When college graduates with technology degrees step into their first, full-time tech job, they often discover reality doesn’t match their expectations. In many cases, their duties in the office don’t match lessons in lectures.
Our Technology Development Program (TDP) helps put theory into practice so new recruits can use their knowledge to build something truly great. Technology jobs don’t exist in a vacuum. They often involve collaborating with peers and mentors whose backgrounds and perspectives shape the team’s goals. By focusing on the bigger picture, our TDP was listed among the most desirable places to work for Software Development and Computer Science students by Universum Global.
Hear from two of our employees who started their post-grad careers with the TDP and how it has shaped their understanding what they can accomplish with technology.
Love for technology ran in Matthew’s family. When he was in college, he already had several technical projects under his belt through various internships – and even more lined up. The Technology Development Program stood out among the many career opportunities available.
“I had been staying in touch with an AT&T recruiter between my Sophomore and Junior year and she invited me to interview for the TDP, which led to an invite to the annual AT&T LIVE event for selected students. That visit really encapsulated the friendly, efficient aspects of the culture AT&T had. I joined talks from various leaders, participated in contests and learned about the company’s processes. It was an incredible experience.”
Through the TDP, Matthew transitioned from theoretical college problems to projects with real-world applications. He worked closely with his leaders to make sure his tasks served the greater purpose of reaching professional goals: such as expanding his Data Engineering skills and gaining a deeper understanding of machine learning models through further study of Linear Algebra and Multi-Variable Calculus. That philosophy still continues today as Matthew currently works on HBO Max as a Data Engineer.
“The TDP’s continuous learning environment has encouraged me to constantly seek new growth opportunities. Outside of learning more about machine learning and getting more involved in data science, I’d also like to continue growing as a community leader.
“Colleagues opened the door and have given me various speaking opportunities – about my life and giving students tips on how to succeed as a Black man in the technology sphere. To continue making a positive impact on the community, that’s another interest of mine that the TDP has helped with.”
Brianna recognized her passion for technology early on when she realized the potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. After college, she joined the TDP to further grow her understanding of data analytics, statistical modeling, and how cognitive science can apply in the field of data science. Her many interests were a natural fit for how TDP assigned various roles to participants over time – called “Rotations.”
“When you’re considering careers in college, you often want to define yourself before you have any experience. I knew I was interested in data when I first started, but as I continued learning I wanted to learn more about machine learning and data science as a whole. TDP encourages a more open-minded approach and the company does an awesome job encouraging you. I’ve grown a lot more than I naturally would have just because you get more opportunities.”
In her first rotation, Brianna was part of a group of data analysts and visualization engineers who analyzed, organized and presented data on the performance of our technicians in the southeast. Technicians are the core of our business, and Brianna was responsible in helping leaders understand where our teams on the field excelled – and where improvements could be made.
“The role taught me to be quick on my feet, and to ask questions even when you don’t know what questions to ask. We also focused on the technicians who improved the most. Not the best, but the most improved. That was a great reflection of how we focus on growth as a company overall.”
Today Brianna is further exploring her passion for machine learning as a Software Engineer in our Integrated Cognitive Analytics Personalization (ICAP) team. The team as a whole develops the machine learning models that predict which customers are more likely to see ads on our main website and click those that would be most helpful for them. As you can imagine, it’s a far more technical role than her first rotation, which was exactly what Brianna wanted. Through it all, her team continues having her back.
“When you first start the TDP with your peers, you develop a natural friendship with them. It’s like the college dynamic where you’re all freshmen in the same boat. The friends you make, they naturally support you and everyone wants to see each other do well.”Learn more about the Technology Development Program