Leading the Way for Others
October 9, 2019
As Meryem Berrada achieves her own professional success, she is committed to encouraging and supporting other women to succeed in technology careers, especially in computer science.
“One of the things I see in my field is there’s not enough women, though I see more every year.”
Since earning her bachelor of science in computer engineering and master of science in computer science at the College of Engineering, Berrada has been contributing to the data collection and analysis efforts of Nielsen Holdings, while establishing herself as a leader within the organization.
After starting as a corporate Emerging Leaders associate, Berrada advanced to senior project manager and is now leading Nielsen’s engineering research and development team.
Working for a multinational company in the business of measuring diverse audiences for media clients requires more than technical expertise and Berrada says her experience at USF prepared her for that kind of work environment.
“We had that international culture at USF and it helped to build up my confidence,” says Berrada who was president of the College’s Women in Computer Science and Engineering chapter.
The goals of WICSE include supporting women in the computer sciences and encouraging greater female representation in STEM fields. For Berrada, whose parents are computer scientists that meant going to middle and high schools with her peers to spread the word to young students about what is possible with a career in technology.
“It’s very easy to make a small program and when you show them they feel empowered. It was really cool and eye opening for some of them and essentially encouraged the girls in those classes to try it out. We tried to convey the message that being a minority in engineering is a plus because you bring a different perspective to the table and that’s invaluable.”
An interest in research motivated Berrada to earn her master’s degree and her thesis, DCMS: A data analytics and management system for molecular simulation, was published in the Journal of Big Data.
Community engagement is also a part of Berrada’s professional routine. She conducts presentations at technology meetups and forums in the Tampa Bay area and spoke on the subject of leadership at the 2018 Society of Women Engineers conference.