By Zac Levin
Feb 2, 2018
Back in October, Jungle Disk participated for the first time in SA Works’ Job Shadow Scheme in San Antonio, (see my blog post about it). Last time we had 40 kids, this time we wanted to up our game and were excited to get over 60 kids participating from Southwest Legacy High School and CAST Tech, San Antonio’s first tech careers high school. We were also really excited to be joined by Councilman Rey Saldaña and Congressman Will Hurd.
The goal of the program is to expose young people in San Antonio to careers in technology, to showcase different paths into our industry and outline what the day to day looks like for all of us.
The day kicked off with an introduction by the councilman as well as Charles Woodin, the director of development at Geekdom, a co-working space here in downtown San Antonio. The students all then got a tour of the Geekdom space and with that a feel for what co-working is like and why it can be so magical, synthesizing diverse ideas.
Claire, Paul, Jorge, Grant and James then came down to join us as they work in different roles in our research and development, sales, marketing and support teams. Also, they all have different backgrounds. For example, James was actually a teacher before starting a career in technology. Each of them shared their stories about working in tech and their pathways into our industry, while students enthusiastically quizzed our panel and asked for tips.
This all led up to our challenge which Bret Piatt, Jungle Disk CEO, introduced to the students. They were asked to design a 70 word Google Adwords campaign. The challenge is actually much harder than it sounds (ask Grant, our head of marketing!) It requires thoroughly working through what we do as a company and then thinking about a search term we might want to advertise on. You then have to think about how to synthesize everything we do into only 70 words in a way which meets the searcher’s expectations, and you have to do this in only 30 minutes (all the time the students got).
Given how hard it was and how little time the students got we were really impressed with how well all of them presented to a judging panel led by US Congressman Will Hurd. The congressman then presented the winning team from Southwest Legacy with prizes, copies of Lorenzo Gomez’s great book The Cilantro Diaries.
From the awards presentation, we went on to a quick pizza lunch and networking event getting the students to engage with our judging panel and the Jungle Disk team. All in all, a great day all around!