• Alan Huang

Share Your Knowledge. Career in Tech!💻💻💻 Event Recap🙌

Hello everyone! On Tuesday, November 26th, EMPOWER International Students had the honor to host a tech panellist event in partnerships with Columbia College.

Thank you to our panelists Napon Taratan, Software Developer at Amazon, Asif Mammadov, Senior Software Developer at SAP, Edmund Ham, Software Developer at SAP, and Shrey Nayak, Software Developer at EA, for their invaluable sharings and insights. In this panel discussion, we touched base on various topics such as internship, career in canada, graduation and their past experience. The four panelists shared what they have learned in this journey as well as how they jump-started their career in Software Development space. It was a great pleasure listening to their insights.

The event was extremely successful. At this panel discussion, there were over 50+ attendees. The talk was engaging, interactive, and communicative. It began with our host and founder Pat asking our panelists about their background, where we learned about the various stories about their journey coming to where they are now. There are tailored questions for each person, asking them things like experience working in the US at Google, working in a startup, working in the gaming industry, or founding their own student association. Our community is growing bigger as our team works tirelessly around organizing events like this and try to build our community that allows each other to share information for the people in need and to build connections.

The tech industry is growing in a fast pace. For instance, career in tech grows by 30% and adds over 15,000 jobs in Vancouver reported from 2017 to 2018. As our readers, even if you did not have the chance to attend our event, we would like to share some gold nuggets with you!

1. Being new in the country, you have to go above and beyond.

Napon mentioned about the competitive environment international students have to go through. For example, they have to face the challenge of studying in a different language, at the same time have to compete with local students for the same hiring position. Sometimes companies even favour local students because of government reimbursement. Because of that, to succeed in the Canadian job market as an international student, one really has to put in 120% and go above and beyond to have an edge to succeed. Go volunteer, become an executive in student club, participate in hackathon, and work on personal projects. We will touch these topics in the future blog posts.

2. If you want to work in tech and have no working experience, side project is the answer.

There is a common dilemma: If you don’t have job experience, you can’t find a job, but if you don’t have a job, you can’t get experience. Well, our panelists dropped some wisdom on how to solve this question: personal project. Personal project is a great way to work on something that you are passionate about, hone your skills, and showcase your achievement. Build your personal project at your free time. Maybe it is a Twitter clone, a Facebook clone, or anything in between. Learn from online resources. You can build a small prototype first, and add features to it one step at a time. This way you can always see your result without feeling discouraged. You will feel enormously proud of yourself when you can build something and be able to showcase your portfolio on your resume.

3. Target a company you want to work for and be persistent.

In a job hunting world there is a lingo called the sniper strategy. Compared to the shotgun strategy, which is using one generic resume and apply to everywhere, the sniper strategy requires you to be persistent in pursuing in one or two companies. There are many ways to do that. For example, you could network with people who work for that company through LinkedIn. You could ask if they are interested in an informational interview. Afterward, you find the right person to speak to at that organization. You then write your resume and cover letter especially tailored to that company. With the knowledge and connection you learned along the way, you will have so much to talk about to impress the hiring manager.

4. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the companies and ask for opportunity.

Sometimes the best opportunity that fits you the most might have never been created by any company. How do I find a job that can satisfy my passion in psychology, and my knowledge in computer science, and my interest in marketing, while making a living? Ask away! They only way to find them is to reach out and ask. If you haven’t tried this strategy, give it a try. You might surprise yourself about how open people are!

5. Get your foot in the door by doing internship.

Let’s face it. Internship is important. Students who did internship is like in an accelerated path on finding a fulfilling job after their graduation. All of our panelists did some internship while they were at university, and they all stress how important this is. As an intern you learn valuable skills on the job and make connection with working professionals. Who knows, you might even get a return job offer.

We hope to see you at our future events and we will continue creating events like this in the new year. You will learn valuable information from our community members and there are many people who can help you find your dream job.

Cheers to more events and partnerships to come!

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