Posted May 1, 2020
I remember how intimidating it was to see over 600 students, most of whom don’t have profile pictures or titles, in The Garage Slack. It’s hard to know who is who, who does what, what to post, where to post and how to not embarrass yourself.
With a little time and practice, Slack has become one of my favorite tools! I’ve loved seeing the upcoming events and summer internship opportunities. As a Little Joe Ventures Fellow, I’ve used The Garage Slack to chat with the other fellows, but now I communicate and collaborate with the larger Garage community, too.
Many students who sign up for my Office Hours ask me how to use The Garage Slack; it’s not because they aren’t familiar with the tool but rather they don’t know how to use it in the context of The Garage. So without further adieu: here is the guide to The Garage Slack – the best ways to navigate this resource and utilize it (without embarrassing yourself). Whether you’re a veteran Resident or a new Tinkerer, this guide is for you.
Here are my top tips and tricks:
1. Update your profile picture and title. Tell us who you are! Your title can be your team, a project you’re currently working on, a list of passions or interests, the list goes on! With pictures and headers, we can learn who is a Resident and who is a Tinkerer, get to know each other better, make new connections, and ask questions about startups, teams and projects. It’s so much easier than LinkedIn stalking over 600 people. *Tip: Click on “People” on the left navigation bar to see a complete directory of everyone in The Garage workspace.
2. Turn on notifications for the #general and the #events channel. This is where you can find all of The Garage’s virtual events and find out about Office Hours and stay in touch with The Garage community.
3. Join the #jobs channel. This is the best way to stay on the lookout for internships, freelance jobs and full-time roles. The Garage community is uber-connected, and you never know who you’ll meet or what cool job you’ll find.
4. Don’t be shy! Reach out to people! Everyone here is passionate and has something to share, whether it’s a podcast or book recommendation, the perfect bread recipe or some new Spotify tunes. Plus, most people have a pretty cool side hustle. You just have to ask! Think of everyone as a connection. They may know someone who knows someone who knows someone, who may be a resource for you!
5. Create social channels. Slack doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Start new (private) channels based on your interests and hobbies and then invite some friends to join. Start a channel for gamers, for aspirational chefs, for TV/film nerds, etc. These spaces strengthen The Garage community and bring us closer together.
6. Hop on a call. Yes, you can make calls or video calls via Slack. Who knew? There’s a phone icon on the top right.
7. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. 600 people may be overwhelming, but we are all here to help one another. If you have a question, feel free to ask it in the appropriate channel or check out the “People” page to find someone who is knowledgeable about the topic.
8. Have a question about The Garage? In any chat window type /msgthegarage and then your message. It’ll send a private message to a shared channel that The Garage staff monitors and ensures your questions get to the right place.
This collaboration tool is the glue holding together The (Virtual) Garage. Now more than ever, we are longing for human connection and looking for ways to engage with The Garage community and its resources. The Garage Slack is an opportunity to collaborate on new projects, ask questions, share interesting articles, videos and podcasts and meet like-minded individuals. Not to mention it’s the best way to stay engaged and informed about The Garage’s events and initiatives, which are still happening!