselves!
I hope that you will see from this article, how many beautiful opportunities can happen to us when we are passionate about what we do every day, and when we do not hesitate to leave our comfort zone!
This article contains affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything, but I can earn a small commission if you buy something or sign up on a website. This helps me maintain the blog. My full disclosure is here.
Watch the video instead of reading
My 2018 accomplishments
I started drinking coffee
From February 9th to 18th, I studied like crazy for my mid-term exams. Up to 12 hours a day sometimes. I had 4 exams in 3 days, so it was probably the most challenging exam period for me since I started studying at the university. I am including this in my achievements of the year because I am proud of my determination and perseverance during this period which was quite tricky!
This period triggered the purchase of my first espresso machine… Which incidentally, resulted my new addiction to caffeine!
All expenses paid trip to Ottawa
I had the chance to make my first trip, with all expenses paid, to Ottawa in March! I also filmed a vlog on that day that I enjoyed!
My blog is on Genium 360!
My blog was mentioned on the blog of Genium 360 (formerly the Quebec Network of Engineers) as part of the International Women’s Rights Day, March 8, 2018. I was really proud that they thought to include my student club Les Ingénieuses in their article as well, as to mention my blog!
My first panel on March 8
I had the chance to participate in my first panel on March 8, 2018, at my university (ETS) ! It took place in the large auditorium. This event marked the launch of the “Make ETS Women’s Favorite School of Engineering” campaign, and we talked on stage about why it’s important to have more women in engineering.
I received an award from the Premier of Quebec at the National Assembly
On March 28, I lived a day that I never thought I would live in my life! I was rewarded by the Prime Minister for my involvement in the cause of women in technology. Wow. I still cannot believe it happened!
I received the Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal
This medal is awarded to Canadian citizens who have demonstrated sustained volunteer involvement at the social and community level or have displayed an inspiring attitude and positive influence in the community.
So I received this medal to highlight my involvement and my work for women in technology.
Lockheed Martin Canada Scholarship
Another piece of joy moment that helped me on the financial side this year!
I started my first machine learning research project
I started my first small research project in the field of artificial intelligence, and the detection of emotions in the voice as part of a project for one of my master’s courses at ÉTS! Because yes, it’s another significant change that happened in my life in 2018: I decided to continue my studies and start a masters degree!
I applied to go to India at the conference Interspeech
I (oddly) never had a positive or negative answer for this conference. However, it was a highlight in my year … My first application to go to a conference in another country!
I received a grant from Microsoft to go to Grace Hopper Celebration…
But I had to refuse the scholarship! It has always been one of my biggest dreams to go to this conference. This is the most significant event for women in computer science in the world, in other words, the biggest gathering of women in technology!
I was disappointed and torn; I had one week to choose between going to the Forces Avenir Gala where I was a finalist, or going to the conference since both events were held the same day. In the end, I decided to go to the Forces Avenir gala. As Grace Hopper is an annual event, I will surely have other opportunities to go there…
Filming a capsule for a web series on women in computer science
I spent an entire day filming a video that is part of a series of videos on women in computer science. Shot by Viu Media, I am very proud of the result, and I can not wait to show you my video! It will be published in February 2019.
Several episodes have already been published on the Facebook page of the web series, Les Catalys! If you want to learn more about various trades in technology and science, watch the videos! They are in French, however.
I went to California for the Google Student Retreat!
I never thought I would have the chance to experience this in my entire life… but it really happened! I received the grant from Google Women Techmakers. With a purse of $ 5000, I spent a few days at Google’s headquarters in California! Wow! I wrote two articles on the subject, if you are interested to know a little more:
I received the show Le Jeu en primeur
I had received 2 episodes of the Quebec series “The Game” (Le Jeu in French) in advance. Before it was broadcasted on TVA! I was pretty proud to receive two episodes before everyone!
