Lauren Tonello, 24

Organizer
Lauren Tonello
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Lauren received a random message from the head organizer of nwHacks a couple of weeks before their event saying he had heard she did marketing and that they desperately needed some help. At the time, Lauren had no experience in tech and had no idea what a hackathon was but she agreed to help.

She walked into the event completely blindsided, had the experience of a lifetime and instantly fell in love with the hacker community. Four years later and she is still doing marketing for nwPlus and is loving every second of it.

Hackathons have allowed Lauren to share the stories of people who are truly passionate about the work they do. They have provided her with work that has meaning, genuinely interests her, and that she is proud to share with others. Her role in hackathons over the years has been approaching hundreds of hackers and sponsors at events and asking them “what are you working on” or “what do you do.” Each person has a different answer, usually about a field, global issue or new hardware she knows nothing about, and they’re always willing to tell her all about it. She has come out of these events with some of the most interesting and informative conversations she’s ever had and has learned about different topics she would have never come across. Hackathons have changed her life as they’ve opened her up to countless new topics.

Lauren works to make the nwPlus hacker community more diverse and inclusive by breaking the stereotype of what typical hacker community members are. As someone who entered the community not knowing what a hackathon was, a first-year, and an art student, she has become a big advocate for encouraging anyone who is interested to give it a try, no matter the experience level or academic background. 

She has had the opportunity to make this the focal point of nwPlus’ marketing strategy for the past two years and as a result, they have seen their events reach almost equal diversity ratios among their hackers and organizers (gender, fields of study, academic years, etc.). She is particularly proud of their team for increasing their beginner hacker rate to 40% this year and for consistently breaking down stigmas of who can attend hackathons. Her team always says “if Lauren can do it given her experience level, anyone can do it.”

Since she is not a hacker, her favorite project as the marketing director has been incorporating Medium articles into their marketing strategy. This allowed their organizers to share more in-depth content about different aspects of their events with the hacker community. Her role in this implementation was working with hackers and sponsors to share their stories and projects that they’ve been working on, through hacker experience stories, sponsor interviews, and project spotlights. This was her favorite project as it allowed her to meet new members in their community, further learn about the work happening in it, and connect other members with each other.

Lauren is currently finishing her degree at the University of British Columbia where she majors in mathematics and minors in commerce and a software development stream. She aspires to work in digital marketing and social media analytics, focusing on brand authenticity.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: She/Her
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
School: University of British Columbia
Graduation Date: 2020
First Hackathon: nwHacks 2016
Favorite Coding Language: N/A
Can't Live Without: Google Maps
Lauren writes for nwPlus to give insight into their community and encourage diversity

Lauren Tonello, 24

Organizer
Lauren Tonello
Share this profile

Lauren received a random message from the head organizer of nwHacks a couple of weeks before their event saying he had heard she did marketing and that they desperately needed some help. At the time, Lauren had no experience in tech and had no idea what a hackathon was but she agreed to help.

She walked into the event completely blindsided, had the experience of a lifetime and instantly fell in love with the hacker community. Four years later and she is still doing marketing for nwPlus and is loving every second of it.

Hackathons have allowed Lauren to share the stories of people who are truly passionate about the work they do. They have provided her with work that has meaning, genuinely interests her, and that she is proud to share with others. Her role in hackathons over the years has been approaching hundreds of hackers and sponsors at events and asking them “what are you working on” or “what do you do.” Each person has a different answer, usually about a field, global issue or new hardware she knows nothing about, and they’re always willing to tell her all about it. She has come out of these events with some of the most interesting and informative conversations she’s ever had and has learned about different topics she would have never come across. Hackathons have changed her life as they’ve opened her up to countless new topics.

Lauren works to make the nwPlus hacker community more diverse and inclusive by breaking the stereotype of what typical hacker community members are. As someone who entered the community not knowing what a hackathon was, a first-year, and an art student, she has become a big advocate for encouraging anyone who is interested to give it a try, no matter the experience level or academic background. 

She has had the opportunity to make this the focal point of nwPlus’ marketing strategy for the past two years and as a result, they have seen their events reach almost equal diversity ratios among their hackers and organizers (gender, fields of study, academic years, etc.). She is particularly proud of their team for increasing their beginner hacker rate to 40% this year and for consistently breaking down stigmas of who can attend hackathons. Her team always says “if Lauren can do it given her experience level, anyone can do it.”

Since she is not a hacker, her favorite project as the marketing director has been incorporating Medium articles into their marketing strategy. This allowed their organizers to share more in-depth content about different aspects of their events with the hacker community. Her role in this implementation was working with hackers and sponsors to share their stories and projects that they’ve been working on, through hacker experience stories, sponsor interviews, and project spotlights. This was her favorite project as it allowed her to meet new members in their community, further learn about the work happening in it, and connect other members with each other.

Lauren is currently finishing her degree at the University of British Columbia where she majors in mathematics and minors in commerce and a software development stream. She aspires to work in digital marketing and social media analytics, focusing on brand authenticity.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: She/Her
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
School: University of British Columbia
Graduation Date: 2020
First Hackathon: nwHacks 2016
Favorite Coding Language: N/A
Can't Live Without: Google Maps
Share this profile
Lauren writes for nwPlus to give insight into their community and encourage diversity

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