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Computer science major offered post-graduation job with Google

Computer science major Kat Duarte, '17, will begin her post-grad career with search-engine giant Google, Inc., in Mountain View, Calif. Duarte worked with the company during the summer on Google AdWords, a specific Google product handling advertising and revenue generation. Duarte was then offered a position after graduation as an analyst on the company's trust & safety team.

Kat Duarte sits at a small table working on a laptop.

"If you were hacked via Google, you would probably have a negative view of the company," Duarte says. "It's my job to use data analytics to find malicious attackers before they have an impact on Google users."

Duarte originally visited Whitworth during the fall of her senior year in high school. "The first time I stepped foot in The Loop was in 2012," Duarte says. "I was convinced I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, and, at the time, Whitworth did not have an engineering degree. An hour later, I was sitting with a professor who said, 'This isn't about Whitworth or the degree you want. This is about who you are in your heart. Let's talk about that.'"

Deciding to attend Whitworth, Duarte pursued the challenging but rewarding field of computer science.

"Computer science is arguably the most constantly changing field to study," Duarte says. "The beauty of it constantly changing is that there is always something new to learn. Every day I am reminded of how much I don't know. This can sound daunting, but it is also an opportunity to grow continually."

Another challenge Duarte faces in the computer science field is a lack of diversity.

"Only 20 percent of computer science majors are women," Duarte says. "Only one percent are Hispanic. There are days where this can be exhausting, but in order for this to change, we must have the courage to step forward."

Duarte has learned that challenges can be valuable in her faith, as well.

"Whitworth is a beautiful place where healthy discussion is encouraged," Duarte says. "Too often in society, we find people tiptoeing around subjects. This is harmful and toxic because conversation is how we build community. Whitworth does not shy away from talking about faith, and it has taught me the value of conversation so that I may grow deeper in my faith and understand other faiths."

Duarte is also involved in Whitworth's forensics team and with the Association for Computing Machinery.