Scholar Valentin Sierra Attends Out for Undgrad Technology Conference

Out For Undergrad Techonology Kevin Prior

Out for Undergrad Technology Conference Director Kevin Prior welcoming 165 students to the conference. (photo by: David Bush Photo/OUTC)

With the gracious help of Point Foundation, I was fortunate to attend the Out for Undergrad Technology Conference  on the beautiful Facebook Campus in Menlo Park, California. The conference was held on October 19 & 20, and during those two days I gained a great deal of knowledge on how to be out in the work place, how the tech industry functions, and valuable resume and interview skills.

On the first day of the conference there were panels with employees from major technology companies like Facebook, Yahoo, and Google. The panels addressed the differences between the various types of technology companies out there and what to expect as an employee. I attended break-out sessions dealing specifically with topics such as How to Network, Social Impact Projects, and LGBTQ Groups in the Workplace. Sandy Gould, the Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition and Development at Yahoo delivered a keynote speech stressing the importance of being true to oneself and being open in the workplace. The first day wrapped up with an extensive career fair including numerous tech companies from all over Silicon Valley such as Dropbox, Pandora, and Pinterest – allowing me to plant and build my new and expanding professional network.

Career Fair at Out for Undergrad Technology

(photo by: David Bush Photo/OUTC)

On the second day I attended a Gender Spectrum Breakfast I had an interesting conversation with other attendees about women and transgender identifying people in the workplace at tech companies. The breakfast was an amazing opportunity for people to voice their concerns and ask questions regarding the dramatic lacking of gender diversity in the tech world. Kara Swisher, the producer and writer of AllThingsD-an online blog dedicated to technology and all things digital – delivered a keynote speech that proved to be quite the comedic and inspirational treat. The conference wrapped-up with a group activity where we designed a product and used our collective skills to market the product effectively.

Point Scholar Valentin Sierra at Out for Undergrad Technology Conference

Attending the conference as a college freshman allowed me to get a jump start on building my professional network by meeting and connecting with numerous new friends from all over the country, each with their own unique stories and experiences. After attending the Out for Undergrad Technology Conference, I have a better understanding of the tech industry, gained many new resources, and I am looking forward to being out in the workplace.

This post was written by Point Scholar Valentin Sierra
Point Scholar Valentin Sierra Born in to a small family of migrant farm works and raised by a single mother, Valentin has also had many other struggles throughout his life like the access to finances and educational resources, but he still rose to the challenge of promoting acceptance and tolerance in his small, closed minded city. In his Junior year of high school, he helped establish his school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, where he was elected as President his Senior year. Valentin is attending UC Davis as a first generation college student where he hopes to continue the fight for equality and social justice. Learn more about Valentin.