Breaking into "Big Tech" as a Black woman
In 2013, "Big Tech" entered public consciousness. Breaking into Tech has been a topic of conversation since then, especially as a Black woman. I joined the tech industry in 2016 and am excited to share my journey with you below. Enjoy :)
Additionally, If you are looking for tech career consultation, resume reviews , etc message me on Linkedin and I will share more about my services.
My Pathway into Google
So, for starters I’m originally from the Bay Area; Hayward, CA to be exact and decided to head to Virginia for College in 2011 after graduating from Bishop O’Dowd High school in Oakland, CA. I received my bachelors degree in Criminology at Lynchburg College, a liberal arts school in Virginia in 2015. After studying Comparative Justice abroad in England, Scotland, Vietnam and Cambodia; exploring Law school, FBI, CIA, and Cybersecurity work, I decided that I wanted to tackle a more innovative and evolving industry.
Naturally, I moved back to the Bay area from Virginia to explore the Tech industry. As you could imagine, it was a challenge to land a job with little to no experience in tech. My first job out of college was actually at PF Changs as a hostess and server while I applied and interviewed daily for roles in tech.
It was not until I attended a Linkedin networking event and connected with a recruiter at Linkedin that my dreams to work in tech came true. I knew with no experience in tech that I had to start in a role that I had transferable skills for which was a Recruiting Coordinator role. Very administrative! It was tough working in a role that did not necessarily allow me to have the creative autonomy and impact I wanted but I knew that it was only temporary. It was a foot in the door.
This was a mindset I adopted after applying and interviewing at Google and getting rejected for potentially not having enough experience. During my time at Linkedin I still had my heart set on Google but continued to build meaningful and long lasting relationships. After a year at Linkedin, I transferred to Google to a contract Recruiting Coordinator role, thanks to one of my good friends referring me. Taking on a contract role was definitely a risk and I was told by peers that I was not going to get converted because of how competitive it was but I put my head down, got to work and did not accept that as my narrative.
A year later with hard work and support of my manager I got converted to be a full time employee in a Recruiting role. I worked in recruiting for 2 and a half years while working on a 20% project with my current manager in Product Inclusion & Equity. As I mentioned earlier, I had my heart set on working in tech in a role that allowed creative autonomy and impact. Through my 20% project I was able to get to know the team and make the impact that I wanted and in March of 2021, I joined the Product Inclusion & Equity team full time as a Program manager. I could not have done this without a growth mindset, an eagerness to learn, speak up for what I wanted, and the support from family, allies and managers. Since March I have already been promoted to the next level! I am so happy and excited to be able to have the creative autonomy and impact that I had always wanted.
As cliche as it sounds, With hard work and perseverance , anything is possible!