Episode 47 – Stephanie Lampkin

Founder & CEO of Blendoor

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continued from the article on Essence.com

Would those be great ideas for pitching for anything then?

The secret sauce to the pitch competition is telling a compelling story and doing so in a way that it resonates with your audience. For me, it was showing my personal story about how I grew up. I started in very humble beginnings, and I learned to code early, and I did AP computer science in high school, Stanford engineering undergrad, Microsoft, MIT.

I interviewed for Google for an analytical lead position, and at the end of it, the recruiter said, “We don’t think you’re quite technical enough, but we’ll hold on to your resume in case a sales or marketing position opens up.” That’s after all of this dog and pony show I feel like I’ve been doing for the prior sixteen years in tech. I tell that story in my pitch.

I think for people it not only humbles me on stage in a way that people can find relatable, but it makes it all make sense; why I’m so passionate about what I’m doing. I do all that in under three minutes, so it’s very tough. I think if you can somehow incorporate a great story with a great product idea people can understand the significance of what you’re doing.

One of them is what are tips that you could give to someone who’s trying to find employment in tech.

A really great learning experience for me has been scrubbing through job descriptions. I’ve been doing that for Blendoor, but it’s helped me realize the specific skills that companies are looking for. I think for those of you who are interested in getting your feet wet in this space, just go through job descriptions and see what the programming languages that are hot right now are, what are the skills required to be a viable candidate. Then take that, and again, back to the e-learning. Go somewhere and figure it out. Learn it, start a project. A lot of companies now, mainly if you’re coding, if you don’t have an extensive GitHub profile they won’t even consider you. I think the day of the traditional resume will soon be gone. Companies will want to see like what have you built. Show me a portfolio, what you’ve done that can conclusively show that you’re capable of performing at this level.

Where can we find Blendoor? 

Our initial release will be at HTML5 app so basically what that means it will be a web app; you’ll access it through the browser of your phone. It’s not anything that you have to download. You can go on our website now, and there’s a big button that says signup, and that will put you on the email list to receive first access to the app. Then you click the link, and it will open up a web browser on your phone, and you will be able to log on with Facebook or LinkedIn or create a new account and browse away. Check it out on our site: blendoor.com

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Ruth Mesfun

Co-Founder and Blogger for POCiT. She is also piloting the first Computer Science curriculum as a teacher at Excellence Girls Middle Academy in Crown Heights. She was selected for the CS Educator Fellowship at the Flatiron School and is also a member of Teach For America-New York's Ambassadors Program.

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