Thanks to HBCU@SXSW, SGCI Intern Ke'Darius Whitley was one of 250 students from historically black colleges and universities selected to attend SXSW. Whitley reports on this exciting experience below. He let us know that he'll decide on one of the two job offers he received after he graduates in May 2019.
You can read Whitley's 2018 Summer Internship Report here. Check here to learn more about our opportunities for students, including summer internships. Applications for summer 2019 programs are due April 29.
On March 7th, 2019, I had the opportunity to fly to Austin, Texas to attend the HBCU@SXSW Conference hosted by Opportunity Hub (OHUB). OHUB was formed by Mr. Rodney Sampson and his wife Shanterria after they attended SXSW and noticed the lack of black people in attendance. They created HBCU@SXSW in 2016 and sponsored 50 college students. In 2017, they sponsored 100 students, in 2018, they sponsored 150 and, in 2019, they reached 250 students. It was an exciting experience, especially since companies had put aside a certain number of positions and were offering students paid internships or even full-time positions.
At HBCU@SXSW I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great inspirational people, young and old. I met a lot of students that had formed their own startup business and were flourishing with their business while making a difference in their community as well. Just being around so much inspiration and young entrepreneurs inspired me to continue to work towards my goals, and not to be afraid to take the risk to form my own start-up business. While at HBCU@SXSW we had a set schedule of different sessions we had to attend. We met with different companies in these sessions such as Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, Google, Facebook, MailChimp, Lyft, and LinkedIn. These sessions were very informative but also gave students the opportunity to be in a space where we could ask these companies questions that would help us in the future. Also, when the session was over with each company, students had the opportunity to speak with the different representatives of the companies for additional questions or to seek future employment.
While at HBCU@SXSW I had the opportunity to interview with two companies and I received job offers from both companies. My first interview was with the Comcast Corporation. Comcast Corporation is an American telecommunications conglomerate headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Comcast attended SXSW with fifteen job opportunities and out of that fifteen they offered eleven to students including myself. My second interview was with Accenture Federal. Accenture Federal Services provides solutions to the US government to manage change, modernize information systems, optimize key headquarters governance and processes, and create improvement strategies for enterprise performance.
Overall my experience at HBCU@SXSW was an amazing and life-changing experience. The opportunity opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of life, and I am grateful to have had the chance to experience it. Currently, I am in the process of trying to become a campus representative at my institution, Winston-Salem State University. I would like to be able to allow my peers at my institution to be able to experience an opportunity that can change their life.