Yaleesa: “My Mission? Shaking Up The IT World”

Yaleesa’s (28) interest in the wonderful world of machine learning was peaked at the end of her BA in Information Science. Yaleesa: “For my ambitious graduation research, I was looking for an answer to my specific problem and ended up with a supervisor. He convinced me of the unique potential of machine learning. Although I quickly discovered that machine learning is no walk in the park, I feel at home in the IT world – and more specifically with Aurai”

Merging Passions as Data Engineer

Yaleesa spends her spare time gaming, writing codes for her own projects “and reading, especially technology stuff – ultra nerd alert!”. During her studies, Yaleesa worked as Python Developer on the design of various information systems. “I was looking to combine my passion for developing programs with the future possibilities of machine learning and landed on Data Engineering.” She instantly knew she had found her dream career but soon ran into another problem: “I started to doubt my abilities. Machine learning is very mathematical, and that’s not necessarily my forte. And not just that – as a recent graduate, I lacked experience with large complex data systems, which every Data Engineering vacancy required.”

Just as Yaleesa was second guessing her career choice, she came across Aurai’s Data Engineering traineeship. “It was the perfect solution! The Aurai traineeship allowed me the time and space to gain specific expertise, receive professional guidance and develop myself within a professional environment. I have learned to manage resistance, how to present myself and acclimate to the daily rhythm in a company. I now know that a successful Data Engineer needs more than specialist knowledge and passion for computers: self-confidence and assertiveness are essential, as is the art of taking others along in the process.”

Starting Out as a Aurai Data Engineer Trainee

Yaleesa felt at home instantly with Aurai. “The first period was tough but fun. The atmosphere at Aurai is open, professional, ambitious and flexible. Nobody at Aurai cuts corners. It felt good to not just be welcomed, but needed. Within just a few days, I felt like I had known my fellow trainees for years. Working together went smoothly and it was nice to feel supported while learning difficult subjects.”

At the beginning of her first project, Yaleesa found it a bit exciting, because it was a bit different than she was used to before. “Studying and working part-time lends itself to flexible use of time. I have ADD and I noticed quite early in my studies that my concentration improved significantly during the quiet evenings. Switching to firmer working hours had its challenges”

Fortunately, the Aurai team was very involved; everyone invests a lot in their fellow employees and trainees. I was never alone and always supported – a feeling I’d like to give back to the company.” What also helped her, were the topics covered during the traineeship. “The trainings resonated with me and it didn’t take me long to realize I had made the right choice.”

A Whirlwind in The IT World

Yaleesa has now gained experience as a trainee with various clients. “With my current client, I operate with one of the oldest, most complex and important systems in the Netherlands. My colleagues here are all specialists in their field, but sometimes face challenges in the rapidly evolving IT world. It’s my mission to open these professionals’ mindset to the latest developments in DevOps, machine learning and automation.”

One of the most important lessons Yaleesa learned during her traineeship, is being more patient. “I am by nature quite impatient. If I’m into something cool or important, it has to happen NOW. Often it doesn’t work that way in big companies. Things take a while and I cannot do everything on my own – I need others to start a bigger movement.” Yaleesa has learned to temper her eagerness. “I learned to use my impatience and passion proactively to shake things up a bit. I don’t always make friends this way, but I am often praised in then end because a lot gets done. I hope my whirlwind approach gets people to think.”