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RTC Leaders x Figma Eng GEMS Dinner

by Ashley Torres-Ventura
Class of 2024
Stony Brook University
Multidisciplinary Studies Major: Computer Science, Sociology, & Spanish 

After almost two long years of no in-person events, RTC has reinstated Summer Hubs, and I am thrilled about it! What are Summer Hubs, and why am I so thrilled? Great questions! RTC Summer Hubs are a chance for RTC women in tech who are interning in different cities to connect, commiserate, and even collaborate! As a virtual community, although we are actively engaged online, nothing beats showing up at a great venue and being surrounded by other college women in tech, some of whom you’ve met online but you’ve been excited to make a connection IRL!  

Last week, I had a chance to do both! Figma, a web-based graphics editing and user interface design app, invited RTC women to an exclusive dinner in Soho, NYC. There, I met other RTC women from Latinas de RTC, Black Wings, Summer Hub leaders, and more! Figma brought along some of their amazing Figmates (those who build Figma software). Over dinner, we enjoyed getting to know each other and Figma’s brand and opportunities for RTC women.

I cannot describe how refreshing this dinner was! It wasn’t just the incredible setting, the menu, or the conversation- it was the intimacy and power of all these things combined! Being remote for so long made me forget how much fun and genuine in-person events can be. I felt welcomed and included sitting at a table full of Figmates and RTC members. It is rare to have a feeling like that, but it’s something that both Figma and RTC embody. Also, as someone who uses Figma, it was so interesting learning about the technology behind the application. 

When speaking to the engineers, I felt seen and validated because of our shared experiences as women and students. The words and feelings shared by the Figmates were invaluable to my fellow RTC members and me because of what we have in common, but even more special since we were face-to-face. Breaking through the screen and connecting in person allowed us to express our thoughts, concerns, and passions and really showed me a path toward becoming a successful Latina woman in tech. Hearing the Figmates’ stories and words of encouragement is something I will forever treasure. 

I went to the event to meet my RTC peers, learn about Figma, and of course… enjoy the menu and venue. Although we did speak about career opportunities at Figma, connecting on an interpersonal level is what really made the magic! We laughed, smiled, and opened up to each other. This is what I have been missing, and clearly what we have all been looking for. Being in person is an irreplaceable experience, and I cannot thank Figma and RTC enough for this beautiful opportunity. I am looking forward to the next of many RTC Summer Hub events, and am definitely regularly checking Figma’s career site for internships and openings!