Hi hi 👋🏻 This is Nour. I am a Skywalker from Tatooine. If you are not a Star Wars fan, Skywalker is a farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi in the galaxy. Tatooine is in fact a real place in Tunisia where Star Wars was shot and where I grew up with broken access to financial or technological services, yet gained unwavering passion for both fields. Just like Skywalker, I took things from 0 to 1 as a queer Muslim woman breaking into Tech.
When I found out about Out4Undergrad, I knew it was the place to be. A community of talented queer individuals in tech with unapologetic resistance to boundaries. Each year, they invite a diverse class of high-achieving LGBTQ+ students to unique conferences where they find resources to scale their career. I found myself in a room full of so much inspiration, a kind driven pool of energy where everyone learns from, and alongside each other. Flights and housing covered! 🥰
Here are my highlights:
  • We started off with a keynote from the one and only, Dominique Jackson. She spoke on how Ball culture saved her life. It helped her find her chosen and proven family. A lot of us are looking for what Dominique found in New York City’s ballroom community. Dominique gave advice on handling homophobia, starting a new life away from home, and not taking bullshit from anyone. And that is on going through fire to becoming the fire.
  • Jay Chopra, a Product Manager at Google, gave us a workshop on PM Interviews. I learned a great deal from his expertise, especially his demonstration of the Circles framework. Jay gave me a great boost of confidence after telling him about my background.
  • Tiffany was like the Beyonce of Product Management. She was energetic, thoughtful, and insightful. She went through life with people looking at her like she was crazy every time she shared her ambitions. She went on to prove them wrong. I love seeing lesbians of color conquer the tech industry. My favorite part of her talk was this secret formula:
Luck = (Preparation × Opportunity) ^ Delusion
May all the delulu come trululu
  • Our mentorship group was lit. Shoutout to Gautham and Christina, the dopest mentors! We talked about intersectional feminism, tech ethics, and code-switching in the workplace and it got... real. Getting deeply personal with industry professionals is something I never experienced before. I am thankful to be in tech, the most LGBTQ+ friendly industry out there. And of course, we still have a long way to go. And I want to take an active part in this movement to make these safe spaces accessible to more underrepresented communities. Intersectionality is not meant to create “oppression hierarchies”. Instead, it helps us to understand how different forms of oppression intersect and impact individuals in unique ways.
  • We need to talk about the Gala we had on a Boose Cruise across the Hutchison River. Thanks Titos for sponsoring 🫲 The House of Balenciaga performed; they ate and left no crumbs 🤭 At that point, I got so used to being around 500 other gay people at all times that I don’t know how to adjust back to reality. Everyone served. Everyone was kind and fun. I got to celebrate and honor my identity with peers and professionals that I look up to.
OKay, now what? These are no new ideas… Yep, they are not, but now I have new ways of giving those ideas breath and power in my own living.