Sophia Huynh
Mar 4, 2018 · 7 min read
Keep the cupcakes in mind. They get mentioned later on!

Creative visions and agile technology

The Marketing and Technology Teams

Marketing has a few areas to choose from, going from Communications where your job is to communicate (lol) with competitors or the general public through social media, newsletters, or to specific student groups.
Next is Graphics/Brand where you create all the visual material needed — including the actual images shared on social media and any other graphics needed.
On top of that, there is a need for Photographers and Videographers to capture the actual event.

Where Marketing and Tech meet is UI/UX needed for our internal projects such as our website and mobile app.

Technology is mostly operational things, or software development for our internal projects: building our website and planning for a mobile app.

Marketing has as pretty steady workload throughout the entire year. The workload changes every new project taken on (for example a rebrand).

The workload for the Tech team is also steady throughout the year. Since it is mostly a software project, you get to pace yourself throughout the year (and also have the occasional tech team hackathons to get some work done).

What was your experience like in the Marketing and Tech Teams?

Daniel and Hugo playing with an electric skateboard. Except you can’t see the skateboard (left). Sophie talking to a competitor (right).

Who are you and what did you do before joining the team?

Daniel: “I was the Finance Lead, and also helped in Tech related things. I actually started out competing in UNIHACK, then I learned about WIRED Monash, and later joined the UNIHACK Team.”

Ben: “Graphic Designer in the Marketing team. I was a freelance designer, did occasional work for friends whenever they needed it. I actually study Industrial Design/Mechanical Engineering. Graphic Design is more of a hobby. I really enjoy doing it, very easy to get down and dirty with it.”

“With Industrial Design it takes a lot more time to get the cogs turning and setting things in motion. Graphic Design in such a fast-paced marketing environment works more instantaneously, so the response and feedback is more frequent and rewarding.”

Sophie: “I was Logistics Lead in 2016 and 2017, but dabbled in the Marketing team in ’16 since we had some space to fill. Prior to UNIHACK, I’d been involved in a number of student-run organisations, but I’d have to say UNIHACK has been the most representative of what it’s like to work in a reliable team in the industry.”

“In terms of Marketing, I had done some graphic design for the organisations that I’d volunteer at, just a hobby. I also did photography/videography for both 2016 and 2017.”

Why did you join the team?

Daniel: “I really enjoyed handling the finance *cue giggle*. I also couldn’t think of anybody who would a) take it up or b) do such a thorough job. UNIHACK feels like my baby now.

Ben: “I had never worked in a group before, in an organisation, so my friend suggested UNIHACK. I knew very little about hackathons and thought this would be a great way to get experience. I had to do some software development units later in the year, and I thought why not see what the IT side looks like because I’ve had very little interaction with it in the past.”

“I met somebody who was quite involved with a lot of extra-curricular activities. I was thinking about how I usually don’t do something without a reason to do it. Hackathons really opened my mind, the idea of doing something because you wanted to rather than needed to.”

Sophie: “I thought it would be fun. I came in as VP of WIRED Monash in ’16 but had competed before, in 2015. I had been to a few hackathons before (and we still do!), and credit them for giving me the courage to just trying something new for the first time.”

What was the hardest moment of being part of the team?

Daniel: “I found that from an organising perspective, things we more exciting with some pressure. I joined because I liked that excitement.”

Ben: “Nothing too big, but a little bit of letting go of my perfectionist ideas. At UNIHACK, we were working on a timeline, and you have to get things done as efficiently as possible. As someone who has never had that pressure before, I had to adapt. It was learning that if you try just hard enough, it is enough [for prototyping]. But if you keep iterating [on the same thing] over and over again, it’s sort of like diminishing returns — it’s not really worth your time.”

Sophie: “In 2016, I had to leave during Saturday day. I (at the time) felt that I had prepared my team sufficiently to run the day without me there, and while I think there was definitely some underestimation from both my team and myself on how smoothly things would go, it wasn’t the case. It was definitely a big turning point for me — understanding the value of a plan B, and valuing a thorough plan.”

2016 UNIHACK Mini (left). 2016 UNIHACK Melbourne (right). Along with our homemade shirts/hoodies.

Is there a memorable moment — prior or during the event?

Daniel: “It was really fun giving out the cheques to the winners. *laughs* A lot of people go into the hackathon not completely believing that they have that chance to win. They know it’s possible, but they don’t always believe in themselves. So when you’re handing over that prize, you can see it the disbelief in their eyes.”

Ben: “After we finished UNIHACK Sydney, Rayen (who was our Marketing Team Lead*) sent two of us to get a bunch of cupcakes for the team, to celebrate their hard work. It was a really nice feeling. I was going with a team member that I hadn’t really spoken to before, so being able to chat on the way was really nice. I felt it was really representative of the whole UNIHACK experience, getting a lot of freedom to do something whilst having fun as well. I was also really happy that it wasn’t just pizza and soft drink.”

Sophie: “I decided to buy walkie-talkies in 2017. I think it was the greatest decision I’ve made in the past 2 years. Of course, we made the most of it, announcing, ‘Falcon Team Milk reporting back that the milk has been retrieved’ in Coles, 200m away from 271 Collins St. The shenanigans we got up to during the hackathon like singing walkie-talkie karaoke are definitely my most memorable moments.”

Any advice you’d give yourself in 2017?

Daniel: “On the tech team, I would have said to start working earlier so that we could have made something for the competitors to use.”

Ben: “Don’t be so nervous about things, just do it. Don’t hold yourself back from the fear of screwing up. There’s always a chance to screw up, but if you take all the opportunities you can do something better.”

Sophie: “Communicate. Don’t assume understanding, there will be times where people will rather be passive and hope somebody else will know what to do rather than just confirm themselves.”

Any extra comments for our readers?

Daniel: “It feels like a large family of people who both I see sometimes at university, and also meeting new people who are graduates as well. So many new friends.”

Ben: “Dive right in. It’s going to be more rewarding than you think it is.”

Sophie: “Just do it. Join a team of passionate individuals and work on something together. Even if it’s not UNIHACK. Seriously, just ask anybody else who has organised a conference, any other large event, or just any long-term project with a great team, they will tell you how rewarding it is.”

Piqued your interest yet? Tickled your fancy?
Apply to join the team today!
Otherwise, why don’t we read about what the other teams do?

Hold out your hand, and join our UNIHACK Fam ❤ (1/4)
Hold out your hand, and join our UNIHACK Fam: Sponsorship ❤ (2/4)
Hold out your hand, and join our UNIHACK Fam: Logistics ❤ (3/4)

Photos: Sophia Huynh, Harry Liu, Tom Solari

*I see you’ve been reading carefully 😉. This is not a typo. Rayen held Sponsorship Lead in 2016, Marketing Lead in 2017.
Yes, we are very supportive of your career progression.


Writings and musings about Australia's premier student hackathon.

Thanks to Terence Huynh

Sophia Huynh

Written by

Digital Strategist. Ex-Software Engineer. Global Technology Team Project Lead @ UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network — Youth.


Writings and musings about Australia's premier student hackathon.

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