In these past few months, our organizers have had the opportunity to live vicariously through each and every applicant throughout our admissions process. We are excited about the projects you’ve worked on, the passion you have for technology, and everything you want to accomplish! With all the amazing things we’ve seen in your applications, we found this year’s admissions process to be particularly difficult. We are so thankful to all the applicants who are excited to attend our event and deeply appreciate all the time and effort applicants poured into their applications. For those who didn’t receive the decision they were hoping for, we completely understand your disappointment and we would like to give you a further glimpse into what our application process was like. As an organization, we wish we could host every single individual at the event and it’s disheartening that we are simply unable to. We hope this post will clarify what we look for in our hackers, help you understand our admissions process, and show how appreciative we are of all the hard work you put into your applications.
HackGT has two different rounds for applicants; the first was our travel reimbursement pool, which was smaller in application size and acceptance, and the second was the non-travel reimbursement pool. The majority of participants at our event are accepted through this second application pool, which is predominantly Georgia Tech students and students from the Atlanta-area.
The process of evaluating applications begins with members of the HackGT Organizing Team receiving an anonymous application with just the long answer questions “Describe a current or past project that you are proud of. Why did you enjoy creating it?”, and “What motivated you to apply to HackGT and what are your goals for the event?”. Team members then evaluate the questions on the effort and passion that each applicant conveyed in their answers.
We don’t expect everyone to have award-winning projects, but instead, want each individual to be able to describe what their project was and demonstrate what they learned from their experiences. The ability to learn, adapt, and grow from previous experiences is something that we value in our participants.
For this year’s hackathon, we wanted to know why HackGT 6 was special to applicants and what they would take advantage of at our event! We looked for those who embody what HackGT values and are enthusiastic about attending our hackathon.
Though resumes were requested, they were not taken into account in the preliminary selection processes. Participant resumes are provided to sponsors interested in recruitment, making the networking process at HackGT streamlined and paperless.
Our Hacker Body
After reviewing all our applications, we chose a threshold above which we believe every participant would be a great fit for HackGT. One of our primary limitations in the admissions process is fire safety protocols, which restrict the number of participants we can host. Everyone who receives a score above this threshold is someone we believe would be a great hacker at our event.
For the small handful of applicants that were exactly at this threshold, we looked through their additional materials and information. Our team intentionally admitted those on the threshold with diverse backgrounds and skill levels to create a broader, more inclusive event. We prioritized diversity to align with our team values because we understand technology is our future — and technology cannot be created for everyone if it is not made by everyone.
How Can I Still Be Involved as a Georgia Tech student?
While we regret being unable to invite everyone to the event, we would like to welcome any interested Georgia Tech students to attend workshops and talks throughout the event. A full schedule of events open to the Georgia Tech community will be posted at workshops.2019.hack.gt on October 18th. Additionally, we host a handful of more focused events throughout the school year that are open to all Georgia Tech students. Our past events include HackGTeeny, BuildGT, Horizons, and Catalyst (where GT students can attend as mentors for Atlanta-area high school students). We hope to see you at a future HackGT event.
For more information on the other events that we host, check out each event’s website (linked above) and stay tuned by following our social media, @TheHackGT. If you have any additional questions, please send us an email at email@example.com. We’re honored to be a part of the Georgia Tech community and are looking forward to another astounding year.
The HackGT Team