Turing Talent’s New Blog Post Series
Turing Talent’s goal is to develop technical talent in a well-rounded set of skills to perform at their best in industry environments. We do that by combining training designed by industry veterans, mentorship from industry leaders, and a cross-industry peer network. Briefly, we surround our talents with only people who are going to lift them higher.
In the Turing Talent’s inspiring interns blog post series, we recognize new faces in tech and have their inspirational stories in order to encourage all talents. This week, we will host Sandra Meshack who is an experienced Software Engineer passionate about all areas of software design and implementation. She will be inspiring us by taking us through her exciting journey in tech. Let’s get started!
Hi Sandra and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Let’s start with your background, could you tell me about your background please?
I’m Sandra! I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information technology. I went into school to study pharmacy, but I realized that studying pharmacy was not what I wanted to do in my second year. Yes! It was interesting, and I had a couple of brilliant friends in my class, but I just felt out of place. My grades were excellent, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, I had to set my parents down, and I said to them that I wanted to do something about computer science and IT. My parents were very supportive, which is very strange for African parents. So, I had to do that and move to computer science and IT. Then, I have a master’s degree in computational software techniques in engineering, and presently I’m doing a Ph.D. in electronics engineering.
What a great choice! Did you have any previous experience before starting the Turing Talent leadership program?
I’ve done internships, and I have done some placements for my bachelor’s degree. Before I did my master’s, I worked for a year. So, I gained an experience; I would like to say that it gave me a different kind of exposure because it was different.
How did you find out about this program of Turing Talent?
There were career days at the university. It was called job placement. So, I was looking at other jobs, so I just kept looking and looking. And then, it seemed interesting because part of me knew that I didn’t want to go back to school. But, also, I needed a bit of experience, so I just said that’s fine. “Let me just jump on this.”
What were your expectations from this leadership program?
Initially, I was amazed at how they were helpful because I didn’t expect it. I just wanted a job and an opportunity. That’s why I just applied, but I got people more interested in me. They were calling me, sending me an e-mail. There was also training! They cared about me and my development by checking up on me, which was strange to me. I should say it is very well appreciated!
What projects did you build/work on during your internship?
During my internship, I began to work on a personnel project for the organization, and we can’t talk about it because I signed a nondisclosure agreement. However, I remember it was just a project for the organization.
Which technologies did you use?
Python and then, they had some in-house technologies they use as well.
What qualities did you gain during the leadership program?
First of all, it was a company in the US, and I’m in the UK. So, the time difference was different, but I got to communicate clearly. I learned how to communicate clearly. So, all my interpersonal skills have improved. I also learned how to put my time together, learning good time planning. Because if I have to meet up with a meeting that’s 9 pm in my time, I have to do other things I wanted to do earlier, which gets me to the forum. Then, I got more curious outside because they were doing many intelligent things, and I just wanted to know and get as much information as possible. So, that improved as well. So, it was an excellent experience all in all.
How did the leadership program contribute to your long-term career goals?
I have a wide array of skills, and being able to walk for an organization like that, I would say, I can most likely walk anywhere I can see. I can work remotely because I’ve done it before, and it was successful. I can work with different kinds of people who can do good work, even when I’m not in the organization presently. So, yes, that’s something I got to see that I could do because I’ve always had to work off of my internships at my job. And back to university, I had to be at the office every day. So, I have somebody monitoring me every day more for my placement for this internship. I was just far away in a different country, in COVID-19. I wasn’t locked up. And I’m still working for them. So yes, that was an incredible eye-opener!
How did Turing Talent play a role in finding an internship for you and helping during the application process?
I got an e-mail from Turing Talent, saying I should pick up a list of companies. I wanted to work for the list of opportunities, and I’m like, “what :O, do I get to choose?”. I was looking for things that could be easy to do, but when the Turing Talent team got the opportunity, they sent me an e-mail telling me, okay, we got something for you! I was amazed because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to do something like that. Well, I think you guys know me better.
What do you say to people considering joining the leadership program of Turing Talent?
Go for it! Jumping on great opportunities is excellent. Be open-minded, and Turing Talent will exceed your expectations of what you have to do. From my experience, I can say that the Turing Talent team exceeded my expectations. I am thrilled and grateful!
Thank you Sandra for your truly inspiring journey in tech. Wishing you good luck in your future!