Welcome to Hack.Diversity 2018!

Your career theme: an iterative process

Dec. 11, 2017

After eight weeks of application submissions, three weeks of interview and selection, and many a tough decision, we gathered our 2018 Cohort — 37 powerful voices — for the very first time. Throughout the evening’s event, half Program Overview of Goals and Expectations throughout our next nine-months together, and half interactive workshop on Crafting Your Career Theme and Personal Narrative, the synergy of this group generated palpable energy that suffused beyond the confines of the room, drawing bypassing staff of Carbonite, our host that evening, to peek in.

Hack.Diversity 2018 is officially in session, but crafting the 2018 experience to best serve our expanded cohort (a 130% size increase from 2017) began a while back, and was strengthened by the contributions of two partnerships in particular: The Tech Connection and Startup Institute. This year, we received a 153% increase in the number of pre-qualified applicants (applicants who matched all the eligibility criteria), and the TechConnection team, led by Hack.Diversity co-architect Melissa James, helped identify our 37 Fellows for 2018. To highlight a selection of interesting statistics about our 2018 Cohort:

  • We have representation from 14 talent partners: Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Bunker Hill Community College, Boston University, Greenfield Community College, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern University, North Shore Community College, Northern Illinois University, Quincy College, Resilient Coders, Roxbury Community College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Boston, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • 35% women and 65% men
  • 38% completing Associate’s degree, 41% completing Bachelor’s degree, 5% completing Master’s degree, 16% completing Coding Bootcamps
  • 81% will be experiencing their first internship in tech
  • 76% are the first in their family to receive technical training in a STEM field

In considering how best to serve this much larger 2018 Cohort, we revamped our career development curriculum to ensure that no Fellow gets left behind. Consequently, we are so excited to partner this year with Startup Institute, and have been working closely with David Vencis, StartUp Institute Program Director, to leverage and adapt their strong Core Curriculum to Fellows’ needs, preparing them for successful internship experiences with our Host Companies in the short-term, and upwards career trajectory in the industry for the long-term.

David Vencis, Program Director of Startup Institute, guiding 2018 Fellows on a journey of crafting their personal narratives as related to their career theme.

Our first Hack.Diversity + Startup Institute workshop, led by David, set out to provide Fellows with a framework to identify their desired career theme, then organize their current skills and experiences to not only land that first job, but the three jobs after that as well. Throughout this interactive workshop, a lot of self-reflection was asked of the Fellows to determine the relationship between how they got to where they are today, and why they are here. Helpful points of consideration:

What motivates you?

Money, recognition, family? Honesty is important and there are no wrong answers.

“I’m the first in my family to pursue anything in the tech field, and intially my interests were not shared by anyone else in my family. When my father was diagnosed with cancer, he became much more open to learning new things, and I teach him what I know. My success is my family’s success.” — Ariana Gardner, UMass Boston ‘18

What is your ideal job description?

Think about what fields you’re interested in, what the day-to-day responsibilities are in field-related roles of interest, and qualities of the environment in which you do your most productive work.

“I’m really interested in animation. I have Java and Android experience, and have look into many topics related to roles in the field, but I know that there’s so much I still have to learn. Ultimately, I want to become a video game developer.” — Egbert Sayers, North Shore Community College ’18

Your career theme is a story, so practice telling yours

“Learning to code, learning the technical stuff, anybody can do that. What makes you stand out is your passion, your drive, and why you care.” — Advice to 2018 Cohort from Eddison Razon, 2017 Fellow turned full-time at Carbonite

Failing fast is a GREAT thing

In an industry where there is no such thing as perfection, only rounds of iteration, it’s crucial to recognize “failure” not as a stopping point, but as a stepping stone in your career.

For our 2018 Cohort, that next stepping stone will take place January 9, 2018 at HubSpot, where they will be interacting with representatives from the 2018 Host Companies for the first time. Between now and then, Fellows are equipped to draft three, five, ten more iterations of their personal narrative positioning statements in preparation for that first interaction. We can’t wait for our partners to be blown away.


Watch this space for upcoming spotlights on each of our Fellows! Interested in being a host company or a volunteering as a Mentor? Contact us: info@hackdiversity.com