Jesslyn Parrish walked into Otronicon 2019 to see some of her professors’ STEM research projects in action. She walked out as a future Orlando Science Center intern, a potential gamer and reconsidering her plans to leave Orlando to pursue a tech career.
As a first-time Otronicon attendee, Jesslyn had no expectations for the four-day STEM expo. However, upon attending the event, she was blown away by the sheer number of experiences, workshops, speakers and exhibitors that filled the Science Center. Instead of simply checking out some research, she was faced with rooms and rooms of the most cutting-edge technology in gaming, entertainment, science and medicine.
“It really showed me how many opportunities there are to get involved in the tech world right here in Central Florida,” Says Jesslyn. “I had originally thought I would have to consider moving to California after graduating in a few years.” At its core, this is what Otronicon is all about. Showing Orlando residents that there are countless ways to become involved in the future of STEM that’s being built right in our own backyard. Otronicon provides guests of all ages the resources they need to start a STEM career.
Only at Otronicon can Orlando residents speak directly with leaders in their field, get invaluable advice from expert-led speakers and learn new STEM skills in engaging workshops. From the major companies at the forefront of innovation, to the start-ups that will shape the future, Orlando hosts some of the top organizations to start a STEM career with. This was particularly exciting for Jesslyn, who is exceptionally familiar with the importance of networking as a graduate student. At Otronicon, she was able to interact directly with leaders of tech organizations that she could one day be working for.
If Jesslyn could describe Otronicon in one word, it would be “inspiring.” Not only did it inspire her to change the way she views Orlando’s tech industry, it also inspired her to become an Orlando Science Center events intern. Now, Jesslyn is responsible for coordinating and implementing events just like Otronicon at the Science Center. While this step in Jesslyn’s professional development is impressive and inspiring enough, there’s still one unexpected part of her Otronicon experience that can’t go unmentioned. Jesslyn, a self-proclaimed uncertain gamer, was tempted into picking up the controller and testing out the newest video game technology at Otronicon. Now that’s inspiring!