Hack.Diversity empowers Bentley student careers
Kehinde Adelabu, MSIT ’20 landed a dream job through Hack.Diversity
When Kehinde Adelabu, MSIT ’20 was younger, he saved up his lunch money to buy electronic toys. But it wasn’t enough to simply acquire remote control cars and walkie talkies; he wanted to know how they worked.
“I started to reverse engineer my toy cars by dismantling its components and unconsciously began to learn what each component does and how it's made. I started to use parts from other toys to fix my broken toys.”
It’s probably why, in 2018, while at Bentley pursuing a master’s degree in information technology, the self-proclaimed “technology enthusiast” applied for a fellowship with Hack.Diversity. The organization, whose mission is to “address the underrepresentation of high-skilled minority employees in Boston’s innovation economy,” works with companies and schools to recruit Black and Latinx students pursuing careers in software engineering, data analytics, information technology and UX/UI design.
Both his graduate program and the fellowship were perfect complements to each other. Coding bootcamps, for example, and Bentley courses like Enterprise Architecture, Project Management, Database Management and Advance Database Architecture. And then there was the relationship-building.
“My networking skill grew 1,000% at Bentley,” Adelabu recalls. “I had opportunities to network with recruiters from top companies, and many of the people I met are Bentley alums and I learned from them. At Hack.Diversity I was matched to one of their partner companies and that’s how I got my interview with a Vertex recruiter. I just wanted to see what else was out there and I did not regret it.”
Nor should he have regrets. He landed a full-time job as an IT data engineer analyst at Vertex in 2020.
“One of the things that excites me about the innovation industry is how they are always coming up with new innovative ways of doing things that make life easier for everyone,” Adelabu says. “In my current industry, biotech, we use technology to help create transformative medicine for people with rare diseases. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the cause.”
Adelabu also has a talent for mentorship. As a graduate assistant at Bentley, he was a tutor for IT courses at the Computer Information Systems Sandbox (“the coolest place to work on campus”). Today, he is inspired to “open the pipeline to others” because of Hack.Diversity's investment in him. “As a way to pay it forward, I spread the word about the organization whenever and wherever I get a chance, especially to minority students.”
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Adelabu inadvertently was a “Hack” trailblazer for Bentley students, too, according to Laura Aiken, director of graduate career development in the Pulsifer Career Development Center. “When Kehinde told me that he was accepted into the Hack.Diversity fellowship, the Pulsifer Career Development Center explored ways to promote it and open access for other Bentley students to apply, and ultimately build connections with employers committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Joshua Anudu, MBA ’20, MSIT ‘20 was in the 2020 cohort, and Bentley’s 2021 cohort includes Faustino Andrade ’21 (Computer Information Systems major and Liberal Studies Major in Global Perspectives); Mark Karugarama, MBA ’20, MSDI (Digital Innovation) ‘20; Olubiyi Ojo, MBA ’21, MSBA ‘21; Taiwo Bada, MSDI ’21; and Victor Obetta, MSBA ‘22.
“Bentley students never fail to make the most of the Hack.Diversity experience, and there is no greater gift than seeing the success of our Fellows,” says Tori Goyette, associate director of community and curriculum at Hack.Diversity. “Seeing Kehinde represent Vertex in their company pitch to our 2021 cohort demonstrates how our alumni are stewarding the next generation of underrepresented talent into their companies. This is exactly how we chip away at these much larger, systemic racial justice challenges.”
Adelabu has this advice for pursuing a dream job, even in an industry that requires breaking barriers: “Be open-minded to learning new things and networking. You never know where your network might take you.”