Post by Rashik Hyder ’17
Attending Hacktech 2016 was my first time in California and it would not have been possible with out the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund. After I switched my academic focus from finance to product design at the end of my sophomore year, I needed to really find a way to gain experience, and meet people in the tech / design field. I realized the best way to do this was to start participating in hackathons.
Coming from a business school, I didn’t really know what a hackathon was until I attended my first one at Hack@Brown. Basically, a hackathon is a place where engineers, designers (not exclusive to them though) come together to spend a whole weekend creating a solution to about any problem they choose to tackle. The idea of people from all over the world coming together, and committing an entire weekend to creating and sharing ideas (with a hint of competition 😉 ) is really inspiring.
The other important side to hackathons is the amount of people you connect with. I probably met some of the smartest students that weekend (over a third of them work for NASA), and you also meet the amazing sponsors that help make these events happen. Sponsors like Facebook, Microsoft, Postmates, Google, Wolfram, and a ton others were all there wanting to meet us hackers. Most of the time, they are also interested in hiring interns and full-time employees! That networking opportunity was priceless, and everyone from the students to sponsors really care about your work and development. That environment is invaluable in my opinion.