How I Hacked Hack the North (without any code)

​Hack the North is Canada’s largest hackathon, held at the University of Waterloo. It is a 36-hour hackathon bringing together 1,000 students across the globe to bring ideas to life.

  • Hungry? There are scheduled free meals and snacks throughout.
  • Feeling tired? There are areas designated for sleeping/napping.
  • Want some inspiration or a break? There are lots of workshops and events going on that you can easily pop into.

Although I did not get the true ‘hacker’ experience, I was able to ‘hack’ my business and personal growth by networking with different companies and using my time to build up my venture.

After all, every experience is what you make of it. The general idea behind a hackathon is to generate ideas, work with new people, and build something that you’re passionate about or that you never thought you could, in a short period of time.

So what exactly did I do?

I shared my story, my passions, and networked my way through almost every company’s booth. This, in combination with working on my venture in an environment where everyone around me was also grinding out work, allowed me to generate potential business leads while expressing my passions and interests with strangers.

The result?

In a summarized view here’s what I got out of the entire experience:

  • Connections with over 14 different companies
  • Confidence in sharing ideas and receiving feedback
  • A clearer inbox and more content/strategies for FEM in STEM
  • A job interview (which was attained by exemplifying passion while networking and making meaningful connections)
  • At least 4 water bottles, 2 chargers, and too many laptop stickers

Takeaways

If there is one thing I want anyone reading this to learn, it’s that you have the power to create new experiences for yourself in ways that may be unconventional or uncanny. Now I’m not saying ‘go to a hackathon and don’t hack’, I’ve been to a handful of them in the past and the competitive hacking experience is awesome- but with anything, know what will help you and identify the best uses for your time. You should never be afraid to re-design and tailor experiences in such a way that ultimately helps you grow.

Writing things while doing things | UWaterloo | Social Entrepreneur | Product Person