GeekGirlConnections: Connect With Your Career

At GeekGirlCon, we’re all about idolizing the achievements of women and girls in geek culture. Whether we’re talking comics, gaming, science, or tech, our goal is to highlight the accomplishments of these women while actively enforcing a productive conversation about the obstacles and challenges that they face in the field.

GeekGirlConnections, one of the many stellar components of our convention, helps give women the ability to connect with professionals on their desired career path. In fields where women are often underrepresented, GeekGirlConnections aims to inspire and encourage women and girls to pursue their passions. Located on the 4th floor of the convention in our Exhibitor Hall, we’ll have teams of these professionals ready and waiting to build connections and chat about their organizations!

 

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Two game developers presenting their work at GCon ’15. Photo courtesy of NPR.

GCon
GCon was made into being after women were barred from attending an all-male gaming convention in Saudi Arabia that was held in 2011. Co-founders Tasneem Salim and Felwa al-Swailem joined forces and curated a group of large-scale gaming companies to back them in starting their own convention, specifically geared for young Saudi women that love games! Salim, who served as our own Corporate Sponsorship Manager at the beginning of 2016, explained in an interview with NPR that videogames aren’t only for play, but can be used to help learn or further their skills in languages such as English or Japanese. Not only do they encourage girls to not be afraid to express their love of gaming, but encourage them to pursue careers in technology.

 

Indigo Boock
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Reach out: GeekGirlConnections applications are open!

With GeekGirlCon’s expansion to the fourth floor this year, there’s going to be more attendees, excitement, and chances for connections! Apply today to have your organization be one of the lucky few showcased in the GeekGirlConnections room!

GeekGirlConnections is a unique area in our con that creates a space for community leaders, producers, and organizations to connect with con-goers. Since GeekGirlCon values helping provide opportunities to women and members of every minority group, we’re excited to be able to put together a group of like-minded organizations looking for some new faces.

Liane Behrens
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Spotlight on GeekGirlConnections ’15

We’re excited to announce the return of the GeekGirlConnections room to our annual Convention!

It exists to create a space for excellent community leaders, producers, and organizations to share their experience and work with our amazing community members. The focus this year is on organizations that have made particularly impressive strides in diversity.

GeekGirlConnections will be located on the first floor, right next to the pick-up area for tickets, so come by and get your con started right!

Here’s a sampling of what to expect when you visit the Connections room!

Winter Downs
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Make Career Connections at GeekGirlCon ‘14

Written by GeekGirlConnections Manager Susie Rantz.

Did you know: In communities with a higher percentage of women working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), high school girls are as likely as boys to take physics (and sometimes more likely)? Yet, women comprised just 28 percent of science and engineering workers in 2010.

Did you know: Up to 80 percent of jobs are landed through networking? Connecting with mentors can be a great boost for your career.

Did you know: As early as second grade, kids begin to associate math words with boys? As a “mathlete” in high school, this breaks my heart.

Did you know: Since our first convention in 2011, GeekGirlCon has been committed to drawing attention to these disparities? Last year, we introduced the GeekGirlConnections Program as a way to help elevate STEM career opportunities for women. The program was such a hit, we are continuing it for GeekGirlCon ‘14.

GeekGirlConnections is dedicated to providing career mentorship and networking opportunities for women and girls. The program aims to help connect women with professionals in their desired career fields, as well as encourage women and girls to pursue their passions, develop leadership skills, and enter careers where women are currently underrepresented.

Guest Contributor
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Five Tips for Making Networking Fun – and Productive

http://www.geekgirlcon.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

By Susie Rantz

Finding a job can be an intimidating, challenging, and frustrating process. There are a million job boards to sift through and resumes and cover letters to customize. How do you stand out in a sea of other job applicants?

The best way to find these opportunities is by connecting with people around you. Your network of friends, relatives, and new acquaintances can be one of the most valuable job search resources. Networking can sound intimidating, but it can also be rewarding and fun—even if, like me, you shudder at the thought of approaching people you don’t know. The very idea of attending one more networking event gets my stomach churning, my palms sweating, and my throat tightening.

So how can you ensure networking advances your job ambitions and is more fun than a chore?

Type “job networking tips” into your favorite search engine and you’ll find a ton of great ideas. I don’t want to duplicate this heap of expert advice. Instead, I invite you to join me in thinking outside the box about job networking. Here are five tips for making the experience fun—and productive!

1. Go where you feel comfortable

There are a lot of career-focused networking events, and those intimidate me the most. Talk about high stakes! Hobby or skill-based groups can be a great alternative. One friend found multiple job opportunities while attending a meetup group for a game-development program he was using for fun. He worked in construction at the time—nothing remotely close to computer programming. In addition, I once attended a casual event for Seattle Sounders fans, and while I wasn’t searching for a job, I had multiple opportunities to talk about my work and skills. Yes, this happened at a soccer meetup, where I felt comfortable and the career stakes were low.