I participated in the organization of a reception for new women studying engineering at my university
This is the third year that I went to the organization of a networking event, beginning of September, to welcome the new engineering students from the École de technologie supérieure, the university where I am studying at. This edition was the best so far. We had a lot of students, and most of them could get a nice bag with some gifts inside!
Since I was still president of the club in September, I had to make a speech in front of the packed room. I was pretty stressed, but I did the best I could, that’s the important important part! 😉
I can not wait to attend the next edition!
Women Chat STEM with Texas Instruments
Earlier this year, I had a call with Texas Instruments. A collaboration was not possible at that time. I was very disappointed because Texas Instruments is the company that makes the calculator that I use every day, so it was an honor for me to be able to work with them!
I was fortunate that the opportunity came again in September, as part of a Twitter chat! In the company of other inspiring women, I participated in a panel on Twitter where we were able to answer some questions about women in STEM posted by Texas Instruments!
Collaboration with Sphero BOLT!
See how the robot works in my video on YouTube!
I received the Undergraduate Personality Award at Forces Avenir
Wow! What pride it was for me to receive this award!
For those who do not know, Forces Avenir is an organization in the province of Quebec that aims to recognize, honor and promote student engagement. I was fortunate to receive this award to highlight my commitment to the cause of women in engineering, my blog, my social networks, my role as president during the past year for my student club, etc.
It’s really a beautiful moment that I spent at Forces Avenir. Also, I had several great opportunities thanks to this recognition of my involvement as a student!
All the finalists in their category record a video that is broadcasted on television, Radio-Canada Info, for 3 weeks! Here is my video:
I got the mention Genie +
When I started studying at the École de technologie supérieure in September 2015, I remember hearing about the “Genie + Cocktail” on the roof of the school’s main lodge.
This cocktail, organized during the annual university club party, is reserved for individuals who have been involved in student life for 3 years. When you reach this beautiful figure, you receive a Genie + diploma recognizing our commitment!
As soon as I heard about this exclusive VIP event, I said to myself that it would be an honor for me to participate, in 3 years…
I started to get involved in the club of the engineers of ÉTS since I entered the university in September 2015, so I was able to receive my recognition in 2018, after 3 years to get involved in the grouping!
Collaboration with Investissement Québec to visit BRP
Once again, a collaboration for my Instagram account of which I am very proud! I had the opportunity to visit the BRP factory in Valcourt as part of the campaign of innovative manufacturers!
For those who do not know BRP (Bombardier Recreation Products), it is a Quebec company that produces vehicles such as ski-doo, sea-doo, can-am, etc!
See also my two publications on this subject on my Instagram account:
I was filming a vlog when it happened… I do not even have words.
Let’s talk about me in Canada’s House of Commons, it’s just, really big for me! I was on edge the day I found that… I can not say why, it was honestly a very beautiful moment of great pride for me.
You can read the Hansard script about what has been said about me in the House of Commons.
I did a panel at the activity Techno Girls | Career Day
A second panel for me in 2018! I was invited to do a talk on the subject “We are women of impact, women who communicate”! As it was a panel where I was lucky to be surrounded by my friends, I did not hesitate for a single second before saying yes!
We have been able to talk to college and CEGEP women about our experience as women in computer science who communicate! We touched on a very interesting angle by talking about the stereotypes we live in: “girls are less interested in computers, that’s why there are fewer”, “working in technology, it’s limited to programming, “do women in technology dislike other women in technology? », Etc!
I did a radio interview on a French Canadian radio network
When we say yes to opportunities, others open to us … This is a perfect example that confirms what I’m saying: to promote the techno girls careers day I just spoke about, I was invited to an interview with “Les Éclaireurs”, at Radio-Canada Radio.
For those who do not know, this is a national radio. It was a great honor for me to be invited to the radio. It was my first interview on the radio, so I was very stressed! Fortunately for me, everything went well, if we forget the fact that I forgot to say “Hello” and to introduce myself at the beginning of the show (oops!)
