Attendees often come to a hiring event with a common purpose of seeking out a new opportunity. Yet at Technical.ly’s annual NET/WORK job fair on Thursday night, it was evident that they’re not all starting at the same place.
University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center was filled with about 150 people as attendees bounced between startups such as Terbium Labs and Avhana Health and more established orgs such as Under Armour and BCIT. They sought to take a look at the tech jobs available in the city, and insights on what they were looking for. In between, they grabbed swag like SmartLogic’s moon pies, baseballs from GeBBS Consulting and phone accessories from Contrast Security. There were resume reviews, mock interviews and headshots available.
We had a great time celebrating #PiDay and meeting members of the tech community at #NETWORKBMR19 last night! Thank you @TechnicallyBMR for having us. If you didn't get to stop by, check out https://t.co/3SWf0yLL2c to view our open positions. pic.twitter.com/Ydlft4M3ST
— SmartLogic (@smartlogic) March 15, 2019
In the run-up to the event during February’s How to Get Hired Month, we talked to startup founders about what they wanted to see from candidates. In talking to participants at NET/WORK, we decided to flip the script, and ask about what they wanted from the companies doing the hiring. After all, both sides of the exchange are looking for a good fit.
The event provided a connecting point to the startup community. Companies such as Facet Wealth, Pinkaloo and BurnAlong were among the tech product startups that made our recent realLIST.
Among a group of students from UMBC looking to explore Baltimore opportunities was Sushrut Kerullkar. Interested in working with data, he decided to come out to connect specifically with startups.
“I would like to work on something really innovative,” he said. “I prefer to work at a small company where I can get some really good experience.”
For Jenny Lindvall, who has a biotech background, the event presented a chance to meet new companies. Recently returned from Sweden, she’s looking to build on international sales experience working on the business side of a company’s operations. She’s looking to work in an environment where people are “outgoing, engaging and passionate,” and was looking for potential employers to show that in the folks she spoke with at the event.
“If there’s a two-way street,” she said. “I know that both parties are interested, it’s flowing naturally, and I think that’s a really good sign of the company in general.”
At a company, she’s seeking a feeling of community and belonging – a sense that people are helping each other and can be comfortable around one another. “I want to make sure I have a manger and a team that makes me better, not just in a career but also life,” she said.
Along with jobs, the attendees were also interested in the skills that can help to advance technology.
Alicia Lee is seeing a growing tech community in Baltimore. Now she’s looking to level up technology skills in areas like IT and cybersecurity. Specifically, she is looking to gain skills using Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.
“Technology is starting to be more inclusive,” she said. “It’s a growing field and there’s so many aspects to it. It’s always been an interest of mine. If I can help resolve a current problem, that’s something I can be involved with.”
She also wants to help others learn and get access to technology that can provide access to new kinds of tools and resources.
Jacob-El Smith is a recent graduate of the IT program at YearUp, which provides professional training and experience to youth in cities. He got experience working inside Exelon through the program, and had heard of some of the companies in attendance.
He’s interested in working at “a place where I can be exposed to new things in the field,” as well as work with teams across departments.
“A place where I can build upon those skills and learn more,” he said. “That’s what I’m looking for.”
The chance to plug into Baltimore’s tech community also brought out Billy Schmidt to the event.
We met Schmidt during the happy hour immediately following the event. An entrepreneur who works in software, design, laser cutter fabrication and creating in creating museum exhibits, he moved last year to a building in Mount Vernon from Southern California. Schmidt was looking to meet talent and find out about the resources available in Baltimore. He’s originally from St. Louis and saw the innovation economy take shape there, and is looking to connect with what’s available in the city to help build businesses.
The Maryland Technology Internship Program, run by UMBC, was one such program that intrigued him on the night.
“We’ve been coming to Baltimore for years,” he said. “The opportunity and the time seems right.”
A special thanks to the sponsors going the extra mile to make NET/WORK extra special: SmartLogic, GeBBS Consulting, BCIT and the University of Baltimore.