2. Find ways to help others

Networking is a two-way street; it is not just about asking for favors. Your side of the street should focus on helping others. This help can be as big as volunteering regularly for a cause you love, or as small as offering to babysit for a friend. As fellow GeekGirlCon staff member Laurel McJannet put it, “Do good work with people who share your values, and they’ll remember you or be a reference for you when a job opening comes up.” Another friend found a job in her desired career field as a direct result of her volunteer experience with GeekGirlCon.

3. Be the connector

Another form of giving is introducing people. Find ways to introduce friends, colleagues, and acquaintances with one another. Do you have a friend and a coworker who both like to brew their own beer? Offer to introduce them. This makes you a valuable connector and invites others to do the same for you—providing an opportunity to expand your network. One friend started a blog about Pittsburgh, focused on connecting people and businesses across the city, and said the experience was not only a great networking tool, it also helped her gain confidence in talking to people.

4. Don’t discount those chance encounters

I am an introvert, and the idea of striking up a conversation with a stranger terrifies me. But I have talked to more people than I can count on my hands and feet whose job opportunities came as a result of random conversations with a stranger. One friend told me she was offered an interview and was eventually hired by the guy sitting next to her on an airplane. They were both coming back from a major industry conference, and the plane was filled with other techies. Be open to putting yourself out there when you least expect it.

5. Attend GeekGirlCon 14

Our annual convention provides one of the best opportunities to meet career mentors or get job leads—especially if you are looking to enter a career field where women are underrepresented. Our Connections Room will feature booths from some of the leading technology, video game, nonprofit, and science companies. We will also host networking hours throughout the convention focused on specific career interests, and we’ll have a Connections programming room for panels, workshops, and Q&A sessions focused on education opportunities and leadership and career development.

These are five tips that can help enhance your networking experience. What other tips would you offer? Please share them below!


Susie Rantz is the Manager of Connections, a GeekGirlCon program focused on providing career mentorship, leadership development, and networking opportunities for women and girls

Guest Contributor
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GeekGirlCon ’13 Wrap-Up!

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

Dear GeekGirlCon Community,

What an amazing weekend! While we must part ways for the time being, we had such a good time at our third annual convention. Thank you to all those who participated by attending, presenting panels and workshops, volunteering, through Facebook and Twitter, and reading our blog posts. We sold out online prior to doors open and of physical passes at the door and in stores during the convention. All weekend we trended at the top of the local Seattle Twitter!

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photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

We enjoyed your cosplay and the Costume Contest was made fantastic through your contributions!  Choosing the top contestants was a difficult decision, but it came down to the Snow White for True-To-Form, Best Group included the Hook characters, and Nariko received the Best Use of Materials. And those of you who went out of the box for the cosplay were a marvelous addition, such as Gears of War Kitty, who was selected as Best Individual Cosplay. The children really stole the show! I saw Darth McKenna roving the floor this year and being the star of many photos. As always, we are appreciative of the 501st Legion attending for attendees’ photographs.

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

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photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

Our gaming floor and DIY Science Zone were both huge hits! The DIY Science Zone had so many cool things to do for kids of all ages. We hope you were able to discuss acids and bases or make your own slime or complete any of the other of the activities in the Zone that attendees said MUST RETURN!

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

 The GeekGirlConnections room enjoyed a lot of visitors, the Artist Alley was constantly doing business, and the Exhibitors Hall flowed with people. The Gaming floor was hopping!

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

 

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

In case anybody thinks those of us stuck in the Agents room to man the internets and provide behind-the-scenes support don’t have any fun, never fear! We are privy to such statements as “There’s someone stuck in a Dalek!? Do we need a giraffe?!” Our Reaction Team was attired in giraffe ears. They were there to help you have a safe con. If you didn’t notice them or need them, that was great, but if you did feel their presence, thank you for using the resource we provided. If you needed a place to decompress for a bit, the Introvert Alley was the place for you, and many took advantage of this room.

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

To support you during the con, the staff drank gallons upon gallons of coffee and consumed pounds upon pounds of kale.

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

If I say so myself (I’m in Marketing not in Programming, so I should be absolved of self-interest), all of our panels were super unique and wonderful. Attendees expressed excitement about our panels. The time flew by and so many could have easily gone on another hour! It ranged from the very academic ‘The Study of Fandom’ to the fun ‘Craft Wars’. Rob Salkowitz appeared on a panel ‘Changing Culture in Mainstream and Alternative Spaces’ which got a lot of chatter. #1ReasonWhy panel also made trending in Seattle. I was “simultaneously heartbroken and radically inspired by these stories” said @suizilla. Keep your eye on the blog in the coming months to learn more about panels presented at GeekGirlCon ‘13.

