Duke's Diversity in Tech Fair is Shaping The Future of Tech
When Kate Chen entered Duke University, she was discouraged by the lack of diversity in her computer science classes. “At Duke, only 30% of my peers in computer science identify as women and I didn’t have a female STEM professor until my junior spring semester.” she said.
Wanting to prevent that feeling of discouragement in other students, Kate became involved with Duke Technology Scholars, a program at Duke that empowers the next generation of diverse leaders in tech, and is now the co-President alongside Duke senior Christine Yoon.
On September 15th, Kate and Christine took the initiative in bringing students and recruiters together at the Duke Technology Scholars’ Diversity in Tech career fair. The fair hosted around 280 students from underrepresented communities in the tech space and over 19 companies that strongly value diversity and inclusion.
To organize such a large event, Kate and Christine spent several months composing a student resume book for companies to look at, curating a company portfolio, developing a Tech 101 Bootcamp, and finding the perfect virtual career platform. They decided to use Glimpse, a platform that engages communities online through one-on-one, round-robin video chats. With Glimpse’s features like 1:1 speed matching, customizable conversation time lengths, and a resume upload, Glimpse was great for facilitating natural connections between recruiters and students. One recruiter from MongoDB raved about Glimpse, describing it as “by far my favorite platform for virtual engagement.”
“Recruiters specifically missed being able to have more informal and personal conversations with students,” Kate said.“Glimpse was able to perfectly capture that in comparison to some other recruiting platforms.”
One bonus of the fair’s online format was that it allowed companies who would not usually attend the event interact with these students. Through Glimpse interactions, students and recruiters felt more comfortable talking to one another with no added pressure of having to walk up to an intimidating company booth.
The online format also allowed for a student to customize their experience. Luiza Wolf, a junior at Duke, said “I really liked how the matching system for Glimpse was set up. The ability to upload resumes and indicate the companies you were interested in was more targeted than a typical career fair.”
Micaelle Larieux, a Duke junior, especially liked that on Glimpse, you could choose to add time to your video call. “ If I talked with a company or recruiter I wasn’t as interested in, I could leave. If we were both really interested, we could add time and continue the conversation,” she said.
This year’s Diversity in Tech fair provided an unforgettable experience for students and recruiters even during these challenging times. Thanks to Kate and Christine’s great work, the fair was able to curate a welcoming environment for both students and recruiters. Through facilitating thousands of conversations between recruiters and students, the Diversity in Tech Fair helped companies connect with students who will make up a more diverse generation of leaders in tech.
If you are interested in creating an event that connects students and recruiters here are some tips:
Extend the default match length to 5 minutes (default is 2 minutes)
Add additional extensions
Have students upload their resumes to provide to recruiters
Extend match time lengths to promote engaging conversations