This Saturday, I had the privilege of attending Austin Teshuba’s Think Tank on “UI/UX Design, Software Development and Product Management” as a part of the Associate National Lead program. As part of this program, aside from getting to build and host my own conference, I get to build connections with industry professionals and leaders.
Tech Industry - more than code:
Often when one pictures the Tech Industry, they instantaneously think of the software aspects of it - computers, coding, etc. However, through Austin, I was able to learn that the Tech Industry is more versatile than just that. It comprises many different sectors that work together as gears in a system to deliver a desired product as requested by a client. These sectors include:
Software Development: which focuses on the coding aspects of the product. It is the sector that produces the tangible product that is visually seen at the end
Product Management: asks important questions on how to make the product most effective and customer-oriented to outcompete competition. They also prioritize the order of tasks which need to be accomplished as well as coordinate all stakeholders.
UI/UX Design (Used Interface/ User Experience): focuses on the aesthetics and usability of the product. They ask questions like: Is it visually appealing? Is it customer-friendly?
Other (Legal, HR): they ask questions like: Is it legal and ethical?
Furthermore, one of the most important things I learnt in this Think Tank was that business is applicable to almost any industry as it entails key skills that can be transferred and tied with other expertise. This is because business focuses on asking important questions that challenge the viability of a product or service while also honing communicational and interpersonal skills.
Three Pillars of Self-Discovery:
Conversely, as experienced and knowledgeable as he is, Austin was able to share essential aspects of self-discovery regarding the kind of career one wants to pursue. As a highschool this was beyond valuable as I am in the midst of navigating future aspects, myself. In turn, he shared the following 3 pillars of self-discovery:
Identify Possible Careers: do research. Identify what problem the career solves and how it does so.
Use your Interests for Inspiration: hobbies can become your career
Translates Careers into Skills: What skills are required for the career? Look at job postings for clues.
Subsequently, Austin also shared how it is important to craft your experience. It is important to build skills, challenge yourself and expand your network that is catered towards your future career. From this Think Tank, I realized that it is essential to take advantage of my opportunities to make an impact and build skills for both personal and professional growth.
Securing an Interview:
With almost any career path, fine tuning your interview skills is not only essential but necessary for success. Here, Austin was able to give excellent advice in simple terms for us to gain a better understanding of how to do well in an interview. To secure an interview, I learnt that your resumes needs to be at a high level, by having the following qualities:
Skimmable in < 10 seconds
Tells your story meaningfully, consistently and uniquely for each job family
Choose carefully what stories to tell. Include important sections catered towards the job
Formatted correctly and oriented towards the company's preferences
Simple resume are better, but creativity can’t hurt
It depends on the kind of job you’re applying for. Do they prioritize creativity or could they not care any less?
Overall, I learnt the aspects of creating a high quality resume and its influence on securing an interview.
Talk, Talk, Talk
One of the key takeaways from this Think Tank was the importance of communicating, networking and building relationships. By sharing his story of landing internships in Deloitte and Google through referrals built from relationships, Austin highlighted how it is not just about having the tangible qualities required for a job but it is also about your network and who you know. Anyone can file a generic referral, but it is through meeting people and building relationships that you can secure a personalized referral. However, at the same time, I learnt that it is important to avoid transactional meetings as they won’t create meaningful relationships.
When we picture a computer, we often think of our laptops, monitors and phones. However, did you know that cars, toasters and clocks are also computers? Aside from gaining insights to software development and project management, Austin also introduced us to Arduino. It was tremendously interesting to get exposed to a new concept and learn about what arduino is as well as its uses. I learnt that arduino is used for handling hardware and that an event triggers some code. Some input values are passed and an output is triggered. Austin demonstrated an example of coding a flickering light with Arduino in Tinkercad.
A Buttload of Information
Overall, I learnt a buttload of information from Austin’s Think Tank. I’m extremely grateful to have had such a wonderful opportunity. I am looking forward to learning more about the “The World of NFTS and Scholarships” in next week’s Think Tank.