Networking 101 with Alexandra Waite, Jennifer Tacheff, and Joel Camargo15:17 with Treehouse
Jennifer Tacheff moderates this session where Alexandra Waite and Joel Camargo discuss the significant role networking played in their tech journeys. They discuss how to step out of your comfort zone and make genuine connections so you can utilize your professional network to your advantage.
Hey everyone, next up, I'd like to welcome Jennifer Tacheff, 0:04 Alex Waite, and Joel Camargo from Onramp. 0:08 Jennifer, Alex, and Joel will discuss how to network in this brief, 0:11 how to session sponsored by Onramp. 0:15 Onramp is the technical workforce solution company offering custom built talent 0:17 pipelines for 0:22 corporate partners with candidates from non-traditional backgrounds. 0:23 Joel is an Android software engineer in the Atlanta area. 0:27 Alex is a software engineer in the Bay Area. 0:30 And Jennifer is an award winning strategist who has experiencing launching 0:33 and scaling global experiences such as Google, Nike, Capital One, 0:38 Twitter, Sony Girls Inc, Women Who Code, and more. 0:42 So excited you all are here. 0:46 >> [LAUGH] Hi, thank you. 0:47 That was quite an introduction. 0:50 >> [LAUGH] >> [INAUDIBLE] Fill out the wild bees, 0:51 right, so you know we could do a bio 101 next. 0:55 So I'm so excited to be here with Joel and Alex, 0:57 this is Networking 101. 1:02 So we are just gonna dig in right now. 1:05 Yay, team. 1:07 Can everybody hear? 1:08 We're good? 1:09 >> I can hear you guys, yep. 1:10 >> Yeah, it's great. 1:12 >> [INAUDIBLE] I got this morning, so I was pretty excited about. 1:13 All right, so I'd love to start off, again, maybe your name and your title, 1:16 and a little bit about your journey. 1:21 Alex, if you wanna start, how did you get into tech? 1:23 And how did networking play a role in that? 1:26 >> Sure. 1:28 So start off my name's Alex Waite. 1:30 I'm a software engineer at Pandora and I have been here for 1:32 a little over a year and a half now. 1:36 I was actually born in Denver, but 1:38 adopted and later moved to the East Bay Area. 1:42 So I've lived here since currently in Oakland. 1:47 So how I gone to tech, I actually studied journalism in college. 1:49 But during that time, unfortunately, both my parents passed away and 1:55 I sort of was pushed into a situation where I had to struggle 2:01 both like grieving and working full time, and going to school. 2:06 And it just felt like I needed a break. 2:11 So I ended up taking some time off and that been a few years. 2:14 And I worked various retail service, industry jobs, and 2:19 was just trying to figure out what I thought could be a fulfilling career. 2:23 So I realized I wasn't actually passionate about journalism. 2:29 And during that time, my best friends shared the possibility of getting into 2:32 web development without a college degree, which I found like super fascinating. 2:37 [LAUGH] So just started digging into online resources. 2:44 I took a few programming classes and 2:47 then made the jump to a year long coding boot camp here in Oakland. 2:50 And so after that, after six months, 2:56 I got into Pandora's first apprenticeship program. 2:59 And so, that was my entrance in but 3:04 networking definitely played a huge role in all of that. 3:07 While I was at bootcamp, I started seeking out other Native Americans 3:11 in tech who I could connect with and start to develop a network there. 3:16 I would reach out and get referrals for different jobs I applied to. 3:21 I made connections with engineers in the industry, just to reach out to and 3:28 ask for advice and also develop some mentorships there. 3:35 And coding bootcamp also was huge in that. 3:41 The staffs there helped me with resume and interview preparation. 3:43 And I really feel like without that network supporting me, 3:49 I wouldn't be where I am today. 3:53 So, yeah. 3:56 >> Thank you. 3:57 Thank you for sharing. 3:58 Joel, you wanna jump in and tell us a little bit about your journey as well? 3:59 >> Yeah, absolutely. 4:00 So I'm Joel Camargo, I'm currently an Android developer at Pandora. 4:07 I was born and raised in Jersey. 4:12 But I moved to Atlanta in 2019, 4:13 in the summer of 2019 to work for Pandora. 4:18 It was a career move. 4:23 A little scary, but I knew I needed to spread my wings and 4:25 start this software career. 4:29 I don't have a college degree and I didn't attend to bootcamp. 4:31 I've worked in a ton of fields in my adult life. 4:36 I was a waiter, bartender for a few chain restaurants. 4:40 I joined the military. 4:44 I did six years in the Army Reserves. 4:45 I was a delivery boy, I was in mortgage lending. 4:48 And then I ended up that retail also right before 4:52 also getting apprenticeship at a Pandora. 