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THU Career Camp by Lenovo Reflections

It’s been a couple of weeks since the THU Career Camp by Lenovo. For those who attended, we hope you left inspired and motivated. For those who contributed their time and expertise to make it happen, our deepest thanks for all your efforts. And for those who have no idea what we’re talking about, keep reading, it’ll all make sense in a moment.

Hosting a successful event fills us with immeasurable pride and excitement, but if we stop there, the job’s only half done. Over the past few weeks we’ve been busy accessing how things went, gathering feedback and recovering from a sleep-deprived, but well worth three packed days of activity.

In the spirit of being open and transparent to those who matter most to us: you, our Tribe, here’s a quick recap of what we discovered.

 

The Goal

When the Tribe started reaching out about their struggles, we knew that, even though there are no THU events this year, we had to do something that could give our community access to opportunities and all the magic that comes with the incredible THU network” - André Luis

In theory, our goal for Career Camp was simple: humanize the recruiting/career development experience and support our Tribe in a difficult time. In practice, that goal was more difficult. It’s easy to fall back on established ways of doing things, instead of disrupting. But you inspire us to think differently, to act differently, to rise to the occasion. As such, holding an online job fair was never even a possibility. Instead, we decided to create a hub for knowledge sharing, mentorship and job prospects, free for all, across three days in November (11-13). And our arms are always open to welcome others into the fold. Offering a Career Camp pass for Tribe members, and an extra one for them to provide to a friend, was our way of giving back and inviting others to experience the magic of the Tribe.

And it wasn’t just about helping people find jobs in the now. It was about crafting a unique experience that helped you feel at ease with interactions, build strong relationships, and find inspiration and encouragement to help you forget through trying times. It was our first time attempting this type of initiative, and we couldn’t be prouder of the results.

 

The Response

In total, we had 1700 participants, from 98 countries join us for the event. 337 jobs were on offer, by 46 different companies, with 6055 applications received. 1100 warriors were interviewed or received mentorships. 68 different mentorship sessions were held by leaders in the field, for 1274 mentees (740 one-on-one sessions, and 534 small group sessions), and an additional 11 talks were open to anyone within Career Camp.

Recruiters, such as Kimmy Ng of Psyop, commented that they were impressed by the “excellent mix of talent” they discovered. And studios such as Massive Entertainment, a Ubisoft Studio, followed up with us that they identified a number of potential candidates and were likely to make hires. We’re still waiting on final numbers of hires that came out of the event. If you have a personal story or anecdote to share with us along those lines, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you!

 

What we Learned

  • Remote has its benefits: 

    • We love you Tribe. And we miss you. We can’t wait until a time when we can all get together in person again. But in the meantime, it’s lovely to hear that we’re able to leverage some of the benefits of online interaction. Alex Vblah, one of our Career Camp attendees pointed out that having access to this online event “opened so many doors for the people who are too far away and who don’t have enough resources to travel.” Similarly, he noted that normally “it’s not easy for us (people outside of the USA/EU) to apply to jobs like those, even less to get noticed. It was super comfortable to apply either for jobs or mentorships.” That we could help facilitate those interactions means the world to us. 

  • Small and personal makes a difference:

    • Whether it was hearing that a small group mentorship and feedback session changed your life, to how the thoughtfulness of recruiters helped put your mind and nerves at ease, responses flowed in of positive interactions during Career Camp. We know that professional interaction can sometimes feel cold and impersonal, but we heard numerous accounts, both from attendees and recruiters, that things felt different at Career Camp: that THU and its incredible community inspires people to really get to know one another and encourages warmer interactions. 

  • It helped some of your focus or get unstuck:

    • We couldn’t have asked for better. As Emese Tót mentioned: “I had several questions, and fears about where I should go with my career. Now I see possibilities, and also have connections to ask if I feel stuck.” Likewise, many of you noted that it was great to connect with others at similar places in their careers, or to get exposure to areas of the industry you weren’t as aware of. For Paula Bonaval, it helped her decide the best path to follow in “the ocean of possibilities and areas of digital art I enjoy.” The number of people who reached out to us to say that they now feel more grounded and motivated warms our hearts.

 

What’s Next

Jana Day, Executive Director of Recruiting for Sony Pictures Animation summed it up beautifully: “Meeting and getting to know the tribe was delightful. I wish we could have met with everyone in person, and I look forward to 2021!” 

After the success of this year’s event, we can’t wait to do just that - build on what we’ve learned and continue to provide these kinds of opportunities. And as always, we’re always looking to learn, improve, and hear from you, our Tribe. So please share your thoughts with us via social media or Discord. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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