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Danny Ngan

photo by Danny Ngan

Not only did we have the awesomeness of four opportunities to gather with geeks on Friday night, we had our annual GeekGirlCONcert with Unwoman, Bri Pruett, and Marian Call. The Doubleclicks and Molly Lewis set up ninja concerts on the first floor of the conference center on Sunday. The activity continued on Sunday with Unwoman and a number of other musicians.

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

 

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Sayed Alamy

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

photo by Ryan Roehrich

Did you get to attend the Spotlight on Karen Prell and Red Fraggle? The photo op with them on the 2nd floor on Sunday was a fan favorite. Laughs and ‘awws’ were heard all around the floor.

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Sunday evening closed out with the Ladies of the 80s Sing-A-Long. Clinton McClung, a program programmer who plans film and event screenings for SIFF Cinema and has worked with GeekGirlCon events in the past, planned an hour long We Got the Beat event for us! We started out strong with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Eleven songs later, a dance party started in the room to Dee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart, and the last song played was Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Our closing celebration was simple – Jennifer K. Stuller, Director of Programming and Events, introduced our Executive Director, Amanda Powter, who spoke briefly, thanking our community for your support. Then, the Double Clicks played Nothing to Prove.

photo by Adrienne Roehrich

photo by Adrienne Roehrich

We are thrilled you enjoyed our convention. We will have another one next year.

Please share your experience at GeekGirlCon ‘13. Use #GGC13 on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook tag photos with GeekGirlCon, and peruse our flickr group to post your photos and share your thoughts and experiences here in the comments section.

What were your favorite parts of our convention? What did you like, and what can we improve? Don’t forget to complete the post-con survey because we want to hear from you!

Written by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services

 

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Get Connected at GeekGirlCon ’13

GGConnections_blogBannerWritten by GeekGirlConnections Manager Terra Olsen

GeekGirlConnections is thrilled to host an impressive lineup of professionals at this year’s GeekGirlCon! Join us for these interactive and intimate panels, and be prepared to learn from the best. Come with questions, your portfolio, and your resume, as these panels are designed to be Q&A friendly.

Here are just a few of the amazing people and panels the Connection Room will be hosting:

Join Carly Kocurek (Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Media Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology), Corrinne Yu (game programmer for Halo 4), and Meg Stivison (game writer and content designer) on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for “The Past, Present, and Future of Women in Gaming.” These women are all experts in the field and come from diverse backgrounds. Come hear their thoughts and discover what’s next in the gaming world.

Interested in learning how to build your brand on a small budget? Join Emma Mcilroy on Saturday at 12:30 to learn from the best about “How to Build a Kick-Ass Brand on a Start-Up Budget.” Emma is the the co-founder and CEO of Wildfang, a new clothing company started in early 2013 out of Portland that already has quite the following—over 10,000 on Instagram and Facebook to be exact, and you might have seen this Buzzfeed article on the company.

Join Lisa Granshaw, a full-time freelance writer based in NYC, to learn about “Breaking into the Media Industry.” Her work has appeared in The Daily Dot, TODAY.com, Blastr, Career Girl Network, and many more. She is excited to help young professionals seeking advice in media and communications, so make sure to catch her on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

SCIENCE! Don’t miss the “Careers in Science” panel on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Join Dr. Nicole Gugliucci (astronomer, educator, and writer), Dr. Jerry Nguyen (neuroscientist, consultant, stay-at-home dad, and financial analyst), Morgan Woroner (social media manager for many NASA education initiatives), and Dr. Stephen Granade (physicist and educator) as they explore the many career paths available in science. Science lovers! Don’t miss out.

AND MANY MORE!

Don’t miss a minute—buy your passes now!

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon Wants You!

geekgirlcon

GeekGirlCon is seeking programming submission ideas, performers, and professionals for GeekGirlCon ’13. Are you interested in being a part of our convention this year? Please fill out one of the forms listed below!

Programming Submission Form: for all convention programming

GeekGirlConnections Submission Form: for our GeekGirlConnections room, a resource to help professionals connect with and mentor convention attendees

Events Submission Form: for musical talent at the convention

Do you have any questions? Please direct them to programinfo@geekgirlcon.com.

Guest Contributor
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GeekGirlCon Presents: Cocktail Connections

Cocktail Connection

GeekGirlCon is hosting our very first Cocktail Connections! Come out to connect and engage with other geeky professionals, and enjoy Lunchbox Laboratory’s infamous cocktails as well. Professionals of all flavors and persuasions are welcome, whether you are a gamer, a scientist, a writer, a pop culture fanatic, or any other kind of geek. Mark your calendars and bring your business cards! Here are the details:

When:
April 11, 6pm-8pm

Where:
Lunchbox Laboratory (upstairs in the game room)
1253 Thomas St, Seattle, WA (map)

What:
Networking and Socializing!

Extra:
There will be prizes! Get yourself some GeekGirlCon swag!

Charge:
Free! Don’t worry; food and drinks are available for purchase.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there. Bring a friend and make some new ones as well!

Laurel McJannet
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Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

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