A lack of diversity in the tech industry has provided an opportunity for North Shore Community College students Egbert Sayers of Lynn, pictured right, and Ludmyla Almeida, Lynnfield, to be among 37 Fellows chosen for paid summer internships with regional tech companies, thanks to Hack.Diversity.
Hack.Diversity connects Black and Latino computer science and/or IT/Networking students from traditionally overlooked sources of talent into paid internships at partnered host companies – Boston’s fastest-growing tech and healthcare companies -with the end-of-program goal to convert those internships into full-time offers. Additionally, they provide both the employer and employee with wrap-around training and support recognition that building networks and an inclusive workplace culture is integral to achieving a stronger, more diverse workforce in Boston’s innovation economy.
“Taking the initiative to apply to Hack.Diversity is possibly one of the greatest decisions I have ever made,” Sayers said. “Previously, I felt intimidated by thoughts of the high quality of my competition in the internship scene but they helped me to realize that I am that high quality.
“Thanks to this program I have made great strides in my technical abilities, networking and interviewing skills. I have Hack.Diversity to thank for nurturing me and encouraging me to nurture myself into the same top level candidate that I would have previously been intimidated by,” he added.
“I applied to Hack.Diversity already thinking that I had very little chance of getting selected among the other students from four-year universities, but my professors and advisors from NSCC motivated me to continue the application and not to give up,” recalled Almeida. “The selection was highly competitive; application components under consideration include resumes, transcripts, essays, coding challenges, interviews, and reference checks. When I learned that I got accepted to the program, I felt like that was my opportunity to grow and show my true potential”
“Through my experience in Hack.Diversity so far, I feel like I have access to the same opportunities as other students have to succeed in the STEM field,” she said. “In the program, they helped me to build a strong resume and to build my confidence. I was also invited to attend dinners and networking events to connect with entrepreneurs from the Boston tech industry. Now I feel confident that I will succeed in the industry.”
Fellow candidates had to meet certain eligibility requirements such as identifying as Black and/or Latino and studying computer science and/or IT/Networking-related fields. Candidates also had to complete an application that included their academic transcripts, references, short-answer questions and for those who made it to the second round, an interview.