4:56 How I started into learning software, I got to the retail job. 5:01 I had turned 30 and I got into this new retail job. 5:07 And I just told myself like, 5:11 I'm just done with all these like stepping stone kind of jobs. 5:13 I gotta learn some tools. 5:17 I gotta learn something whether it's taking out loans for college or 5:19 trade school, I got to do something. 5:23 And that led me on this path of like Googling vaguely just jobs in tech. 5:25 And I searched all kinds of different things. 5:34 And I gravitated toward Android and just started 5:36 YouTubing how to videos, Android how to stuff. 5:41 And then started just learning on my own for like a year, and eventually I got 5:46 a grow with Google scholarship that was partnered with Udacity at the time. 5:52 And I did their online program, online course for the Android Nano degree. 5:58 And after that, after I completing the program, 6:03 I just like hit the floor running and just dove right into networking. 6:07 I started attending as many meetup groups as I could find in my local area and 6:11 even within anything within like an hour driving distance. 6:16 I was just like, I gotta go, I gotta go. 6:19 Like it's my time, like I got to make connections, got to talk to people. 6:21 Got to get out of my comfort zone. 6:25 I just dove right in. 6:27 And that definitely helped me, like I said, 6:29 expand my comfort zone, get used to sharpening my social skills. 6:33 That was definitely important and definitely helps me on the job now. 6:38 When I was growing up actually, 6:42 I was never one of those people that kinda knew what I wanted to do. 6:44 My immigrant parents never really pushed me, pushed college on me. 6:49 I felt like they were more concerned with if I was gonna help pay 6:54 the bills after high school or not, which I don't think is uncommon for 6:58 immigrant parents depending on the financial situation. 7:01 I never thought I could work in tech also, 7:05 I always thought it was out of reach that it was just meant for 7:07 like geniuses that were coding since they were like five or math whizzes. 7:11 And I just wanna be clear that I'm in no way shape or form a genius and 7:17 anybody could do this, and as long as you like have the dedication and 7:21 passion for it, you could definitely do it. 7:25 >> I love that. 7:28 And I love actually how all three of us have non-traditional backgrounds. 7:30 I also didn't start in tech, right? 7:35 I was in nonprofit and there was a lot of like, fake it till you make it, right, and 7:36 climbing right in. 7:40 [LAUGH] And Alex, you mentioned something around strategically reaching out, right? 7:41 What advice would you give to someone in terms, and 7:49 Joel to this is kind of along the lines of stepping outside of your 7:53 comfort zone, but how do you reach out to someone? 7:58 Would you encourage people to reach out blindly if they don't know, 8:02 like what does that look like? 8:05 I'd love to hear a little bit more about that, 8:07 cuz I think you mentioned you had reached out to mentors and you had reached 8:09 out to folks to hear more about their experience and I'd love to hear. 8:13 >> Yeah, totally. 8:16 So for me, like I said for my initial reach outs, 8:17 it was definitely more in the affinity group area. 8:21 [LAUGH] So finding people who I felt like had a shared identity and 8:26 where I could sort of align- >> Yeah. 8:30 >> Yeah with like their backgrounds. 8:32 But even so, it was still like a cold blind to reach out. 8:35 And I guess my advice would be just not being afraid to really share your stories, 8:40 struggles and all, like everything that got you where you are today. 8:47 Because I definitely received a lot of positive feedback from that and 8:53 like quick replies just because like, I feel like people felt like they could 8:57 instantly know like, I know who's reaching out to me, like, 9:02 I get an idea of who she is and like wants to help. 9:06 I think that helps a lot just sort of, just sharing everything, 9:09 [LAUGH] at the beginning from the get go. 9:14 But also doing research into where they're at and playing, no, I was 9:16 interested in hearing more about their story as well and what they currently do. 9:21 >> Nice, Joel do you have anything to add to that? 9:27 >> Yeah, Alexander that was a great tip. 9:31 Just to build off what Alexander said. 9:34 Definitely being genuine, and when you reach out with the intent 9:36 of just learning about somebody else >> Not going into it for 9:41 a referral specifically, because people will feel that out. 9:45 People have this knack of just kind of like getting this feel if 9:50 you're genuine or not. 9:53 So go into every interaction with somebody genuine, curious, 9:54 learn about that person and you'll make a lasting impression and 9:59 you'll make a lasting connection, and it will end up being worth it 100%. 