My YouTube channel and my Instagram account went on the CBC newscast
Again, as part of the panel I attended for the “Techno Girls | Career Day”, my social networks were on CBC / Radio-Canada tele-newspaper! It was a great pride for me!
The publishing house of La Semaine contacted me to ask me if I had a book project
I hesitated for a long time between a career in technology or writing / journalism. Following my visit to the newscast I just mentioned, the publishing house La Semaine contacted me to find out if I wanted to write a book.
I currently have no time to devote myself to such a large project, but it still gave me an idea of a project to be done, one day …! I list it as an achievement because I am really happy to have been contacted by a publishing house that I already knew before!
I was nominated for the 2018 Startup Community Awards for “Volunteer of the Year”
What a surprise when I suddently learned that I am nominated as a volunteer of the year at this annual event that rewards people who have become involved in the Montreal technology community.
I do not remember the winner, but it was a great pleasure to hear my nomination from someone (many people?) that I did not know!
Guest at Pierre Dumouchel’s guest table in his address for The Canadian Club
I was invited by the ÉTS general director, Pierre Dumouchel, to attend his address on “Engineering: Boldly forging the future of Québec” and to be part of the head table. It was a really great honor for me, once again. When I arrived, I was taken into a “VIP Room” with CEOs from Quebec companies and banks… it was another world for me!
It was a pleasure to see Kathy Baig, president of the Order of Engineers, among the guests at the head table too!
Collaboration with Satellite WP
I know Satellite WP since the foundation of the company, in 2017. I have been following on social media one of its co-founder, Maxime Jobin, since 2016!
Satellite WP deals with the maintenance, updates, security, and performance of WordPress websites. It has always been a dream for me to work with them (I’m serious!). Updating my blog has always been what I hate doing the most.
So when Maxime contacted me in November, sending me an excerpt of my latest Q&A blog post where I say that I hate updating my plugins, and suggested to help me with them, I was SO happy!
Not having to take care of the updates on my blog let me focus on writing more content. Having a blog requires a lot more work than just writing. As I’m already busy in life, I save a lot of time thanks to the services Satellite WP offers me!
If you also need a company to take care of the maintenance of your WordPress site, I recommend Satellite WP, as I would have done before having the chance to use their services. On the other hand, I got a first-hand look at the effectiveness of the team.
Collaboration with Element AI to go to NeurIPS
What a beautiful year that ends… Just by writing this article, I realize how my year has been beautiful in twists and collaborations.
I have known the Montreal startup Element AI for a very long time as well. In particular, since I chose to go in artificial intelligence. They represent a bit like Montreal’s paradise when it comes to artificial intelligence… 🙂
The biggest artificial intelligence conference in the world was held from the 3rd to the 7th of December. It was taking place in Montreal this year. The tickets ran out in 11 minutes, so I did not manage to get one. Then I applied to be a volunteer at the event. It was the first time I saw this, but it was even necessary to send a letter of recommendation from a teacher to be a volunteer!
Even with my letter of reference, I was refused as a volunteer.
Can you imagine how happy I was when I received an email from Element AI to suggest that I attend the conference in collaboration with them ?! I think I cried. I was actually filming a vlog, I recorded my reaction, but I have not yet had the chance to publish the vlog on YouTube…
I definitely had the best year of my life so far. I still had some challenges, however, as we all do! For example, I wish I was able to post every day on Instagram, that I could publish a new video every week on my YouTube channel. My apartment is not always tidy. I don’t go to the gym every week, and I wish I would eat healthier. I don’t! I work so much, that of course, some other areas of my life suffer. It does bring me great opportunities, but it has some downsides elsewhere.
If I could summarize 2018 in one word, I would say success came after all the hard work I did since 2016.
For 2019, I hope the word can be constant. I feel like I divide myself in a lot of places, I hope I can be less everywhere but more in a couple of places that are important to me.
How was 2018 for you?