Tag: #TD


You may have heard the term tossed around a few times, but do you know what a hackathon is? What are some of the pros and cons of hackathon? These are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about registering for a hackathon!

What is a hackathon?
An event focused on collaboratively creating software, usually in effort to solve one or a variety of problems utilizing computer programming. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus (be it programming language, OS, or any other number of specifications), and usually involve team competition and collaboration. They typically last for a weekend and occur year round!

What are some pros of participating in a Hackathon?
Networking. One nice thing about attending a hackathon is you can be sure that you share something in common with everyone else there — a love for computer programming. In addition to the rigorous hackathon event itself, there’s often opportunities to get to know other programmers and spend leisure time together.
Camaraderie. In line with just making connections, the intensive nature of a hackathon will foster community between attending members. Either for the weekend or for years to follow, you will find a community at a hackathon.
Creation. The focus of the hackathon, of course, is on problem solving and software development. So at the end of the weekend, no matter what the problem was, you’ll have created something incredible — be it an original application or altering the purpose of an appliance. Over the course of the hackathon, you might work with people from vastly different programming backgrounds than yours and on projects that are vastly different than ones you’re familiar with. Hackathons provide opportunity to branch out and test some less-used programming muscles.

What are some cons of participating in a Hackathon?
Tiring. As can be expected from spending a weekend developing new code and software, hackathons can take a toll on your sleep habits.
Frustrating. As with any high-pressure, low-time event, there are bound to be frustrations along the road. From bad or unusable code, to bugs that simply cannot be fixed in the time constraint, unfortunate things can happen unexpectedly. Like any competition, the prospect of spending hours and hours working on something, only to come up short in the end should be considered.
Loss of focus and drive. Burnout is real, and it’s unfortunately not uncommon at hackathons. Between sleep loss, frustration buildup, or simply brain fatigue and procrastination (which occur at hackathons just like they occur before your big paper is due!), it can be difficult to focus on completing hacking tasks.

“Thank you for the interview opportunity!” How to follow up after interviews and write thank you notes

Following up after job interviews and writing them a quick “thank you” note after the end is a good way to ensure that you still remain in the interviewer’s mind and demonstrate your interest in the role. You should also follow up with a “thank you” note after networking conversations/informational interviews, as they are a great way to show your appreciation and strengthen your existing connections. But how does one write a good “thank you” note?
There is no single right way to pull it off but some general conventions still apply when writing thank you notes following a job or informational interview. When sending a note, be sure to:

  • Send the thank you/follow-up email to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. Hiring processes can be done quickly, so hand written cards to follow up on job interviews might not be feasible. However, for informational interviews, sending a written thank you note within a week is a good way to stand out and show your extra appreciation (this can be done in addition to the 24-hour email).
  • Refer to when the interview occurred.
  • Refer to important parts of your conversation with them, such as highlighting a specific piece of advice that resonated with you.
  • For job interviews, reaffirm your interest in the position and why the interview made you even more interested in that position.
  • End with an invitation for further follow up.

Here’s an example format of email to guide you:
Subject: Thank you for the interview opportunity

Dear Mr./Ms./Mx. [Interviewer’s Last Name],
Thank you for speaking with me yesterday about my interest in the [job position you are applying for] role at [organization name]. I sincerely appreciate the time you to took to explain the position and all that it would entail.

I enjoyed our discussion on [add specific references to the conversation]. It only further reaffirmed my interest in the position, as it [explanation of why you are interested in this position]. I am confident that my prior experiences have prepared me to jump right into the role, especially [very brief explanation of why you think you are qualified for the job].

Thank you again for your consideration and for providing me the opportunity to meet with you and your team. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide as you move forward in the hiring process.

You can find examples here and find more here. If needed, the Career Center has thank you cards available for your use. And, as always, if you need help writing a follow-up note or anything else, you can always make an appointment there!

Raisa Fatima ’23, Career Peer Educator