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When you hear the word “networking”, what do you think of? Do you picture a room full of people in suits shaking hands and exchanging business cards? Do you picture your connection count on LinkedIn going up, pixels rearranging on a screen, representing people you may never talk to again? I’ll admit, that’s what I used to think about networking – until I joined San Diego Girls in Tech and realized it’s so much more than that. If you had any preconceived notions about networking being a superficial activity before attending our Women Who Tech Networking and Resource Fair, those notions were surely shattered.

Jam City, a leader in mobile game design and development, generously sponsored the Women Who Tech Networking and Resource Fair at their Carlsbad office. On Thursday, March 14th, local organizations and community members gathered there to celebrate women in technology and offer them the opportunity to eat delicious food (seriously, it was out of this world, and I’m not even going to tell you how many times I went back for more), win cool prizes, learn about the various local and global resources at their disposal, and, most importantly, make genuine connections with like-minded people. Attendees enjoyed tacos, drinks, music, a photo booth, a raffle, and some of the best company anyone could ask for. The full impact of the night went well beyond popsicles and goody bags (although those were definitely involved), and is a perfect illustration of the power of networking done right.

One of our partners mentioned that her table quickly transformed into a safe space for attendees to share their stories, ask questions, and seek guidance and encouragement. Announcements were made about job postings, scholarship opportunities, and the work different organizations are doing to create and maintain opportunities for women in tech and women who want to get into tech. An attendee mentioned that she normally doesn’t attend networking events, but she was pushing herself out of her comfort zone and trying something new. Another attendee with a startup came seeking a new member to join her team and take her business to the next level. Women are doing cool things all over the place to improve themselves and our world, and we all need to work together to make it happen. Events like the Women Who Tech Networking and Resource Fair are where we can find our teammates, mentors, cheerleaders, and fellow world-changers.

We at San Diego Girls in Tech are deeply grateful to Jam City and to our partner organizations: Latina Geeks, Tech Ladies, Athena, and Fokcus Mentoring for helping us to make this event such an incredible experience for everyone who attended. We are also grateful to Microsoft for donating the awesome pieces of technology featured in our raffle, including a Surface Go, bluetooth speakers, and AEE for donating a drone!

From all of us at San Diego Girls in Technology, thank you to everyone who attended our Women Who Tech Networking and Resource Fair! The proceeds from your ticket purchases went directly into enhancing your community in the form of a charitable donation. Attendees voted on the night of the event, and the organization you chose was San Diego Center for Children, an organization founded by local women to protect and support the women and children of San Diego.

San Diego Girls in Tech hosts different types of events every month on the second Thursday of the month. If you want to know what’s coming up – and let us know what types of events you want us to hold! – you can do so with ease by following San Diego Girls in Tech on Twitter and Instagram, or by signing up for our newsletter.