Ingressive for Good (I4G) hosted a tech conference called HackFest. In line with I4G’s laser focus to increase the earning power of African youths through training and the power of work, the annual tech festival brought together tech enthusiasts and thought leaders in the community to inspire and educate them while also showcasing talents, ideas, and business in the tech ecosystem.
HACKFEST 2020, which took place on the 15th of December, was the first of its kind. The virtual festival was graced with almost 2,000 attendees, executed in partnership with AreebaJobs, HNG Internship, and Careerbuddy.
When asked what the core theme of the event was, Haneefah Abdurrahman Lekki, the Program and Community Manager told us “The focus for Hackfest in 2020 was Talent Placement but 2021 will focus on technical training and talent development. Our 5-year goal is to train 1,000,000 youths and place 5,000 in jobs and thanks to our amazing partners like Coursera, Datacamp, StudentBuild, HNG, etc. we have been reaching those who truly need it and cannot afford it. This conference is like a group mentorship, to help them build skills that can make them hirable while also connecting with thought leaders and their peers in the industry.”
The speakers and their topics were carefully curated in line with the theme. The event opened with the keynote speech by The Co-founder, Sean Burrowes which centred around The Impact of Empowering you (The African Youth).
“We are never going to be able to compete at the global level if we keep giving away our building blocks to a sustainable nation,” he said “Supply chains all over the world are being crippled and broken down leaving gaps and holes in the tech space, for smart talented, young Africans to jump in and fill the holes. We at I4G are just here to serve as lights, leading these Africans to these opportunities, where they can plug in, fill those holes, build a better continent and most importantly, increase their earning power”
This was followed by a FireSide Chat with Mark Essien of Hotels.ng to give answers to “Do I have to start as an Intern?” In this conversation, he said “The thing with technology or coding is that it takes time to learn. You really need to put a lot of time into learning and you can accelerate your learning by strategically doing Internships. Pick a place that you know you can learn a lot and be dedicated there. Learn first, money secondhe money is not so important.”
The panel discussion: The Job Seeker’s Toolkit focused on leveraging social media and resources to seek opportunities. Our panellists, Mark Essien, Founder of Hotels.ng and Blessing Abeng, Director of Communications at I4G shared so many valuable gems. Blessing Abeng highlighted the importance of finding your voice, documenting, and developing a personal brand. In the conversation, she said “Build a personal brand that highlights your personality, the value you offer and your skill sets. Collaborate and embrace an Intrapreneurship mindset where you can solve the problems of your potential employers before they ask.” Mark Essien also added, “The absolute number one thing is the quality of the email itself that is not the CV, not any attachments but how you phrase your email to show the value you can offer.”
Right after, Tosin Durotoye, founder of The Bloom Africa, gave a talk on Negotiating your Salary. It was one of the highlights of the day with participants inspired to face the workforce. In her speech, she said “I never take my first offer. Whatever I’m offered first, I assume that that is the first offer they’re giving me. I don’t have to know that, I assume that. So, at least I have to go 2 to 3 rounds of negotiation.” Her emphasis was on clearly articulating your personal value and embracing confidence to ask for your work’s worth.
Ayobamigbe Teriba of Ingressive Capital gave a Workshop on Optimizing your CV. This hands-on workshop helped the participants understand key elements in a CV and get answers to their questions about CVs.
The 40+ I4G Ambassadors were present representing their schools at HACKFEST. They also supported the planning committee alongside Tobi Olusa, Agbo Rabo, and Toludoyin, Fabian.
When asked about the highlights of HACKFEST, the participants said:
“Opportunities were given for attendants to air their mind and share thoughts. It was awesome and mind-blowing. I look forward to another great Event” Iyeneabasi Eshiet
“The speakers were amazing. That part is most memorable” Micheal Iyke
“The part where Tosin Durotoye talked about knowing value and how that will make you earn more than what it offered to you. Not settling for the first offer, always negotiate. I also learnt that you should see opportunities everywhere, the experience and other things you’ll gain from it will add value to you. Do not feel entitled to a particular role”. And also, never allow your confidence turn into arrogance or entitlement. I also learnt from Blessing Abeng’s session where she talked about how to use social media. Telling us about how careful you should be on social media, how it plays a vital role when searching for a job because they (those hiring) always check it out to know what’s on there. Do not take anyone for granted. Post your story, talk about your process, how you got to that stage of becoming an expert. And also, build relationships and ask meaningful questions that will bring great discussions. There’s still a lot I gained from the event, but here’s a few.” Wisdom
“All i can say is Wow, Thank you I4G and all our speakers” Uchenna, Co-lead, FuTO
In closing Haneefah Abdurrahman Lekki said “HackFest2020 turned out really amazing, more than we expected. We got an average rating of 95.2% on meeting our community’s expectations. We’re looking forward to HackFest2021 and having amazing partners on board.”