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Great fun at the NBMBAA in New Orleans; AISES in Portland, here I come!

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“So, what do you do for Intel?” asked the person sitting next to me as I flew from Houston back to Portland in late-September. I wanted to respond with “I have fun!” but didn’t think that’d be a good, young-professional answer. Although I do have fun in my job, I knew that answer wouldn’t explain why I was on a flight across the country. The truth was that I had just finished working on Intel’s behalf at the National Black MBA Conference (NBMBAA) in New Orleans for the week. While the conference signified a small portion of my job in Human Resources as a Diversity Specialist on the Global Diversity & Inclusion Marketing and Communications team. (It’s kind of cool that I sit on a marketing team in human resources when I had little marketing experience. Intel, however, gave me the opportunity to gain and hone my marketing skills in my field of interest, HR.) It was my first time working a national conference where Intel was a sponsor.

I was barely three months into my full-time job at Intel (I had interned the previous summer) when I hopped on a flight that would take me from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans, Louisiana (yes, all the way across the country!) I got to New Orleans in the late afternoon despite leaving my apartment at an extremely early hour in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, I was ready to tackle my first day at the conference. The conference was held in the New Orleans convention center and from the moment I walked in, I was floored to see my company’s name all over the place! After the initial “awe” moment, I moved into work mode. The first day consisted of all the behind the scenes work – making sure our booth and marketing was set up (hope you stopped by!) and we had every little piece of the puzzle together. It took a lot of running around but we got it done!

The next two days were the actual event days. The conference was packed; there were a lot of people in suits walking around with resumes in hand. It created a strong intellectual energy that carried on throughout all phases of the conference. NBMBAA also had all kinds of keynote speakers from Star Jones to Roland Martin. Each speaker talked about a different aspect of managing the business world; there was really good information gained by everyone that attended! As my role involves staying up-to-date on trends in technology and other industries, I took the opportunity to walk around to check out other company booths. However, in being a member of the marketing and communications team, my biggest goal there was to make sure Intel has a strong, visible presence at events such as this one, so I took every chance I could get to talk to students about my experiences at Intel. It was a lot of fun to be so new in a company talking to people my age that are just as excited as I am about Intel. That night I was able to do some more mingling at the networking suite Intel hosted where we gave away a netbook.

The last day of the conference was much of the same: a lot of walking around and talking with other companies, doing benchmarking and coming up with ideas for next year. It was really cool to be able to talk to some executives at other companies and just see what they were all about! The Intel booth was packed because we were giving away another netbook. Even though the career fair was over, my work wasn’t done yet. We had to make sure the booth was all packed up, resumes were collected, marketing taken down, and off to FedEx we went to get it all shipped back. It was a long day but I had fun every minute of it so it flew by (like most of my days at Intel do!)

Looking back, I think what made it such a great experience was the fact that, even though I was—and still am—super new to Intel, I was given the opportunity to go out and represent for Intel. Going to these conferences was a good way to meet and greet with young diverse students that can add their unique backgrounds and experiences to Intel’s already diverse workforce. The landscape of the world is changing as Gen “Y”ers as myself are entering the workplace. It is important that Intel taps into all of the resources we have available to use to attract and gain great young talent! I had a blast at the National Black MBA Conference and as a result I’ll be heading up the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) conference at the Portland Convention Center, October 29-31. Stop by and see us (and me!) at booth #437!