Advancing San Diego:

Career Exploration Day & Virtual Career Fair

October 20, 2020 | 8:30AM - 5:30PM PST

Student Registration Form   Company Registration Form

About The


Through its new initiative, Advancing San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC is hosting a FREE virtual industry event that will bring together employers and students of San Diego schools for a day of career exploration, professional development, company information sessions, peer learning, and networking. Open to local high school and college students, the event welcomes those with diverse education backgrounds and majors to make valuable connections to San Diego companies and learn more about career opportunities in industries that continue to grow despite economic uncertainty.

The virtual conference will feature five workshops that are available to stream on-demand for a full 24 hours, and a keynote session from Lee Wills, Head of Inclusion and Talent Acquisition at Sony. We will also have a virtual career fair where students will get to network live with corporate representatives from local companies from 3:30 – 5:30PM.

Why you

should attend

The world of work has changed overnight, and students who were graduating into the hottest labor market in a generation are now facing record unemployment. However, there are still shortages for in-demand jobs. Join this session to gain insights, network with industry professionals, and interact with San Diego companies still looking to hire local talent. 

*Companies participating in the career fair are listed below.

Career Exploration Day


8:30 – 10:00am

Exhibit Hall

Virtual career fair (CS and engineering students)

Students connect with recruiters through our virtual career fair platform. This session is open to computer science and engineering students - afteroon career fair is open to all.

10:00 – 10:20am


Keynote: Career exploration in 2020

Keynote speaker Lee Wills of Sony will provide students with an uplifting message about career exploration in these economically uncertain times, offering strategies for navigating the job market and staying focused on career goals. 

  • Lee Wills, Head of Talent and Inclusion, Sony 
To join this session, navigate to the auditorium and click the auditorium screen.

10:30 – 11:20am


Jobs on the rise in a changing workplace

Industry experts will address the current state of the workplace, and how jobs might look different right now and for years to come. Students will learn which jobs are on the rise in San Diego, and how they can prepare now for an internship or entry-level position in growing industries. Focus on biotech, machine learning/AI, cybersecurity, and data science.

  • Neal Bloom, CEO, Rising Tide Partners & Founder, Fresh Brewed Tech - Moderator 
  • Chris Waskiewicz, Chief Engineer & Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Victoria Ashton, Vice President, People Operations, GoSite 
  • Micah Canal, Manager, Early Career Program, Intuit
To join this session, navigate to the auditorium and click the auditorium screen.

11:30 – noon


Peer networking

Students will join breakout sessions in the student lounge for peer learning, career advice, and a chance to connect with fellow students from schools throughout San Diego. Facilitated by San Diego Regional EDC staff, including current interns

12:15 – 1:15pm


Spotlight on cybersecurity - sponsored by Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE)

In a digital world powered by rapidly evolving technology, securing our information and protecting our IP is more important than ever. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand in San Diego. During this session, industry reps will discuss the future of cyber and lend advice on how to prepare for a career in this growing field.

  • Chad Nelley, Executive VP, Operations / Founding Board Member, ESET North America, CCOE - Moderator 
  • Eva Kennedy, Senior Cybersecurity Engineer, Sentek Global
  • Jim Biancavilla, Lead Cybersecurity Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Ryan Nye, Analyst, IT Risk Management, Sharp Healthcare
  • Jara Tripiano, Cybersecurity Engineering Principal Technical Manager and Division Head, NAVWAR
To join this session, navigate to the auditorium and click the auditorium screen.

1:30 – 3:40pm 


Professional development & learning

To join these sessions, navigate to the auditorium and click the auditorium screen.

1:30 - 2:05 Pathways to tech careers: Whether you’re a high school student who wants to learn more about jobs in software, or are considering a career change into the tech field, this session will highlight different education pathways to consider. You’ll hear directly from students and alums from a variety of programs throughout San Diego who will share their experience.

2:15 – 2:50 Build your personal brand & nail the interview: Hiring managers share their best advice for standing out during the hiring process, from tips on building a strong resume and cover letter, to interviewing techniques, to staying focused on your career goals even if you don’t land your dream job right away.

  • Derrick Harrison, Senior Workforce Development Specialist, Manpower San Diego - Moderator
  • Stefanie Banks, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Qualcomm
  • Jordan Harrison, Vice President, Community Impact and Partnerships, Reality Changers 

3:00 – 3:40 How San Diego companies are transforming communities: Students hear from San Diego companies about how they are helping our community navigate challenging times, providing solutions to address our most pressing challenges in connectivity, education, small business support, and energy.

  • Ian Gordon, Senior Vice President & Chief Impact Officer, United Way of San Diego County - Moderator
  • Monique Rodriguez, Senior Director, Government Affairs, Qualcomm
  • Ray Freiwirth, Founder & CEO, The Commons XR
  • Ruth Ochoa, Executive Technology  & Security Awareness Manager, Sempra Energy

3:30 – 5:30pm

Exhibit Hall

Virtual career fair (open to all)

Students connect with recruiters through our virtual career fair platform. This session is open to all attendees. 


Event wraps

Career Fair



Frequently Asked


Yes, you will need to fill out the registration form in order to participate in the virtual event on October 20.
No. Some employers may have the ability to request a video chat during the career fair session, but it is not required in order to participate.
No. You do not need to download or install any software to participate. You only need to have access to the internet.
Yes, as long as they are attending a San Diego educational institution. Help us spread the word by sharing the link to this page, and they can register at their convenience.
Yes. Like any physical event, we will have a Cart for you! You can add all of the documents available to the online Cart in your account and then email them to yourself at the end of the day.