In June of 2018, I attended Learn 2 get hired. It was my first Tech under twenty event and it was pivotal for my high school experience. I had joined my school’s Tech Under Twenty chapter in November of 2017, and 6 months later I was equipped with a resume and some pitching practice to try and get a summer internship. The executives of the chapter at the time told me this event was a great opportunity to get work experience in the tech field, as I would pitch myself to over 12 employers. I was excited.
The first day was a preparatory day. It consisted of presentations and activities meant to get participants ready for the interviews that were going to take place the next week. Some of these include a presentation by Denys Linkov, an interview with a young Microsoft employee and a Q&A session with a business on the topic of recruitment. These helped me understand who it is that these businesses are looking for and how they choose someone to work with, as well as important steps to take, such as following-up with an employer. My favourite presentation was one made by Rick Stomphorst where he explained what makes a good resume, giving specific examples of good and bad resume practices. I really enjoyed listening to the presentation because it was very to the point and there wasn’t a single moment that wasn’t valuable to me. Some of the things he mentioned were how little time employers have to look at your resume in particular, and that if they aren’t impressed with the first 3 things they read on your page, they move on, along with explaining how to format a resume correctly and to be concise. After the presentations were over, we were given some time to network with everyone who attended, which along with other students under twenty, included some businesses looking to hire the next week. I spoke to Rick Stomphorst and handed him a copy of my resume that I was going to present. His comments were mostly positive, simply suggesting to move around a section within my resume further up the page. I was relieved and pleasantly surprised by this, because my chapter executives were correct in their advice, and that my time in chapter meetings had not gone to waste. I came out of the first learn 2 get hired session with a newfound confidence in my resume, and a clear idea of the pace and goals around the kind of ‘speed-dating’ format of the pitching.
The second day went comparatively fast, in my mind anyway. We were given an intro presentation and then all the participants were paired at a seat with an employer. We had around 5 minutes to pitch ourselves, before we moved on to a different employer. I always started with a greeting and an offering of my resume to the employer, and they would usually give me a business card. Since my educational credentials were only that of grade 11 computer science, I tried to focus on my project endeavors when talking about myself. I also tried to ask relevant questions, those being questions that further detail who the employer is looking for, and what the employer’s goals were. Even though the 5 minutes zipped by in what felt like an instant, I was never left without a decent idea of the employer’s goals and my general impression on them. I believe that this was because I had thoroughly rehearsed my pitch both during chapter meetings and at home.
After pitching was done, I had about 5 – 6 employers that I was very interested in working with. In a 4-6 day period after the event, I sent follow-up emails to them, asking about a potential time to meet. An employer named Michelle from Kidictive Inc. agreed to meet and I eventually got a summer internship at their startup, doing mobile development for an app they were planning. I was ecstatic.
After an amazing experience, I can say with confidence that Learn 2 Get hired was integral to my high school experience as it gave me invaluable work experience, taught me how to properly present myself and spurred me to become more involved with Tech Under Twenty, because I was, and to this day still am, adamant that Learn 2 get hired is a one in a lifetime opportunity that hard-working students deserve.