Marily De Alba-Gonzalez

Lincoln High School, San Jose 2016
Coordinator, AI and Machine Learning at World Economic Forum
San Francisco State University, Class of 2019
Masters in Global and International Studies 2022

Some might think it’s silly to fly back to San Francisco just to walk the stage, but as a first-gen daughter of immigrants, it’s one of the most important moments in my life. Although I’ll be finishing up my master's degree at Universidad de Salamanca within the next month, my time at SFSU was instrumental in making me the person I am today. I would not have succeeded without the amazing support from the Metro College Success Program, TriO, and POE-South Bay.

The old saying about no grass growing under her feet applies 100% to Marily. Both in high school and in college, Marily was constantly networking, searching for new opportunities and internships, all while being a top student. Marily understood only her persistence could help her overcome her limited connections and financial instability. Sophomore year Marily interned for a California State Senator in San Francisco and although POE provided a stipend she still worked at Starbucks and attended SFSU full-time. Marily always wanted to live abroad so she worked over 20+ hours a week and saved everything she could to spend her junior year at SciencesPo, a top French university where she earned a certificate in Foreign Affairs and Strategy. After her year abroad, Marily returned to SF State and graduated a semester early with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. From the initial interview to becoming a POE-South Bay recipient, Marily was determined to go beyond earning a bachelor’s degree, and she did. Marily spent the next two years studying in Spain, despite the pandemic, and ultimately completed a master’s program in Global and International Studies, specializing in science, technology, and global affairs. In order to write her master’s thesis, titled, “Reintegration Processes Through Software Coding Boot Camps: The Case of Mexican Women Returnees”, Marily spent over a month in Mexico City where she conducted field research with the support of faculty from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The in-person interviews that she conducted there helped her solidify her research on how marginalized women can break into the male-dominated tech sector by participating in coding boot camps. The thread that weaves through all her studies and efforts is to be a citizen and student of the world and learn practical ways to help those in need. All these experiences helped her land her current position at the World Economic Forum where she is now a Coordinator on the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning platform. We are very proud of Marily and glad to have been able to support her on her journey to success.

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