CSE sponsors students attend AfroTech 2022 Conference
This past November, CSE sponsored a group of Black students to attend the AfroTech 2022 Conference, the largest tech conference of the year. Attendees from around the world participated in digital and in-person events including seminars on emerging trends in programming, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and conversations with top tech recruiters.
The U-M students reported the conference to be an encouraging step forward in their computer science careers. Udoka Nwansi, an undergraduate student pursuing a minor in CS said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at AfroTech in November and I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend. We were able to build relationships with recruiters from top tech companies, connect with other Black students in tech, and attend company-hosted networking events. Overall it was an experience that surely taught me a lot about emerging into the tech world as a Black professional.”
CS Undergrad Enoch Ameyaw emphasized the unique environment the conference offered as an inclusive space for an underrepresented demographic in the field: “This conference was able to highlight Black people who were succeeding in their Tech routes in diverse ways illustrating that Black people truly take up a space and that we are not alone in our Tech journey.”
CS and Business major Savannah Manley added, “As a Black engineering student, being around qualified Black professionals en masse reminded me that I too am qualified to be in the tech space. The conference was unique in that I never had to hide my authentic self and every recruiter seemed genuinely interested in my story.”
CS undergraduate and EECS 493 IA Daphney Cajuste said, “Attending AfroTech was truly a blessing and if I am being honest, it should be an event all Black people in tech should experience. Being surrounded by people who look like me all week truly inspired me. I was able to meet and connect with successful individuals in the tech space, hear from renowned speakers like Mark Cuban, as well as speak to corporate sponsors at the career expo. One of the most memorable moments was the Salesforce Black Excellence Brunch, where I was able to hear NAACP image award Nominee Lynae Vanee give an amazing speech about what it means to straighten our crown. The collection of events allowed me to know that I am not alone in my journey and that I belong in tech. I honestly could not have asked for a better experience.”
CS major Emil Nkemdilim-Dantzler hopes to see more U-M students at the next conference later this year: “Afrotech was an amazing experience where I got to network with a bunch of students across the country. I was also able to network with recruiters and managers alike from some of the top tech companies in the world. I highly recommend this opportunity for those in CS next year.”