Minnesota’s High School Computing Stars Honored by General Mills

Minnesota’s High School Computing Stars Honored by General Mills

Minnesota’s High School Computing Stars Honored by General Mills

Steeped with technology passion, achievements, and aspirations, forty-three female high school students from Minnesota were selected by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Program (MNAiC) to receive a special honor as Certificate of Distinction recipients.


General Mills has been a highly engaged Aspirations in Computing partner for nearly 10 years, and this year was no different. On Saturday, April 24th, thirteen General Mills employees demonstrated their appreciation and support of the honorees by offering them a morning filled with career and skill development activities, followed by a special ceremony to celebrate the Boundless Possibilities that lie before them.

The celebration included two parallel workshops and an award ceremony. During the workshops, volunteers provided an overview of roles in technology at General Mills and how technology is essential to the company’s purpose of ‘Making Food The World Loves’. They also hosted an interactive technical activity, where students were able to learn and practice SQL (a domain-specific database language). The virtual event concluded with a ceremony. We loved hearing each recipient’s description of their “superpower” and the encouraging messages from families and friends!

Thank you to all our volunteers and congrats to all the honorees!

Career Workshop

The career workshop gave students the opportunity to learn more about corporate roles such as developer, business analyst, and data scientist. They heard about real use-cases and saw demonstrations across Data Science, Data Engineering, and Data Analytics and were able to ask questions and learn more about each field in smaller group sessions.

Here are some testimonials from the student participants:

“My favorite part of the event was when we were able to talk to someone about career plans and what to do to get there. The General Mills volunteers sharing about their experiences really went into detail on how they started their careers.”

“I liked talking to the General Mills volunteers. They had a ton of really cool, relevant information that I plan to use in the future. I learned a lot about minors and majors for college and internships that I think will be very useful in the future.”

Hands-On Data Engineering Workshop

The data engineering workshop allowed students to learn about programming at General Mills. The students were introduced to a computer language (SQL) and learned more about how it is used at General Mills. Students were able to participate in a hands-on activity where they created and executed SQL queries against a database.

Some student participants had this to say about the workshop:

“My favorite part was learning how to code using SQL with the General Mills volunteer.”

“I enjoyed learning about SQL and what people in computer science do day to day.”

More about Event Partners

General Mills is a global food company, headquartered in MN, known for brands like Pillsbury, Cheerios, and Nature Valley. General Mills is a proud sponsor of MN Aspirations and Computing. The two internal General Mills groups involved in this event were Discovering IT and Women in Digital and Technology – Recruiting and Outreach.

Discovering IT hosts virtual and on campus events with interactive workshops and tours of the exciting technologies that are in use at General Mills. They also take presentations to high schools in the Twin Cities to inform students about what a career in IT is really like, inspire them to get involved in the IT community, and show them how accessible discovering IT can be through some great online resources.

Women in Digital and Technology – Recruiting and Outreach supports Digital and Technology recruiting efforts as well as partnering with external programs such as MN Aspirations in Computing and Technovation MN, with the goal of strengthening our pipeline of local technical talent.

Minnesota Aspirations in Computing is a year-round program administered by the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence and supported by a remarkable array of businesses and organizations.  Its mission is to inspire, engage, and empower young women in high school to pursue technology education and career pathways.  The program provides employers with unparalleled access to the best and brightest technology talent emerging from high schools and communities throughout Minnesota.

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The ITCOE is part of the Minnesota State College System, and is hosted by Metropolitan State University


What is a Center of Excellence?

A COE is a dedicated team that works close with industry and educators to attract students to, and prepares students for, high demand industries in Minnesota that face workforce shortages currently and in the future.