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Apple's favorite Mexican programmer

She's only 19 but learned to programme on her own and has already developed ten apps
Apple's favorite Mexican programmer
Illustration: Dante de la vega/EL UNIVERSAL
Mariana F. Maldonado
Monterrey, Nuevo Léon
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We can count on one hand the number of people who could ask a recommendation letter from one of the most powerful businessmen in the world: Tim Cook – the CEO of giant corporation Apple Inc.

And among those lucky few is Alejandrina González, 19, a Mexican girl a self-taught app programmer.

Alejandrina, born in the town of Metepec, State of Mexico, decided at the age of 9 she would go one day to Silicon Valley, after seeing a TV commercial of the first iPhone.

“I spent my time at school thinking 'I want to go there, how can I get there?'” she recounts during a conference as part of the entrepreneurship festival at the Technological Institute of Monterrey.

She was so curious about apps that when she finally had an iPhone, she asked for a computer so she could learn to programme...on her own. A year later she got her wish. She finished her first gaming app in three days, learning by trial and error, and one week later her app was available worldwide – she was only 16. So far Alejandrina has developed 10 apps, six before turning 18.

Her acquaintance with Tim Cook came after that.

She met Apple's CEO as one of the finalists on a programming contest. At the event, Cook asked where she came from and how long she'd been programming. Alejandrina told him she had been programming for less than a year and that she had been self-taught. Needless to say, the CEO was amazed by her story and perseverance despite her limited resources.

When the time came for her to apply for college, she decided to send an e-mail to Tim Cook and the Vice-president of Human Resources of Apple, requesting a recommendation letter so she could apply for Stanford (one of the most prestigious universities worldwide). Shortly afterward, she received a favorable reply from one of Apple's executives.

Today she studies Human-Computer Interaction at Stanford University, an institution where several technological entrepreneurs have also studied, like Larry Page (creator of Google) and Elon Musk, just to name a few.

She thinks Apple's slogan “Think Different” makes a lot of sense when achieving one's goals.

“Many people think it's enough to focus only on what you're taught at school, but I didn't. I learned to programme on my own and this is what caught Stanford's attention – I wasn't an ordinary person,” she says.

Alejandrina has yet to finish college and she wants to enroll in a graduate programme once she finishes but she confesses she has no idea where she will be in 10 years: working for Apple or as the founder of her own company.


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