Stories from the Summit: Emily Edwards, SFU Student

Welcome to Stories from the Summit, a blog series where attendees from previous #BCTECH Summits share their experiences and takeaways with us. Over the next few weeks, join us to explore learning moments and fun stories from every corner of the tech sector – and make sure to join us at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit so that you have your own stories to tell.

Guest Contributor: Emily Edwards, SFU Student

Last year, I was lucky enough to land a co-op position working on the #BCTECH Summit, Western Canada’s largest tech conference. If I’m being honest, I didn’t know much about BC’s tech industry when I applied. But, one year later, I can confidently say that working on and attending the #BCTECH Summit has given me a huge leg-up in my career.

I’m afraid that at this point, it’s too late for you to apply to work on the Summit, so I’d like to sell you on a career in BC tech instead. Before my co-op, I could have told you about some of the big tech companies here (Microsoft, SAP), and that’s about it. Helping put together the #BCTECH Summit meant that I was in contact with the thousands of other tech companies that call our province home. From startups to tech education to big business, there are boundless opportunities, no matter what your speciality is.

Now that you’re convinced there’s a place in it for you, here are a few of the ways the #BCTECH Summit can launch you into your new career in BC tech:

Exposure to New Areas

Think tech is all about iPhones and Google Glasses? Think again. The #BCTECH Summit conference program itself spans multiple industries and applications of tech. There’s a lot to learn about: smart cities, fintech, medical technology, tech for social good – the list goes on. What I loved most about the Summit is the stories that presenters tell. For example, I enjoyed hearing about the adventures of Minerva Tantoco, who was New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer.

Don’t believe me? I didn’t even know what the Internet of Things (IoT) was before the Summit, and there was a whole stream dedicated to it. I now work in communications at an IoT company, Sierra Wireless.

Get Talking, Wine Glass in Hand

Probably every student to have ever gone to post-secondary has been told about the importance of networking. The #BCTECH Summit is by far the easiest networking I’ve ever done. Soak up some knowledge during the day, and head to the evening networking receptions. Chat people up in the food line, hit the bar and get a drink, then make your way around the booths. Companies have to stay at their booths during the reception, and they’re keen to have someone to talk to – you.

Explore Careers and Find Your Future Employer

The #BCTECH Summit will once again play host to Techvibe’s TechFest, Canada’s leading tech career event. I’ve both worked on and attended this event, and it’s a ton of fun. There are plenty of people to talk to, no matter what you’re looking for, and the tech companies that attend put in a lot of effort to show you how much your interest means to them.

Not to sound cliché, but the #BCTECH Summit really did open my eyes to a new industry – really, to about ten new industries when you think of all the ways that technology has infiltrated our lives.

Take a couple of days off to find out what you could be missing. At the very least, I can guarantee that you’ll have a good time and hear from interesting people. At the very best, it could be the start of your new career.

About the #BCTECH Summit

The 3rd annual #BCTECH Summit is the largest technology conference in Western Canada, showcasing B.C.’s vibrant tech and innovation sectors. Join us May 14-16, 2018 to meet game-changers in the tech industry and learn how you can start pushing the boundaries of innovation.

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