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Vishal Das (he/him) for GitHub Campus Experts

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A Year as a GitHub Campus Expert ✨

Let me start off by saying, I was simply hoping from one link to another on GitHub and landed on the Education site, what happened next is what this story is about 😊

Last February I attended GitHub's first meetup in India, The GitHub India Meetup with my fellow Campus Experts and Alumnus. I will forever cherish that event. During a random conversation with Khushboo, I realized I had been a CE for a year! So here's my story behind that journey and probably something for you to take away as well 🙂

The Pilot

GitHub Campus Experts Landing Page
I am not sure but I think I applied for the program back in August 2018. I was a CSE sophomore student then (a very average one), by the time I was applying for this, I had already been rejected from various other student programs, internships, etc. at this point, I had overcome the fear of getting rejected \o/
Did I feel overwhelmed while applying? No! I simply knew that I wanted to do this and was genuine about why I wanted to, in my application. If you're someone who feels they shouldn't apply because they aren't ready for it, well.. I made it! So can you :)
It took around 2-3 months until I heard back from the team and like everyone applying, I understand the anxiety you face and the patience it takes during that period, it takes time to review that many (~1k or more) applications but it's worth it :)

The Launch

By this time I was used to check my mails more than the apps Haha! Yeah, that actually happens when you've applied for too many things 😅
I remember this day very clearly, I woke up from my evening nap :p and checked the mail and there it was, I had been accepted for the training! Naturally, I didn't think this was true so I refreshed my mail, read the mail at-least a hundred time (not really, but you geddit). My happiness knew no bounds, for the first time ever, I had been accepted for a program and that too by GitHub! 🥳

The Flight

As much excited as I was, I couldn't wait to begin the training and learn everything that the program had to offer me! Heads up, I learned a hell lot and I still do everyday from the community. For those of you who don't know what GitHub Campus Experts is about, in short it trains you to lead communities better in your campus. And you maybe able to relate it to the roles of DevRels in the corporate, they are gems for any organization and CEs are nothing less for their communities! I learned about Inclusion, Fear of Missing Out, Diversity, Safe Spaces, Accessibility and many more realities that I never knew existed! During the training, I had created a community in my thoughts, a community that was accessible to all, one that was inclusive to everyone while making it a safe space for everyone to take part in and made sure no one feels left out. As of today, that community goes by Mozilla Punjab 💖
It took me around 4 months to complete the training and on-boarding (this is variable, please don't compare with yours), before I became a CE officially on February 2019 🎉

The Journey

The training had not only helped me learn how communities work and how to make them better, but also helped me overcome imposter syndrome, get out of my comfort zone and meet new people, represent my community at other events, meetups, conferences, the list keeps extending with time! The best thing about being a CE are the people you meet and know.
I've had times when I needed personal advises, suggestions or simply someone to help me out and the people there are always so welcoming and supporting that I never felt that I had to search another place for me, they're extremely sweet 🍰

The Future

Since GCE happened to me, I have also been a Mozillian for more than a year now and recently became a MozRep officially! As of today, the community of my thoughts which began with a sweet bunch of 5 folks, now is a family of more than 100+ Mozillians and it just keeps growing! I keep studying the needs and struggles of my community members, solve them with the help of a beautiful team of people who started or joined me along in this journey and team up with fellow GCEs, Mozillians and other Community Leaders to bring our communities together to help a larger group of people and help bubble up the most marginalized group of people while helping everyone on the way!

If you're looking to apply for GitHub Campus Experts, check GitHub Campus Experts! Good Luck 😊

Until next time folks! 👋

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