We had such a great time hosting a group of University of North Carolina at Greensboro students for our first-ever "Tech Trek". We invited students interested in careers in tech to learn more about opportunities within the field.
The students spent half a day with us, taking part in three presentations, followed by a networking lunch. Our agenda for the day was designed to be both relevant and interactive, and we hope the students enjoyed it!
Professor Jeffrey Kaplan, from the UNCG Department of Philosophy, delivered a presentation called "How to Overcome Procrastination". This type of content that is relevant to any and all audiences, but is particularly helpful for students facing ever-challenging procrastination temptations in the form of technological devices! It was a good reminder for those of us in the field that the very projects we work on can also sabotage us from doing our most focused work.
From there, the students watched a video called, "See It to Be It," which was produced by the UNCG Department of Communications. Local professionals in technology gave their time to share an unvarnished look at the pros and cons of the career path and the preparation necessary to succeed. The video features representation from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, so that diverse students can better envision themselves in these careers. The overall goal is to demystify the steps necessary to enter careers – especially high-mobility careers.
After the video, Xtern founder, Keir, and Xtern App Developer & UX Designer, Taylor, shared more of their experiences via an Ask Me Anything-style Q&A. Both have had circuitous career paths, marked by lay-offs, changes in career goals, etc. It was helpful to students to see that not all career paths are straight-forward and linear.
The last session was delivered by Xtern's Communications Director, Emily, and talked through what to look for in terms of company culture. It's important for there to be a match between the "whys" that an employee wants to work for a particular organization, and the "whys" that the employer is offering. In specific, Emily, shared her passion for community engagement and volunteerism, and explained how Xtern authentically supports those interests.
Finally, we wrapped up with a networking lunch, where other real life humans of Xtern shared their background, expertise, and advice for college students. It was a fantastic experience for all, and we are looking forward to this becoming a yearly program!