Guild for Employers

All about Guild

In this one-week program, students delve into exploring tech career paths. With coding lessons, design thinking exercises, career panels, and more, participants use their creativity and develop tech skills with guidance from industry professionals.

The goal is to provide an introductory tech experience around a relatable problem that students might face in their own communities. We explore the problem, brainstorm solutions, and most importantly, help students see how those solutions can be achieved with technology.

Our Guild students use their creativity and develop tech skills to solve a real-world problem, with guidance from industry mentors. Partner organizations can get involved with Guild by recruiting a team of staff members who can serve as those mentors.


When is Guild held?

Guild is held at UMD every August. Organizations that would like to advance inclusion in tech by providing staff volunteers can email Caitlin Rudy ( to express interest in volunteering to mentor Guild students.

What role do partner organizations play?

Partner organizations help Break Through Tech DC by assembling staff team members who hold technical roles and have an understanding of design thinking and/or software development to act as mentors. Each section of Guild requires 20 to 30 mentors. Your organization can provide all, or a portion of, the mentors for one or more sections of Guild.

This is an excellent opportunity to work directly with college students who are interested in learning more about technology while also increasing awareness of your organization and its mission.

What time commitment is required?

Each member of your staff team is asked to commit up to 8 hours of their time across four days of the weeklong program. This usually is divided into blocks of 1 to 2 hours each, to make the experience manageable within the volunteer’s workday.

How much tech knowledge do the students have?

Guild participants are typically women and nonbinary individuals in their first or second year at UMD. They may have no prior experience with computing.

How does the program work?

Each Guild session has a challenging social issue as a theme – previous themes have included education, transportation, and community-building. At the beginning of the week, students are introduced to the issue by expert stakeholders. They then work in teams to devise creative solutions using the coding and design thinking skills they develop through the week. Volunteers play an essential role, sharing tips from their own experience and imparting industry knowledge.

What kind of expertise do Guild volunteers need?

Guild volunteers utilize their technical backgrounds and experience to mentor students. Their actual areas of expertise will vary from person to person.

Volunteers do not need to know the specific programming language we are using in Guild to be effective mentors. In addition, volunteers do not need to know anything about the social or community issue that students are problem-solving in Guild. The instructors who teach Guild will have the knowledge needed to foster problem-solving and design thinking around the social issue.

Is there a financial obligation to participate?

There is no financial obligation for Guild partners. Supporting a Guild allows your organization to contribute the gifts of time and expertise while mentoring the next generation of tech leaders.

I met so many great people and mentors during Guild—and learned more in one week than I ever thought possible.

Himaja Mallampally she/her
UMD student, Break Through Tech DC program alum
Read about the Guild Experience