In a few days we’ll host our last chat with the December 2019 — March 2020 cohort. In two years of collaboration with Outreachy, this is the cohort that has touched me the most—two of our Brazilian interns sent me a message thanking me for inspiring them to apply. One of them was an attendee in a talk I gave at Campus Party Goiás last year, and I remember vividly our conversation soon after it ended. “Do you think I have a chance to become an Outreachy intern?”, they asked. And I could never imagine that my enthusiatic “Yes, of course you do!” would make such a big difference in their life.
In the midst of a stressful semester at university that made me shed so many tears and juggling between three projects, it becomes hard to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Their stories, their success—that gives me life. It inspires me to keep in touch with my roots, with the program that allowed me start my career in tech, and to help others the same way I was helped one day.
Our initial applications closed last Wednesday, and we received just a bit more than 2600 applications this round. It’s impressive how Outreachy has grow since last year—in a report published last February, I mention that we had “reviewed more than a thousand applications, approved 50% of them”, and had “less than a hundred [of applications] pending.” At this point we have gone through more than 50% of the initial applications we’ve received, but there’s still a thousand of them pending.
This round is usually quieter in terms of promotion—I start to look for opportunities to talk about Outreachy after June. The idea is giving potential applicants time to do their research and consider which path they would like to take during the program while not making them wait too much for the best round for Brazilians students (December to March). And as novel coronavirus cases start to appear in Brazil, it’s wise to avoid making plans of promotion for the next two months while we don’t have a definitive answer on whether COVID-19 will spread in Brazil as fast as in other countries.