For the third year in a row, an MSOE student was named a Grace Hopper Scholar and was able to attend the Grace Hopper Virtual Conference on scholarship. Meet Elizabeth Ostendorf, a software engineering student and this year’s well deserving Grace Hopper Scholar.

The conference highlights the contributions of women to the tech world and features collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring. It’s the largest gathering of women technologists, where women from around the world learn, network and celebrate their achievements.

“There was an amazing keynote speaker that discussed how to be adaptive, and that overcoming fears is a key to success,” said Ostendorf. “My favorite part was the small breakout rooms that I was a part of, where I was able to talk to a few other women about their experiences in the STEM field and the development cycles that they go through in the different projects they work on.”

Ostendorf knew from an early age she wanted to be an engineer and follow in her dad’s footsteps. Because her dad is a mechanical engineer, she decided to take a robotics class in high school to get a feel for the mechanical side of things. To her surprise, this experienced convinced her to switch gears a bit.

“I was introduced to a very simple programming language and absolutely loved it. I loved the problem solving and the coding, so I started looking into the possibilities of studying software.”

And so, a software engineer was born. After graduation from high school, the Hudson, Wisconsin native then set off for MSOE because it was one of the few schools that offered software engineering as a major and she loved the location, small class sizes and community feel of campus she experienced after touring.

At MSOE Ostendorft is a member of Tau Beta Pi as well as the captain of the ultimate frisbee team. She has applied what she’s learned in classes to three different internships. She held internships at Collins Aerospace and Cognex where she worked on editing and testing code at both companies. She also worked at FIS where she wrote scripts to automate processes that normally take hours to run manually. These internship experiences have exceled her one step closer to achieving her dream job of being a web developer for a small company.