19 May 2022

“Students were able to create innovative application solutions to real world problems while working in teams, competing with their peers, expanding their coding and design skills, connecting and receiving mentorship from members of Lincoln and practicing their public speaking skills by presenting to the larger group. Students are still talking about the codeLinc hackathon and can’t wait for the next one!" - Dr. Naja Mack, assistant professor of Computer Science at Morgan State University

Lincoln Financial Group’s Information Technology (IT) organization brought its 24-hour student hackathon, codeLinc, to Morgan State University (MSU), one of the nation’s leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Thirty-five student participants had the opportunity to showcase their coding and programming skills and worked in teams paired with one of Lincoln’s own veteran developers providing mentorship, advice, technical assistance and encouragement on topics from coding to presenting ideas effectively.

“CodeLinc at Morgan State was a huge success as the incredibly talented student participants were able to put their technical skills and knowledge to the test and experience what their futures could look like as IT professionals,” said Mike Webb, vice president of IT Operations Technology and leader of Lincoln’s IT Diversity Action Team. “Through this partnership, Lincoln furthers its long-term commitment to employ a diverse cohort of early career talent pursuing a career in IT. It was inspiring to see these students’ dedication to the challenge and left me excited about the future of IT and the talent pipeline.”

Students were challenged to build a better job-seeking tool for both applicants and employers that would return the most promising roles for the applicant. The final products allowed job seekers to engage with the employers they wish to target and search for positions anonymously.

"Working in partnership with Lincoln Financial Group provided many of our students with their first hackathon and some their first overnight hackathon,” said Dr. Naja Mack, assistant professor of Computer Science at Morgan State University. “Students were able to create innovative application solutions to real world problems while working in teams, competing with their peers, expanding their coding and design skills, connecting and receiving mentorship from members of Lincoln and practicing their public speaking skills by presenting to the larger group. Students are still talking about the codeLinc hackathon and can’t wait for the next one!"

“Participating in codeLinc allowed me to make connections with people in my field, explore how well I can work with others in a technical aspect and create more opportunities for my future. This was my first experience doing anything like this and it was amazing,” said Isaiah Scott, a junior majoring in computer sciences at Morgan State University. “Morgan State provides great opportunities for students and the coaches [from Lincoln] provided great support. This was a fun learning experience, and I would definitely participate again.”

CodeLinc has been a successful vehicle for recruiting early career talent to Lincoln’s IT organization. More than 400 students have participated across seven events – 29 have accepted internships and full-time positions at Lincoln as a result. In its new partnership with MSU, Lincoln offered internships to five contestants following the codeLinc event in early April.

LCN-4723311-050322

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