Rewriting The Code (aka RTC) is a non-profit organization that
supports and empowers college, graduate and early career women in tech, through intersectional communities, mentorship, industry experience and educational resources, to become the next generation of engineers and tech leaders (source: RTC’s website)
They have various chapters — RTC Black Wings & Latinas de RTC. These groups support black and Latino women, making race less of a barrier when pursuing a tech career.
A lady that I met at a company where I worked at told me about RTC. Since then, I have never looked back. It has become a place where I connect with other women, learn and grow. The RTC community has welcomed me with open arms and improved my confidence in my pursuit of a tech career.
I became a part of RTC and their Fellowship Program from my 2nd (sophomore) year as a Computer Science major. It has been a rewarding and memorable experience. I’ve enjoyed engaging in real conversations and seeing others start fantastic initiatives.
RTC not only allows you to grow professionally but personally as well. So, I wrote this to share some tips with all the upcoming and potential RTC Fellows. Being part of the RTC Fellowship gives you:
- Access to webinars from companies like Lyft, Bandwidth, Bank of America
- Opportunities to connect with industry professionals
- Programming that helps prepare you for success in your internships
- Webinars and programs that address topics such as imposter syndrome and implicit bias to help you build your confidence
- Coaching and mentorship from women and men in the industry
- Opportunities for applied work experiences (ex. internships) with RTC’s partner companies
How to make the most out of RTC’s Fellow Program
I have denoted these tips with the abbreviation PaCT (Participate, Connect and Take advantage).
Participation is vital to get the most out of the Fellowship Program. I encourage you to take part in RTC’s social and professional events because they give you the opportunity to connect with industry professionals and recruiters.
There is also a Facebook community where people support one another by providing advice, sharing resources and uplifting each other. Engaging in posts and asking questions is another way to participate and be more connected to the RTC community.
While participating, I learned a lot about the tech industry and how to tackle things like imposter syndrome and implicit bias. This helped me feel more comfortable with asking questions and wanting to know more.
I even connected with many women that I still speak with today! Some have become my friends, support system and study buddies.
Beyond participating, it’s great to get to know the people you meet through the fellowship and those in the RTC community. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and schedule a coffee/virtual chat ☕️. Given that things are now virtual, it’s easier to do so. You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to take the time to chat with you.
One time I reached out to a lady that worked at a company that I am interested in. Initially, I wasn’t sure if she would be open to speaking with me, but she was happy to chat — and we had a great conversation.
This was my chance to learn more about the company she works at, what she does there and why she chose it. Not only did I learn about her job, we also bonded over similar interests!
Try it out. You’ll be surprised at what you discover.
3. Take advantage
Saying “yes” to opportunities is something I learned early in my university days. I encourage you to do the same — not only in the Fellowship program but in your future endeavours. Doing it will help you grow, develop your skills, and relax with going outside your comfort zone.
At first, you may be intimidated or overwhelmed with all the things provided to you in the Fellowship program — whether it be a mentorship program or various webinars. However, take advantage of them and remember to pace yourself. At any time, don’t take on more than you can handle.
I participated in RTC’s mentorship program. It was fun to meet with my mentor each week, learn from her career journey and get advice in different areas (career, resume, portfolio, etc.). She still mentors me today!
I hope you found this write-up helpful in getting you ready for the RTC Fellowship program and familiar with it. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or simply want to connect. I enjoy meeting new people!
Congratulations on this new opportunity, RTC Fellows! 🎉