Tech pros from Microsoft, Amazon and more share career journeys with students

Tech pros from Microsoft, Amazon and more share career journeys with students

people sitting on chairs in a large auditorium

More than 150 University of Hawaii At Mānoa, students from various disciplines took advantage of a rare opportunity to meet one-on-one with tech industry professionals from organizations such as Microsoft, Amazon, LinkedIn and Activision Blizzard, to learn about the career opportunities in technology.

The October 11 event at Kuykendall Hall began with a presentation from more than 20 professionals, including software engineers, company founders, business leaders and cybersecurity experts, followed by a mix of an hour where the students were able to discuss face-to-face with the speakers.

people standing talking in a room

The event was organized by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (RHYTHM) in uh Shidler College of Business at Mānoa, Association for Computing Machinery at uh Mānoa, ThriveHI and manufacturers resume.

Amanda Nitta is a uh Mānoa senior specializing in computer science and data science, and vice president and chief operating officer of the Association for Computing Machinery at uh Manoa. Nitta was one of the student organizers of the event and gained knowledge on how to apply data science and data management in a future career.

“It’s a great opportunity for these students because it gives exposure to what they’re capable of, and being able to apply what they’ve learned and see that they’re not limited to one thing. like software engineering,” Nitta said. “They have so many other abilities within them to do cross-disciplinary work and have different mindsets for entering the job market.”

Reduce the pay gap

Kanai Gooding is a computer science student and president of the Association for Computing Machinery at uh Manoa. Gooding said many of the tech professionals featured at the event are remote workers for companies based in the continental United States. He said there is a disparity between the salaries offered by these companies and the salaries offered by companies based in Hawaii. Gooding’s objective for the event was to initiate a dialogue in order to move forward in order to HawaiiUS-based companies can match the salaries of their continental US-based counterparts.

“That’s just one of many aspects we’re trying to solve the problem with,” Gooding said. “One of our big requests for professionals here was, ‘Hey, we’re going to have the students ask you for your salary. Please agree with us to ask and you answer. Hopefully this spreads loudly in the community.

Create a path to technology

people standing outside talking
Kevin Shin (far left) shares career advice with uh students.

Kevin Shinsenior software engineer at LinkedIn, shared his manaʻo (reflections and perspectives) with uh Current Mānoa students. Shin graduated from uh Mānoa 2014 with a degree in mechanical engineering, before pursuing graduate studies at Stanford University.

His goal for the event was “to let students know that there is a path to technology and the people of Hawaii can do it. There’s a bunch of them here that do.

“Students at the University of Hawaii are just as capable of undertaking technology careers, including tech-enabled entrepreneurship, as their counterparts on the continent. Due to Hawaiibeing away from major tech hubs, however, local students can find out about these careers on the internet or other second-hand sources,” RHYTHM Executive Director Sandra Fujiyama said. “RHYTHMwith ThriveHI, ACM@Manoa and builders resumerecognized the need to bridge this gap and connect students directly with people who know what it’s like to work in technology today. »

-By Marc Arakaki

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