Julian inspired to create his own business after embracing the Silicon Valley spirit

A Computer Security student is exploring the idea of creating his own business after visiting a non-profit enterprise that aims to diversify the tech industry.

Julian Nguyen spent the morning at the Kapor Center in Oakland, California, as part of the #DMUglobal diversity in tech trip.

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Sophie Hughes and Julian Nguyen

Along with fellow students, he attended panels on crafting a career in tech and the entrepreneurship journey, with the chance to ask questions and gain top tips from experts.

Julian said: "I want to do penetration testing and I was able to really explore the idea of creating my own business.

"It's not something I'd heavily considered before today. However, the visit inspired me to consider that as a possibility for the future.

"I was able to look into how I might be able to do that and how it might pan out if it were to become successful and potentially how I might tackle some hurdles I'd come across."

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The visit came on the second day of the trip to San Francisco and the Bay area, arranged as part of the #DMUfreedom programme and hosted by non-profit organisation Colorintech. The aim is to give Black, Asian and minority ethnic students awareness of, and access to, what's going on in Silicon Valley.

Sophie Hughes found the experience "really interesting".

She said: "As a Computer Science student, not all this business talk is 100 per cent applied to me. But it's still really interesting to see because no matter what I will do I will still have to interact with it.

"Being able to listen and apply my own filter of tech and engineering to the hands-on business side is really handy and really useful."


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Students had the chance to quiz key players, including Kapor Center partner Ulili Onavakpuri, about their experiences and gain words of wisdom.

Topics ranged from authenticity and reasons to avoid buzzwords to pitching business ideas.

Cedric Brown, chief of community engagement, hosted the activities. He said: "The role of the Kapor Center is to try to be a hotbed for having a positive social impact and using tech as a platform.

"It is such a pleasure to welcome the students from DMU.

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Cedric Brown

"I think one of the things that students can get as a benefit is being surrounded by people who are practising this work every day.

"They have experiences and can give advice that will inform the students' choices as they move forward themselves as computer scientists or as business folks, trying to make an impact in the ways that they are going to make an impact in the world.

"So we're learning a lot from the students and hopefully the students are gaining something from the experience being here."

Posted on Thursday 5 July 2018

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