WWDC diary: how a day of furious networking might pay off

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WWDC scholar Kenny Batista at Apple
WWDC student scholar Kenny Batista has been networking like crazy to get an internship at Apple.
Photo: Kenny Batista/Cult of Mac

This week, student Kenny Batista is writing a diary from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. Kenny won a coveted WWDC Scholarship, which includes food, lodging and VIP access.

SAN JOSE, California — Today at WWDC was all about networking. I’m working my way into an internship at Apple, and it’s going pretty well. I managed to impress an Apple engineer with an idea that I think they might already be working on!


McEnery Convention Center WWDC 2017
Taking a break at the McEnery Convention Center, venue of WWDC 2017
Photo: Kenny Batista/Cult of Mac

Suggesting a secret feature

When I heard that Apple was getting into mobile video, I was excited AF.

I’m an avid user of Apple’s new video creation app, Clips, which was was released a couple of months ago. After using the app for a while and feeling invested, I realized that there where certain features that would improve the app if incorporated. So I decided to make it my mission for the day to to get my message across to the folks at Apple.

WWDC Scholars are given exclusive access to network with top Apple engineers who were all previous scholarship winners. I quickly met an engineer working on Clips and told her the idea I had. Her eyes quickly widened. I believe that I had described what they were secretly working on!

She then asked “are you looking for an internship at Apple?” and gave me her e-mail.

Feeling confident, I tried to get my message about Clips higher up the Apple chain.

I asked around at the dorms if anyone knew someone who was at WWDC with a high position. Everyone pointed at John Geleynese, Apple’s Director of Technology Evangelism & User Experience Evangelist.

Stalking a rare Pokemon

My friends said that John is like a rare Pokemon. He is very hard to find, but that if I found him, he would be very valuable.

I quickly scoured around the conference space for nearly two hours and finally found him speaking to someone.

I waited for him to finish and then introduced myself and told him the idea that I had to improve Clips.

Right off the bat I noticed that John was super charismatic. He loved the idea and was very friendly to me. He gave me his phone number — and then connected me with Clips Project Manager!

I met up with the project manager. We talked about my background, the projects that I was working on, and the ideas I had.

He asked me a lots of questions on feedback for the current Clips version and what I would improve. He even took notes on his iPhone.

Hustling

I proved to him that I knew the mobile video space from an engineering and product standpoint by showing him the video apps that I had worked on and conversating about current video trends and competitive analysis.

He gave me his e-mail, asked to not give it to anyone else, and to e-mail him a summary of what we had discussed and some more feedback about Clips.

All in all, a pretty successful day of stalking and networking. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

I believe that in life if you want something you have to go get it, it won’t just come to you. Hustle on!

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