Hi yall, Denise here! As I sit on the plane headed back to Austin and reflect back at the past 4 days spent in Atlanta with our Intel team of recruiters, sponsors, panel members and technical contributors, not to mention more than 2100 technical women from around the country, I’m finding it difficult to organize my thoughts enough to summarize the event adequately. In all honesty, the conference was overwhelming, but in a good way…did I mention more than 2100 technical women were there? Being a marketing professional, the mere whisper of the word TECHNICAL is enough to send me running in the opposite direction. As intimidating as it might be to speak with engineering students half my age who are pursuing PhDs in fields I can’t begin to comprehend, it is also incredibly rewarding to be able to tell them how great it is to work at Intel. With that preamble, anyone looking for an in-depth technical review of the conference should probably check out the Grace Hopper website. This piece is a light-hearted look from my narrow marketing perspective…enjoy! :-)
Geeky Gadgets Galore
The conference kicked off with a job fair that attracted a non-stop stream of traffic to our recruiting booth…which recently underwent a face-lift – see photos below. Always on the lookout for how to improve our marketing collateral, I wandered around the career fair and pretended to be interested in opportunities at other companies. Really, I just wanted to pilfer their brochures and free trinkets. Boy, did I make out in the latter…robotic pens, tee shirts, puzzles, tool kits, USBs, manicure kits, stress balls…the list goes on and on. I’m sure a 3 dollar trinket isn’t going to convince an engineer to choose one company over the other, but I know my daughter will appreciate all the swag I’m bringing home. Oh, and after careful scrutiny of all the other collateral, I firmly believe that our college recruiting brochure beats the competition hands down.
This just in…relationship building requires personal interaction…really!
As a strong advocate for social media usage the past few years, this might fly in the face of convention for social networking. In all sincerity though, a true relationship is established based on mutual trust, respect and camaraderie which is fostered through face to face meetings. That’s not just my opinion but that of Dr. Duy-Loan T. Le, 1st Female Sr. Fellow at Texas instrument who has a LONG list of credentials and was the incredibly dynamic keynote speaker day two of the conference. Dr. Le spoke at length about collaborating across boundaries, and the key take away for me was that, we can leverage technology to maintain relationships via Facebook , Twitter and YouTube *, but creating those relationships to start requires personal investment. There were so many impressive people at this conference, but Dr. Le really won me over with her story of perseverance and triumph. To learn more about this incredible woman, check out this short video.
Intel rock stars share the spotlight
There were at least 25 Intel employees in attendance at the conference, and I apologize to all those who I don’t mention below, but it was impossible to keep up with everyone’s agenda. As the executive sponsor, Justin Rattner, CTO, served as a panelist in the executive leadership forum. This session was by invitation only and my marketing status did not give me an all access pass, so I have no idea what was discussed, but I do know that Justin has long been a passionate voice for the advancement of women in technology. Another strong supporter of women in technology is Bruce Bigler, Design Automation Manager in IAG, who performed a few skits to reinforce the message of the need to enlist male advocates in the workplace. One of the more interesting sessions that I attended was the Multicultural Awareness Training: Collaborating across Higher Education, presented by Dr. Patty Lopez, Component Design Engineer. Much like the keynote by Dr. Le, the message here was clear: we must respect and value each other’s differences in order to collaborate effectively, both in the workforce and in the classroom. For those RCGs in attendance, Divya Kolar’s career development session on interviewing provided great tips for preparing a resume, impressing recruiters and negotiating salaries. Last, but certainly not least, Dani Napier, College Recruiting (and former Jobs@Intel Blogger!) and Margie Fair, Global Diversity Event Manager were on hand from the start to ensure the career fair ran smoothly and that all Intel attendees were well cared for.
Final parting thought
Networking, mentoring, career development, industry awareness – whatever your interest or objectives might be in attending, this conference offered it all! There were keynote speeches by leading experts, technical talks, stimulating panel discussions, academic competitions and the support of almost every major technology company in the U.S. If you have the opportunity to attend next year in Portland, I strongly urge you to go! Until then, follow us on twitter, @Intel_Diversity, to see where our Intel team heads next.