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Last Saturday, WIT Campus hosted their closing event at the AT&T building in downtown Atlanta. Aside from the difficulties of finding the exact location, the event turned out to be quite a success with women representing various college campuses across the city of Atlanta. Even, the University of Georgia was in attendance.  A room filled with estrogen did not stop two men from attending the event.


Unlike the 2020Shift Black Business Expo HBCU Tour, the information provided from the breakout sessions were quite valuable to those who are interested in pursuing a career in technology. The only disappointment was choosing between the three breakout sessions they offered: Social Hacking: Building Your Personal Brand, Hashtag Startup life (#startuplife), and Emerge: Tech Trends. Of the three, social hacking and tech trends seemed the most informative and appealing.


Social Hacking: Building Your Brand

A marketing consultant and a business and branding coach with a specialization in social media, Sheffie Robinson led the breakout session focused primarily on the LinkedIn platform. Having a professional platform is imperative for working professionals. Increasing your LinkedIn profile visibility will place you in a position to obtain and seek jobs, build your network, and find potential clients as well.


Robinson wanted the women, and man, in her breakout session to know LinkedIn is your online resume. Your LinkedIn profile is the first impression you make to other working professionals, why not boost the professionalism of your profile as much as possible. Focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) and industry standards, Robinson informed the women on a few inside hacks to make LinkedIn work for their brand or business.


SEO is governed by algorithms to make your profile, or website, more visible and user-friendly. When thinking of SEO, you are caught up with only thinking of keywords to help increase your visibility; however, long tail keywords are useful. Long tail keywords are phrases that make sense in the search engine. By utilizing these phrases, your profile visibility will increase when people are searching for you specifically or others in that industry. SEO is a free promotion that does not sleep, why not utilize it for your profile.   


To give your profile more weight, look to obtain endorsements and recommendations from other working professionals in your network. Have a professor, your internship or other established professionals endorse your skills or write recommendations to boost your profile. Future employers will see what other professionals have to say about you and your work ethics.    


Including experience on your LinkedIn profile is highly recommended and should be included second on your profile under your job title. Having experience let other working professionals know you are an expert on the subject matter. As stated before, LinkedIn is your online resume. You can use your experiences such as blogging, school organization or activities, and old jobs to help build your resume. You have to prove yourself to future employers. Publishing your post is an excellent way to show your expertise on a subject matter.  Published content should frequently be updated.


Showcase pages, usually built for business, is a way for you to be as broad as you like without overbearing others. LinkedIn Showcase pages highlight the different events you attend and your organizations. Utilizing them for your brand can increase your network traffic without being too spammy. Only people in your network will be able to see your posts.


If you completely zoned out and missed the majority of the information, Robinson wanted to leave you with this core message. Everything is not public knowledge. Knowing when and what to post is important. It may be okay to post meals and outings on your Snapchat, but please remember your LinkedIn profile is your professional account. Understanding the uniqueness of social media and their various platforms can better assist you when building your brand.


Emerge: Tech Trends of 2017

Razorfish employees Cat, Senior Art Director, and Kate Farina, Experience Designer (UX), led tech trends breakout session. The ladies work in smaller groups within the large ad agency. The technology industry is a conglomerate, so two or three of the major ad companies usually runs a lot of the smaller companies. Recently, Cat had the opportunity to go to Thailand with her team to work on a holograph for a customer.


Though both ladies work for the same ad agencies, their roles within these companies vary. Whereas Cat is a graphic designer with the focus on digital user experience, Farina creates responsive environment putting an interactive installation in a particular space to map out what the experience will be like for the users.


Before diving into tech trends, the ladies explained the difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). AR is adding things to your world. A successful utilization of this reality would be Pokemon Go or Snapchat filters. VR, on the other hand, is taking you to another reality. Computer or video games would be the perfect example of virtual reality. Both agreed this is an expanding field in high demand.


The first tech trends presented were IOT and Smart home tech. Devices such as Alexa, Siri, and Echo was weirdly integrated into our lives. You have people who are more comfortable talking to Alexa than actual people. Even kids get enjoyment out of interacting and engaging with the device, thinking they are actual people. These devices are quickly becoming the norm in our lives. The best part is you can tailor these products for yourself without needing an engineering degree to do so.


Another trend to emerge is automated cars. Although we are still in the conflicted period where some will have access to these cars and some not, the New Mercedes recently came out with their automated car. The car had a lovely design and equipped with human detection and accident avoidance. For some, it may be weird to give up complete control to an object; however, this will be the norm in the future. Because it is not something you use at home but rather in public, concerns and issues have arisen on how successful implementing these cars will be during the weird stage.


Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence providing computers with the ability to learn without being programmed. A booming industry, machine learning focuses on the development of software when exposed to new data. Machine learning is not here to replace human but assist them in beneficial ways they are unable to do themselves. For consumers, they are great in the aspect of personalization and general decision-making.


Probably one of Cat’s most favorite trend is everything on demand. To be considered on demand, the service must provide a timely fashion. UberEats is her favorite demand app she used when in search for food. Run off user demands, everything on demand is great for things such as booking hotels, finding rides or even line sitting, which would probably be a company brought out by Google.


The conversational interface is another emerging tech trend, kind of similar to everything on demand as far as eliminating the human interaction element. Chat boxes, which have been around since the beginning of computers, allow users to have a virtual conversation with another computer. Discussions can take place in the same app. Users can place orders or ask questions about the product as they walked through the sale process. An example of this is using a theme park app to find the closest bathroom. Rather than pulling up the theme park map, the user can receive this information within the app


The invention of Apple has changed the technology industry overnight. Jobs that exist today did not exist before Steve Jobs. It goes to show you do not know what you are going to be working on in the next five to ten years. Cat and Karina both recommend allowing your curiosity and passion for tech drive you to innovation. Who knows, you may acquire a job ten years from now that was not even thought considered today.