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Don’t host Delaware tech events without college students in the room

So says a member of UD's Class of 2015. Technology and entrepreneurship circles in Delaware need to bring more college students into the fold. The state's innovation economy depends on it.

Federal officials meeting with University of Delaware students in November 2013. (Photo by Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture, used under a Creative Commons license)
This is a guest post by Nadia Kiamilev, a member of the University of Delaware Class of 2015 and the president of the UD chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Technology and entrepreneurship aren’t disciplines but approaches that excite people interested in fixing problems. They’re also ways to connect University of Delaware and other college students with a broader statewide conversation on doing great work here together.

To better engage students who might find success in Delaware, we need to address marketing, planning and collaboration between the university and the growing, if still small, local tech community. Marketing is our outlet to raise student awareness. That can happen with each of us bridging between campuses and community.

We have to make students on campus aware of what’s going on in the local tech scene.

The UD Horn Program for Entrepreneurship has done a great job establishing a place for entrepreneurship on our campus with outreach cutting across majors and programs. The same thing needs to happen among the technical students on campus. We at the UD chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery have started that with DelHack, our largest student-led hacakathon yet (find the winners here), but that’s just the beginning.
By targeting all students interested in tech, regardless of major, we can establish a community on par and in conjunction with the Horn Program. Today there is enough crossover between the best with technical and entrepreneurial interests, that they must both happen, here at UD and across Delaware campuses.
The problem with planning, at the moment, is that talk supersedes action. Let’s start with in-person events, never missing the chance to have student and professional leaders in the same rooms. By actively choosing which events to hold, we can bring those ideas to life. In doing so, we can achieve our overall goal — to expose industry-relevant knowledge to students and to connect them to the local tech community. Lastly, through collaboration between the student population and local tech leaders, we solidify the bridge between the two communities.
The keys are visibility and accessibility.
We have to make students on campus aware of what’s going on in the local tech scene. Likewise, the Delaware tech community should be involved in supporting events happening at UD and other colleges. To make it more accessible, we should coordinate to bring more events to campus. By enhancing these three key points, we can better integrate the students into the Delaware tech community — look at NET/WORK, the tech career fair that is hosting March 12 at Horn’s Venture Development Center on the UD campus in Newark.
It’s time to show them there’s a lot to offer.

Companies: University of Delaware

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