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Career Panel Networking Event for First Year Programmers & Computer Science Students

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Last Thursday night, thirty computer science and programming students joined four industry experts and Algonquin staff at The Code Factory.  In addition to the thirty students in the room, an additional 15 joined us online using the Big Blue Button and many more downloaded the hour long video to view at their convenience which was shot using a Flip Video camera.

For these first year students, we pushed them out of their comfort zone.  First year, first month and we’re asking them to leave campus to meet a bunch of ‘strangers’.  I was incredibly pleased with the event.  Two weeks prior to the event I thought Ian Graham, my colleague and the owner of The Code Factory, and I were being a little over ambitious but our students rose to the challenge and surprised us.

The thirty students that arrived were eager, attentive and many were slightly uncomfortable which was to be expected. Our guests for the evening were;

David MegginsonIndependent Consultant – Megginson Technologies

Sylvain St-Germain – Director of Process Improvement and IT  - Macadamian

Jon Alperin – Director, Developer Relations, Avaya, Inc.

Mark – Federal Government

All the speakers were exuberant, forthright, and insightful.  They shared many common themes although they came from very different backgrounds.  All of them touted the merits and importance of finding your passion in life and wrapping your work around your passion.  They also expressed that although technology was a key part of their working lives that the need to have strong written and verbal communication skills has been key to their success.  The other resounding theme was the need to get involved in the outside world in events such as the Career Panel but also contributing to the open source world.

As I wade through their blog posts about the event in WhyHire.me, I can see with few exceptions, that this is an assignment that should be repeated and expanded upon.

A special thanks to our speakers David, Sylvain, Jon and Mark who asked many questions and looked like rock stars at the end of the event.  Ian Graham pulled this event off seamlessly using Eventbrite for registration, his contacts for the speakers (including a call out on Twitter that pulled Jon Alperin in from New Jersey), and offered up a great facility that the students were very intrigued by.  Linda Crane and Patricia Murphy, Coordinators of the programs showed up to connect with students, thank the speakers and share some gifts and prizes.  Thanks to all!!  Especially the students who were so ‘PROACTIVE’.  Stephen Covey would be proud.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Career Panel Networking Event for First Year Programmers & Computer Science Students, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

4 Comments

  1. Ian Graham
    Ian Graham10-07-2010

    Hi Patti,

    Appreciate the mention. Great to see so many engaged and enthusiastic students. The networking afterwards had a wonderful vibe with the students and speakers connecting.

    Thank you to yourself, Linda and Patricia for attending.

  2. Moez
    Moez10-18-2010

    A big thank you to Prof Patti for organizing this event. It was a great oppurtunity to meet successful people from the field of computer sciences and to have some first-hand advice and guidance. Also, it will always be a lasting source of inspiration to keep moving towards our goals!

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