Silicon Valley Meets at Facebook Campus to Recruit LGBT Students

2/1/13Follow @wroush

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consider being as open in a corporate setting as you are at your university. Our hope for these students is that they realize they can be their true selves everywhere in their lives.”

That’s good for both employees and their companies, Ruderman says. He cites a 2011 Harvard Business Review study showing that closeted LGBT employees are less likely to be promoted, more likely to feel isolated, and more likely to leave their jobs early.

Admission to OUTC is competitive: this weekend’s attendees had to submit resumes and transcripts and answer extensive questions about their personal interests and career plans. (More than 400 students applied for 170 slots, according to Dwelle.)

Because of that pre-filtering, the OUTC event would be a good recruiting mechanism for the sponsoring companies even in the absence of any LGBT theme, says Mendez. “If you have a chance to connect with some of the brightest students in the country, it would be foolish not to participate,” he says. “But even more, a lot of these students are volunteers and show initiative beyond just going to a good school and having a nice background. It was a no-brainer for Box to participate.”

Several participants in last year’s conference went on to do internships at Facebook, Dwelle says.

This year’s participants will get to hear a keynote speech from Maveron partner Amy Errett. Other speakers include Fog Creek Software founder Joel Spolsky, Andreessen Horowitz partner Brian Cho, and NEA partner Patrick Chung.

Out for Undergrad also organizes the 10-year-old Out for Undergraduate Business Conference, hosted annually by JP Morgan in New York City. That event is designed for students interested in the financial and consulting industries, and now boasts a large community of alumni who can help LGBT students find internships and job openings, according to Dwelle.

“We’ll be able to catch up here shortly,” he says.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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