Learn and grow — virtually

Written by: Kristine Clarin

The last 8 months have been interesting, to say the least. Adjusting to the remote lifestyle hasn’t been the easiest for many. Although there are many things we would prefer to do in-person, there are new opportunities for you to make the most out of your virtual norm. To help you find inspiration to learn new skills, stay connected, and grow professionally here are 4 areas you can focus on:

  • Industry leaders 💡
  • Global community 🌎
  • Resources and mentorship 📚
  • Unique experiences ✨

💡 Industry leaders

Many of the big names across various industries empathize with everyone trying to adjust to virtual work and school, just as they have too. They’ve used their resources to connect with people by sharing their thoughts and lives on social media, or even collaborate with other leaders to create something like the Dear Class of 2020 commencement to inspire students across the globe.

Because social media has been the main channel of communication these days, using Twitter, Instagram, or even Linkedin are avenues in which you can connect with industry leaders that inspire you the most! Have you ever wondered what entrepreneurs do to unwind after work hours? Are there any questions you want to ask product designers? There’s always some value in seeing their advice or even what they had for breakfast on your newsfeed, even if there isn’t anything specific you’d like to talk about.

🌎 Global community

Being physically distant doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected; the world is literally at your fingertips. There are so many ways to stay connected with your friends through social media, but join and engage in new communities online! Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp are just some of the direct ways to keep in touch. Platforms such as Discord, Slack, and Facebook groups enable you to find interest groups with hundreds to thousands of members you can share common interests with.

Having a community to motivate, support, and inspire you is so important in pushing you to explore your passions! It can definitely feel like you’re on your own sometimes, but having a community to share your experiences and challenges with is more fulfilling than figuring everything out by yourself. Personally, I’m a part of resume critique and professional development groups where I was able to connect with people who have been in the same situations as I have. The possibilities are endless, no matter how niche your interests are.

📚 Resources and mentorship

Learning and growth doesn’t have to be limited by your network and peers. There are hundreds or even thousands of accessible resources online to help you learn new skills and master existing ones. To name a few, Youtube, Linkedin Learning, Skillshare and Coursera offer courses that allow you to explore your passions from the comfort of your own home. You can even sign up for newsletters and read blog posts so that you can learn something new without having to complete a whole course.

Many businesses, creators, and organizations are investing in their marketing efforts to connect with people online especially in our current remote setting. Webinars, blogs, and Q&A’s are just some of the many mediums where you can find educational content and opportunities to engage with industry professionals.

✨ Unique experiences

With this year’s unique circumstances, it’s no surprise that this has been a time for creativity and innovation to create new experiences virtually. Things that are unimaginable to do right now are brought straight to your computer, like the Microsoft’s Flight Simulator or K-pop group, BTS’s Virtual Concert earlier this year.

Aside from the increased number of already virtual learning events like webinars, online hackathons are also interactive and engaging opportunities to build cool projects with other hackers from literally anywhere from across the globe. Hack the North is also following suit and bringing all the resources and mentorship so that hackers can dream big and build-online! No matter what hackathon or virtual event you participate in, these opportunities were tailored to be unique experiences that you can take part in from the comfort of your own home.

Although 2020 brought many unexpected turns which changed the way we normally lived, we’re making the most out of our circumstances. Being stuck at home doesn’t have to hold you back from being inspired by industry leaders, connecting with a global community, accessing resources and mentorship, and trying unique experiences! As many organizations and companies have adapted to bring new opportunities virtually, you, too, can take advantage of the plethora of experiences from home. You can still move forward as the world is seemingly standing still.

Hack the North is scheduled for January 15–17, 2021 🎉

Hacker and workshop lead applications are open! Apply at hackthenorth.com before November 15 at 11:59 pm EST.

3,000+ students from across the globe join us at Hack the North, Canada’s biggest hackathon, for 36 hours ofdreaming big and building incredible projects.