As a company in FinTech, we can safely say that analyzing the impact of our work is a central part of our concerns, especially when it comes to Chiron, our AI platform for continuous model risk management. But recently we experienced a different type of impact that companies can have – the opportunity to bring technology closer to young people, help them conceive the future and their professional opportunities at an age when guidance and mentorship are critical for making the right choice.
This happens often through institutional partnerships or educational programs, and sometimes it can occur when civically involved employees and companies choose to support various projects. So, when our colleague Cosmin told us about his plan of bringing a young and potential future Scala developer to our Belgian office as part of a volunteer mentorship program, we were more than happy to support his initiative.
Cosmin is a Scala Developer at Yields.io. He describes himself as someone who builds code to make Chiron – Yields.io platform – work (which, trust us, is not nearly as easy as it may sound!). He brought young Robert to our office as part of “Career for a day” mentorship program developed by GRASP Bruxelles – the Belgian chapter of a grassroots network founded by young Romanian professionals from around the world. Essentially, the concept of this program is to provide hard-working students aged 15-17 from lower income backgrounds with the opportunity to travel abroad and take part in workshops, career events, info-sessions, and even experiencing a day at work in a company they are interested in.
Robert, a shy 16-year-old student, was considering pursuing a career as a game developer, but he wanted to know what other options he may have. This was his first experience outside his country. Also, it was his first contact with a tech company. Like many other young people, he didn’t have a clear idea of what it is like being in a specific working environment or accessing new programming languages.
He was briefed by Cosmin about what yields.io does - using AI for automated model validation and real-time monitoring on an enterprise-wide scale - and how Cosmin’s job impacts the platform and its implementation further on. During the day, Robert learned about programming and information technology concepts, like database, what a program is, and other concepts that are part of the daily basis of a developer. He took part in our daily meeting, got a glimpse on how the team is organized and how the workflow enables people in the team to meet deadlines, as well as share expertise and ideas.
“I wrote 100 lines of code today!”, he proudly exclaimed at the end of the day, beaming with excitement. He said he had never been before in an office where so many people of different nationalities, sometimes located in different parts of the world, manage to work together and find common ground to develop an innovative application from scratch.
But Robert was not the only one who had something to gain that day. We were moved by his enthusiasm and thought about the importance of supporting future professionals to experiment and discover potentially life-changing opportunities. And for all the companies out there thinking of how they could contribute to happier and more fulfilled generations of young professionals – opening the doors of their office and talking about the impact of their products and the journeys of people in the organizations might be a great way to start with.
Joana Barata, November 13 2019