CSUN META Lab students get connected with LinkedIn

CSUN students Ekene Akpati, Brian Canedo and Austin von Blasingame talking to Tey Scott, LinkedIn Talent Acquisition. Photo credit: Lauren Turner Dunn

Southern California college students interested in business and tech took part in LinkedIn’s Accelerate U in Los Angeles, Saturday Sept. 23rd.

Accelerate U is a day full of connecting and learning, from head shots, interview tips, and food to coding challenges and business trials, students left Maker City L.A. feeling inspired and ready for their next big internship and job interview.

“Whether or not all of the attendees from today’s session end up being LinkedIn applicants we don’t care,” said LinkedIn Senior Talent Director, Tey Scott. “We want this group of people to exit this room and be better professionals because of what we gave them today.”

Last year The Adler Group collaborated with LinkedIn, conducted a survey and found that 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. CSUN students Austin von Blasingame, Ekene Akpati and Brian Canedo got invited on LinkedIn with a message from recruiters, and they believe it was because they had updated LinkedIn profiles.

“As far as the professional development, the very first presentation we had told you how to use LinkedIn, what do to in an interview, how to get to the interview and all that kind of stuff was really invaluable,” said economics and philosophy major, von Blasingame. “I think that CSUN would greatly benefit from any type of partnership with events like these.”

The three students passed the word onto students who come to META Lab. META Lab is the off-campus collaborative tech and entrepreneurial startup program for CSUN faculty, staff and students. Akpati, von Blasingame and Canedo said META Lab assists with marketing, interface design, user experience and app development.

Canedo is a computer science major and he develops the UI and the UX at META Lab. Canedo said the event showed him how similar his classes were to the resume questions.

“When they were talking about trees, and research I learned all that through school so if I need to learn it again for an interview it will be all review,” Canedo said. “I know what I have to study now because of this event and I feel a lot more prepared for an interview.”

META Lab brings a Silicon Valley feel closer to our San Fernando Valley campus, giving the CSUN community the experience of development and opportunities to create whatever they are interested in.

Accelerate U allowed these CSUN attendees to professionally connect with other students from San Diego State, USC, CSU, Long Beach, L.A., UC Merced, Irvine, Riverside and more.

Scott managed to speak to the students and she said stays connected with past AccelerateU attendees, who go on to work in tech.

She said some tend to come back to her and feel like they do not belong in tech. After telling them to call her she says, “We need you! You have to stay here, it makes no sense for us to do all this work and bring one class of students in and a whole cohort leaves. This program is about community development, to help people accumulate and stay in Silicon Valley.”

META Lab encourages all fields and majors students can learn coding, design, app development and more.

“We teach you everything you need to know without ever having to take a computer science class,” von Blasingame said.

The lab is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. They also offer Pathfinder Program workshops on Fridays at 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Accelerate U is held in different locations each year and next year it will be in Washington D.C.