Date: January 30, 2019
On a December Friday in 2018, a group of 16 fellows from Uber’s Career Prep Program, a collaboration with The Hidden Genius Project, spend the day at our offices in San Francisco. This diverse group comes from universities all over the country, but they have a few things in common: they are all pursuing computer science degrees, and they are all young, black men, a demographic that is severely underrepresented in the technology sector.
As technology moves from classic Internet-based companies of the past to every sector of the economy, including transportation, finance, agriculture, and manufacturing, job opportunities abound. At the same time, companies have a growing thirst for software developers. The Hidden Genius Project’s goal involves giving people from historically underrepresented demographics in technology jobs the tools to take advantage of these opportunities. It initially focused on high school students. Uber’s partnership, through the Career Prep Program, is designed to help college-level students make the transition to a career in technology.
Launched in 2018, the Career Prep Program is the product of a collaboration between The Hidden Genius Project and Uber, where the program and its curriculum were designed by Uber Privacy Product Manager Zach Singleton, and sponsored by Uber Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Bernard Coleman and Uber Chief Information Security Officer John Flynn. The program mentors college students, familiarizing them with office workflows and teaching them skills such as succeeding in a technical job interview and negotiating a salary. Every other month, participants met at Uber for workshops, lessons, and discussion around these topics, with the goal of emerging as competitive job applicants when they enter the technology workforce.
On this Friday afternoon, the program’s fellows convene at Uber for this year’s final session. They will interview for internship and full-time opportunities with Uber, complete unfinished projects, and spend time with friends made over the course of the program.
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By Wayne Cunningham // Uber Engineering