GitHub Campus Expert Program | Application Process

Objective

Last year, I had the chance to be a part of the GitHub Campus Expert Program, the second and the only one from Pakistan during that time period. People have asked me a wide range of questions and this post is an attempt to answer the frequently asked questions to the best of my abilities. If I missed anything, please do ask it in the comments section, as it might help someone else reading this in the future. You can see the table of contents to navigate directly to the questions/ section(s) of your interest.

Table of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Eligibility Criteria
    a. What are they looking for?
  3. Why become a Campus Expert?
    a. Perks
  4. How to Apply for the program?
    a. Step 1: Application Phase
    b. Step 2: Training Phase
    c. Step 3: Interview
  5. My Journey
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Other programs of Interest

Introduction

It has been around twelve months since I became a GitHub Campus Expert and the journey has been more amazing than I had expected it to be. GitHub has supported me and my local tech community in so many ways. Above all, I would like to thank Lieke Boon, the Campus Expert Program Director at the time of my recruitment, for this amazing opportunity. I would strongly encourage everyone who is reading to apply for this program if you have a passion to grow your local community and bring forth better opportunities for them, all the while improving your personal profile and skills.

Eligibility Criteria

According to GitHub Campus Expert Program‘s page , “To participate in the GitHub Campus Experts program, you must be 18 years of age or over and a student in good standing at a post-secondary institution.”

What are they looking for?

Before I start this, let me state first that the content in this section is my personal observation and not something explicitly stated by GitHub. Although, you are eligible to apply for the program if you meet the above requirement, but there are a few things that you should do in order to have a good chance to get accepted into the program. They are as follows:

  • Have organized at least one event as a lead before
  • In a good standing at a club/society in your university
  • Given workshop(s) or talk(s) in the past, OR done public speaking in general
  • Written tech blogs or video tutorials

I know a lot of people who got rejected in the first phase; mainly because they lacked in the above mentioned things, or they passed the first phase but are stuck in the training one because they do not fulfill the above three points. Furthermore, I would recommend that people who are in their senior year of university should not apply for this program at all, as it takes months (if everything goes smoothly) to get reviews on your applications and the training modules. And by the time you’d clear that, you would have graduated already. If you’re in your first year, you should definitely give this program a try. Start working on your profile, aim for the things mentioned in the check list above and gradually complete them. Once you’re done, apply for the program, get accepted and enjoy the ride!

Why become a GitHub Campus Expert?

Before talking about the program itself and how to apply for it, the first thing that needs to be covered is “What’s in it for you?”. Once we have covered that, ask yourself, is that something you want for yourself and whether you’re ready for it. Does it align with your short term and long term goals, or not? Don’t try for it just because the title or the perks sound fancy. You’ll know what I’m talking about when I’ll mention the application process. As per my knowledge, hardly 2% of the people who apply for the program clear GitHub’s Campus Expert training. But the reward is so totally worth it!

“As a GitHub Campus Expert, you will receive training and mentorship from GitHub employees, opportunities to participate in exclusive events, and support to help you grow the developer community at your school”. This is an excerpt from the official GitHub Campus Expert page , which beautifully sums up what you would be getting out of it. GitHub’s training modules are very comprehensive and once you are done with them you would have learned what it takes to give an effective workshop/ talk and organize quality events. All you’ll need would be to test the lessons learned in the field i.e. by giving one (or a dozen).

Perks of the GitHub Campus Expert Program

GitHub offers a lot of perks to its Campus Experts and I think the best way to go about this would be to mention them in a list form, so here goes:

  • Sponsorships to support the events you organize for your local community
  • Travel and accommodation expenses; if you are invited to give a talk outside your city
  • Prizes for winning teams if you are organizing a competition
  • GitHub Swags for the participants of all events you put up a request for
  • A community of 150+ Campus Experts spread out across the globe to help you out wherever you get stuck
  • Lastly, some really cool GitHub Campus Expert exclusive swag (below is a picture of what I got)
GitHub Swags

How to Apply for the GitHub Campus Expert Program

In this section, I’ll walk you through the whole process of applying to this program, so that people who might be stuck in different phases can benefit from this. So let’s begin.

Step 1: Application Phase

This phase is rather simple, and doesn’t take much time. There are a few things that you need to do before applying for the program:

  1. Create a GitHub account (preferably with the email address assigned to you by your university)
  2. Avail the Student Developer Pack ; this might require you to authenticate your student status and for that you would need to upload a picture of your student card or use your University Email ID to log-in
GitHub Student Developer Pack

Availing the Student Developer Pack also allows you to get around $100,000 worth of servives annually for free. This includes free credits, discount vouchers, free access to thousands of courses from GitHub’s partner communities like AWS Educate , Microsoft Azure, JetBrains, Digital Ocean, DataCamp, Heroku, Atom and many more.

Anyways, once you’re done with the above two steps, navigate to GitHub Campus Expert Program page, and click on Become a Campus Expert.

