Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to put together a virtual HubSpot event? Well, you're in luck! First Gens In Tech (FGIT) is an annual virtual experience event celebrating, amplifying, and supporting first-generation individuals looking to break into the tech industry or learn more about what it means to work in tech. The tech industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide, providing great opportunities for first generation individuals. This article will take you inside FGIT so you can hear from the experts at the helm of organizing it. 

But first, what does "first-generation" mean? For this event, we consider first-gens to be any person:

  • who was not born in your country of residence OR
  • whose parents were not born in your country of residence OR
  • who is the first in their family to attend college/university OR
  • who is the first in their family to enter the corporate world

Attendees of the event were able to hear advice from fellow first-gens, curated and relevant topics to help first-gens elevate and virtual networking. Introducing Alyssa Cole (AC), Associate Recruiter responsible for marketing the event, Lynn Gomez (LG), Associate Recruiter responsible for event content, and Jillian LaRiccia (JLR), Emerging Talent Program Coordinator responsible for the attendee experience.

👉 Please tell us a little about your background and journey to HubSpot.

AC: I previously worked in the Higher Education field. I finished my Masters in Higher Education and knew I wanted to work with students, but I missed being in a tech environment. So when the opportunity was presented to be an Emerging Talent Recruiter, I was very excited because our focus is campus recruiting so I could get the best of both worlds. So I took a leap of faith and reached out to a Recruiter on Linkedin about my interest in HubSpot. The rest is history!

LG: I studied and worked in Social Work for about five years before transitioning to higher education, where I was a counselor for students' academic and career goals. During this time, I heard of HubSpot and its incredible culture, but I also started to sense that early talent recruiting was the right path for me. 

JLR: I was in higher education for a few years before accepting a Customer Support job at HubSpot. I fell in love with the culture and happily moved to People Operations in June 2022. Being a Program Coordinator is my dream role.

👉 Why do you think FGIT is so impactful?

AC: The event is impactful due to what it offers: tips, resources, networking opportunities, and a safe space for folks who identify as first-gens to set them up for success when trying to get into the tech space.

LG: I first participated in FGIT as a panelist just a month after I joined HubSpot and was incredibly honored to be asked to join the planning committee for the 2022 event. First Gens in Tech impacts the entire First Gen community as we provide resources, information, and the connection to help fellow First Gens break into the tech industry. We have a direct impact on the college student/recent grad population but also career changers.

👉 How does your work support FGIT?

AC: As an Emerging Talent Recruiter, the Global Emerging Talent Recruiting Team hosts the FGIT event annually. I was the Committee Lead for all things Marketing, Promotion, and Outreach. My teams were responsible for all the graphics, videos, and promotions on social media platforms. To pass the word, we conducted outreach to organizations, LinkedIn and Facebook social groups, and universities/colleges with first-gen populations. We also partnered with Employer Brand, who assisted with providing additional graphics, social media promotion, and ensuring sessions were on the HubSpot Life Youtube Channel.

LG: This year, I was asked to be one of the leads on our planning committee. I was specifically tasked with leading the content committee, which meant we were responsible for identifying the session topics, session formats, and speakers for the event. Through research on the barriers faced by many First Gens, reviewing feedback from attendees in the last two years, and soliciting new feedback on LinkedIn, we could identify highly impactful sessions, formats, and speakers. Additionally, in my role as an emerging talent recruiter, I directly invited many of the candidates in my pipeline to attend our event. I was so excited to see some attend the day of!

JLR: My specific role in FGIT was the attendee experience side. I sent out nurturing emails before the event, created automation for when people needed help the day of, and set up a committee to answer those troubleshooting questions.

👉 And how does HubSpot support you to do your best work?

AC: HubSpot has supported me in doing my best work by providing an open and innovative environment where I feel confident and comfortable sharing my ideas with the team and company. To add, I'm on a great team that is always willing to help!

LG: I appreciate HubSpot's commitment to autonomy and our growth, as it allowed me to feel empowered to take this task on. My supervisor recognized my passion for First Gens in Tech when I participated as a panelist last year, so she nominated me to help lead the planning committee this year. This commitment to my growth and belief in my abilities helped me push past the imposter syndrome I felt when I joined the committee.

JLR: Being remote, I do my best work from the comfort of my own home. I also love the benefits HubSpot offers, particularly the Modern Health therapy sessions and education reimbursement. I'm also a big fan of the Free Books Program (I use that every month to get my fiction fix).

👉 What are you most proud of about this project?

JLR: The positive feedback we received from attendees. We had 1,273 registers, which is huge. Here are some of the comments:

"Love seeing Black women in this industry! I feel represented!"

"This was such an amazing event...the lineup, agenda, and content topics are pure fire."

"My favorite session was the Women in Tech! It was super empowering."

👉 And what learnings have you gained from this project?

AC: By helping with FGIT I've learned how to lead a team on my own and trust myself. I learned the power of trust in a team and how you can accomplish anything with that and good communication!

LG: I have learned that while it is hard work, investing in a project as important as FGIT will always be worth it. I learned much as a leader and felt validated to take on such important tasks successfully.

JLR: All of the hard work is worth it when your attendees feel truly seen. It's vital to highlight underrepresented populations; we all deserve a chance at entering the corporate world of tech. Having hard-working teammates by your side makes it much easier.

👉 What future plans can we expect for FGIT?

AC: I would expect more of everything: speakers, attendees, session topics, and more surprises 🙂 Stay tuned!

👉 Quick-fire 3: Describe #HubSpotLife in 3 words or less

AC: Enthusiastic, Creative, & Passionate

LG: Empathetic, Inclusive, Autonomous

JLR: Authentic, Inspirational, Fun

⭐ That's it, folks!

If you didn't get to participate in FGIT, but you'd like to watch our sessions back, get your fix here. And if you'd like to grow your career, come as you are and join us in building a global company we're all proud of. Check out our open positions here.

Originally published Jan 9, 2023 2:32:13 PM, updated January 21 2023