My name is Kaylynn, and I joined Unity as a member of the Diversity Recruiting team in 2022 as a project coordinator. My first priority was to head our conference engagements for the year. While I was initially nervous to lead such an important project, I am very happy to have done so alongside an amazing team, and am excited to share a behind-the-scenes recap of our recruiting travels.
To kick off our first in-person conference of the year, members of the University Recruiting team and I headed to Washington, D.C., in September for the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology’s Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference. The Tapia Conference was a great experience and held true to its 2022 theme, “A Time to Celebrate!” Attendees included undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities. This was my first in-person recruiting event coming out of the pandemic and my first with Unity overall. I can still remember experiencing jitters before we opened our booth on the first day, but the University team brought me up to speed fast, which boosted my confidence in speaking to students about our internship programs.
Looking back at my time at Tapia, my favorite memories come from the engagement opportunities – connecting with others over common backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, and genders. Our team really did a great job in fostering the opportunity to develop relationships with candidates that extended beyond the conference itself.
At the end of September, I joined several other Unity representatives in Orlando, Florida, for the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). While I have been to many recruiting events before, I had never been to a conference as big as this one. In 2021, GHC virtually hosted 29,000 people, and holds the record for the world’s largest gathering of women in computing.
During our time at the conference, our recruiters had a lot of early mornings and late nights but, nonetheless, it was always fun. We usually started our day at 8:00 am sharp, when we could be spotted running to the shuttle stop to make it to the convention center on time.
During the day, attendees could find the smiling and welcoming faces of our team at the booth, talking to potential candidates about the business and open opportunities. The career fair closed each evening at 5:00 pm; however, because we had so many candidates who wanted to speak with us, we would usually stay for an extra 30–45 minutes. Other conference events included participating in onsite internship interviews led by our University team or volunteers from across Unity. Having volunteers available allowed us to carry out all interviews and, later, make some internship offers.
Although GHC was full of long days and nights, it was one of my favorite conference engagements because of the talent and drive evident in the room. It was rewarding to connect with so many candidates who were really excited to talk about Unity and eager to show us the projects they have built or are working on with our software.
A second reason I enjoyed GHC was due to it being my first chance to meet all my wonderful teammates in person. These days, since we primarily meet and chat virtually, it was nice to see each other in person. The conference gave us the chance to spend five days working together and getting to know one another.
In November, my team, our inclusion partners, and ComUnidad – the Latinx Employee Resource Group (ERG) – members packed our bags and headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the annual get-together of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). At the SHPE 2022 National Convention, we met hundreds of candidates from the Latinx community and created relationships with these prospective candidates for upcoming programs.
With more than 13,000 students and professionals attending the event, we spoke to many aspiring engineers from different specialties. At the time, I was unaware that there were so many different types of engineering. Other than meeting so many talented engineers, networking, and giving out cool swag at the booth, our team also participated in onsite interviews, which – much like the other events – allowed us to speak to many candidates and, ultimately, make some internship offers.
During my time at the booth, candidates shared their interests, projects, and career goals, and it was exciting to hear stories about how their persistence and hard work got them to where they are today. Seeing undergraduate and graduate students juggling finding internships at conferences on top of their busy school and home lives made me feel very proud of all those attending.
A week after we wrapped up at SHPE, we headed to Austin, Texas, for Blavity Inc.’s AFROTECH Conference. AFROTECH is known for being the place for all things Black in tech and Web3, and was quite different from our other in-person engagements in 2022. This was because we were not only there to recruit, but we also participated in two additional conference activations: hosting a learning lab and an event in our Austin office.
On the Monday, we started with a career fair, which included several team members from Recruiting and B-United – the Black ERG – helping out at the booth. We spent three days speaking to both internship candidates and advanced professionals and tech entrepreneurs.
On the second day, Unity hosted a learning lab that showcased our real-time 3D capabilities. As part of the lab, an expert panel featured Unity’s Raymond Graham, Krystal Cooper, and Nick Straughn. Over 300 attendees packed the workshop to engage with our experts and learn more about the panelists’ respective career journeys.
On the final day, we wrapped up our AFROTECH activations with an in-office Unity @ AFROTECH event. Unity for Humanity grantee Black Terminus AR joined us, and its founder Damien McDuffie wowed the crowd with an interactive VR exhibit. The in-office event was one of my favorite parts of this conference because it gave such a personal touch to the week. As a company, we were able to connect with candidates and creators on a more intimate level in our cool workspace.
Throughout 2022, our team attended and represented Unity at seven virtual or in-person diversity recruiting engagements. In addition to the conferences I shared above, we participated in the National Society of Black Engineers’ annual convention, Latinx in Gaming’s CONEXION, and three QueerTech activations.
During my time as a coordinator on some of these projects, I traveled to places I’d never been before, worked with amazing team members, and met candidates with great passion for technology and Unity.
While our diversity recruiting approach at Unity includes many additional strategies to build relationships with candidates traditionally underrepresented in tech, I really enjoyed being able to create sustainable relationships with candidates face-to-face during my first year on the team.
As we know, it is hard to be what you can’t see. At Unity, this means that showing up to events like these, with representation as a focus, helps us connect with candidates we might never have had the chance to get to know. It was an honor to be a part of these efforts in 2022, and, from a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) perspective, it is great to know that, with each conference we attend and each person we meet, we inch one step closer to connecting underrepresented communities to the world of tech and to Unity.