GitHub Campus Expert Program Page

Side Quest: Alternately, you could click on Find a Campus Expert and try to find a campus expert from your country on this page . If there is already one in your country, you could try contacting them and get help from them regarding your applicaton.

Alright, back to the real thing. In the start, there would be some basic questions like your personal information, etc. After that, there would be an essay question; “Why do you want to become a GitHub Campus Expert?”. Now, there’s no right answer to this question, but you can streamline your ideas by following the below keypoints:

  • What problems do you see in your local community
  • How would you becoming a campus expert help you solve these problems
  • Why you are in a good position to be the focal person for bringing about these changes/improvements

Make sure to brainstorm on each of these items and write a comprehensive answer. If your cannot think of an answer for this, you should reconsider wishing to become a Campus Expert.

Step 2: Training Phase

The result of the first phase could take 1-2 months on average and if you get rejected, you can apply again after six months. However, if you pass the first phase, you will enter the “training” phase. This is where GitHub will train you to become a Campus Expert. It has seven training modules which are quite extensive and cover different aspects to build the skills you will need as a Campus Expert. It took me a good seven days to complete these modules myself, as they require descriptive answers to different training questions. However, once you have completed that, the hard part of the application is over. You just gotta wait now.

Step 2.1: The Wait!

If your submission needs improvement, someone from GitHub will review it and provide feedback. Once your training modules are good to go and pass the review process, you’d get a call for an interview with the GitHub Campus Expert Program Manager.

Note: The review process could sometimes take a few months since the people at GitHub have a lot of applications to review. So stay patient. Your turn will come.

Step 3: Interview

Like I said, the hard part is over. The interview, in my opinion, is more of a formality. It’s actually more of an on-boarding call, where they might ask you about your plans for the community as well as guide you about any queries that you might have about the program. Once you clear that, you would get an email to welcome you on-board. That’s it. This is where the selection part ends and the responsibilities part begins. My personal advice would be to make the best out of this time and do as much as you can for your community. This program can make a huge difference in changing the shape of your tech community. So do not waste it!

My journey as a GitHub Campus Expert

As a GitHub Campus Expert, I have given around 15 talks and workshops to inspire and train people. In addition to that, I have organized 20+ events in the past six months with the help of my GitHub family.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am listing some frequently asked questions below. Hopefully, they would help you out in some part of your process.

I am currently in the training phase. Could you please share your training modules so that I can take help from them?

NO WAY! The training modules are designed to help you learn things that are essential for becoming an effective GitHub Campus Expert. I will not help you skip through the learning process, it’d be unethical to do so.

My application for GitHub Campus Expert program got rejected, what do I do?

You can apply again after around 6 months (not completely sure about the exact time). In the meantime, work on improving your profile, gain some experience, increase your online presence and brainstorm more on WHY you want to become a Campus Expert.

What do I need to become a GitHub Campus Expert?

First of all, you need to be eligible for it (Reference: “Eligibility Criteria” Section). Secondly, you should have a few qualities (Reference: “What are they looking for?” Section) that could really help boost your chances in getting accepted.

How should I answer the question “Why do you want to become a GitHub Campus Expert?”

There’s no right answer to this question, but you can streamline your ideas by following the below keypoints:

  • What problems do you see in your local community
  • How would you becoming a campus expert help you solve these problems
  • Why you are in a good position to be the focal person for bringing about these changes/improvements

Other Programs of Interest

If you are interested in becoming a GitHub Campus Expert, you might want to take a look at some other similar programs whichare quite good. They are beyond the scope of this post, so I am not going to talk to detail about them; however, I’m mentioning the links to them so that you can explore them on your own.

  1. Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors
  2. Google DSC Leads Program
  3. GitKraken Ambassordors Program
  4. Hack Club
  5. CodeChef Ambassador Program
  6. AWS Educate Student Ambassador Program

Conclusion

Well, I hope I have covered everything and answered all the queries you might have had. In case I missed anything, feel free to ask about it. Thank you for reading this. Let me know if you liked it. Good Luck!

13 Replies to “GitHub Campus Expert Program | Application Process”

  1. Microsoft Student Partner program is re-branded as Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador. Please update the list. Indeed, it is well-detailed write up!

  2. Lengthy but worth it. Thanks man!
    I am about to enter my senior year, do you think it’s a bit late to apply for this program?

    1. Unfortunately, yes. Firstly, the applications are closed at the moment. Secondly, it takes quite some time (anywhere between 3 to 8 months) for your application to get accepted and your training to be approved. So, I personally think applying for it in the final year might not be very beneficial, as by the time your application gets approved, you’d be very close to your graduation date.

  3. Hey, sorry if it’s not the right place to ask this question, but Do you have an ETA when the application process will be up again, as it’s down due to maintenance.

  4. 1. Is someone with social science major with proper tech knowledge eligible to be a campus expert ?

    2. Are all of my department friends can be counted as my community who always receive technical support from me?

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