10:04 Go ahead. 10:10 >> Yeah, good. 10:10 [LAUGH] I just wanted to say that, well, number one, I love that and 10:11 I think that's even more true and kind of post COVID world, right? 10:16 I mean, it's just to show up authentically, Gonna respond, right? 10:21 But making sure that it's not transactional, and 10:28 also people love to talk about themselves, right? 10:32 So finding out more information about them and hearing about their story, 10:35 and then there's a bit of enlistment, right? 10:41 Like all of a sudden, they're enlisted in your journey with you. 10:44 So yeah, I think that's great. 10:47 Did you wanna add something else? 10:49 >> Yeah, you mentioned about this COVID era, and can we just, 10:52 I don't wanna, you can't deny that it's changed things a bunch, right? 10:56 So I wanna say that, like networking is awkward, 11:00 difficult, it induces anxiety, 11:04 even without a pandemic for everybody without a pandemic. 11:07 And it's still always stinks even now. 11:13 >> Yeah. 11:15 >> So even if you're gonna do it remotely, all those feelings are still there. 11:16 They're not going to go away. 11:20 If you only wait that they go away is with practice and repetition, 11:22 just to dive in and just do it. 11:26 It's like, exactly. 11:27 >> So it's like a muscle, right? 11:35 You just have to keep trying. 11:37 And to your point, you said it in the beginning when it's gonna help you 11:38 like throughout your career. 11:42 I mean, we're always right, like wherever you are in your career constantly 11:43 connecting with folks, constantly finding the sparks and arcane. 11:47 So it's great. 11:50 >> [LAUGH] >> What would you say your 11:53 top, [INAUDIBLE]? 11:56 >> I think we touched on some already, cuz for 11:57 me I feel like the most important was just being authentic. 11:59 And yeah, exactly. 12:01 [LAUGH] And as Joel said, also- >> [INAUDIBLE] 12:05 >> Just really focusing on getting to know 12:10 the person and forging that long term bond versus like a short term, 12:14 like just asking about a job or a company. 12:20 But I feel like what was most important for 12:24 me in terms of like building this network was finding affinity groups. 12:27 So any group around a shared identity or interest, so like for 12:32 me that was like Native American and tech groups, 12:37 Latin x and tech groups, women in tech groups. 12:41 But even like for independent learning or bootcamp, grads, there's code buddies or 12:45 bootcamps. 12:50 And these are all like online slack communities where you can join and 12:51 meet up with people virtually one on one, or 12:57 be able to find job postings or even apprenticeship postings. 13:00 And I found those like super valuable, highly recommend. 13:05 [LAUGH] Yeah. 13:10 >> Yeah, so what helped me networking was kind of gamifying. 13:15 >> Go ahead Joe. 13:18 >> Like the scenario like so to get over some mental obstacles and the awkwardness, 13:21 sometimes I tell myself reach out to x amount of people this week, 13:27 start x amount of conversations. 13:31 And then you're just kind of just tracking through, like getting to your goal. 13:33 So when you set yourself some goals and you write them down, 13:38 visualize it, and then it helps you with getting through, 13:43 getting over those mental hurdles with networking and getting out there. 13:47 [LAUGH] >> All right, be brave, 14:04 develop the muscle, right operationalize it. 14:06 And you could even like, right, to reach out to folks. 14:09 I mean, there's a lot you can do even to automate as much as you can. 14:12 But authentically, so authentic engagement and 14:15 then also affinity groups, right, like Onramp and Treehouse. 14:18 And really digging into those community groups in terms of how you're 14:23 able to break into certain industries and roles, and communities. 14:28 Okay, so now everyone, thank you, all of us. 14:34 >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 14:37 >> You're amazing. 14:38 I say all of u, because this is a trifecta of goodness. 14:39 >> [LAUGH] Although everyone in this festival now has 14:41 the opportunity to network. 14:45 So you are going to actually click on the networking tab to the left here, 14:48 the icon, and you're gonna have three minutes. 14:54 So we encourage you to actualize all these amazing tips from both Alex and Joel. 14:58 And yeah, just show up as your best self, try it out, and 15:03 we can't wait to see you in our community. 15:07 >> Thank you. 15:09 Take care. 15:10 >> Yeah, thank you so much. 15:10 >> Bye. 15:12
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