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 is listed among the most desirable places to work for Software Development and Computer Science students by Universum Global.
Hear from one of our current TDP participants and a former participant who attributes her success to the TDP program.
During Suraj’s senior year at Rutgers University, he wasn’t exactly sure what was next for him. He knew he wanted to be in the tech field ever since he was little and like most kids these days spent a lot of time gaming. “Video games were the gateway to technology for me.”
Suraj was finishing his degree in computer engineering soon and applying to a myriad of positions within the technology field. He was becoming frustrated with the unresponsiveness of virtual job hunting until a classmate introduced him to the Technology Development Program at AT&T. Suraj did his research and was intrigued. Why not apply? He heard back soon from an AT&T recruiter, and that following July, he and three of his friends, along with many other post-grad STEM students, onboarded as the class of 2021 TDP team.
“Right from the beginning, you’re basically asked, ‘What do you want to do?’ Then they throw all their trust in you and resources for whatever experience you could possibly ask for. It’s awesome. You’re assigned an AD, Associate Director with TDP, to help guide you and get you into roles you want to learn from through rotations. Hannah’s my AD. She’s great!”
Suraj started his rotations with OTF, Open Test Framework. He and his teammates were asked to build a platform to test new software that other AT&T developers created.
“At first I wasn’t confident in what I was doing but everyone was supportive and taught me what I needed to know. Our work has given me more visibility and exposure to more than I could imagine.”
After his rotation in OTF, Suraj asked Hannah if he could explore product development. He was really interested in what new tech was coming down the line. He wanted to understand the process from development to the customer’s experience. Hannah suggested our Connectivity Plus Team, where he works today.
“I’m still a TDP’er and still in product development. What I like most about this program is if you find a place where you’re chilling and really enjoy it, there’s no pressure to rotate. I am really happy in the place I am in now. I’m still learning day to day. In the lifespan of my career, I’m still a baby. This is program is a luxury entry-level job. I don’t take it for granted. I am thankful for this opportunity and for Hannah, who supports me every day.”
“Suraj is a joy to work with. He works hard to make an impact with everything that he does. He most recently joined one of our new Product Development teams and is already making waves. He is unafraid to bring his authentic self to work and is a connector in our office.” – Hannah Sultana, Associate Director, TDP
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