Kieran O'Brien Kern on the #TechInclusion16 Career Fair
I was a Senior in College, a life time ago, the last time I attended a career fair. My experiences internship hunting had shown me that the doors that opened for my credentials and bubbly personality often closed when the interviewer saw my wheels.
Twelve years later, I wasn’t worried about explaining how my wheels aren’t a problem, they’re an empowering solution. #TechInclusion16 in New York was an opportunity to fulfill my curiosity about to where the most opportunities can be found. As a creative in a sea of engineers, I was surprised by the opportunities that were there for networking, further education and potential employment.
The accessibility of the Metropolitan Pavilion was hidden in plain sight. While the multitudes waited on the steps, the ramp brought me up to the registration table. While I was one of the first rounds of people to roll into the room it was refreshing that I was neither the oldest nor the lone crip. There were established brands like CapitalOne, Yahoo and event sponsor Google, as well as companies that were new to me. While I work for myself, I am always interested in making new contacts and finding new opportunities.
The room hummed with in-depth conversations. There were no flyby conversations even at the booths with longer lines. In addition to Google, Yahoo and AOL, one of the busiest tables was the Resume Critique table. This spoke to both the event’s dedication to helping its patrons get a leg or wheel up on the competition as well as the attendees' dedication to doing it better.
While I can’t say whether or not I have come out of the event with a new direction to my career, I spoke to many people about how to shift it if I so desire and made some contacts that may prove fruitful in the future. The best part of the event was that if I was judged it was on my talents and not on my scooter.