Prepping for Success: A Look Inside EPAM’s University Program (Part 3)
After graduation, many students from EPAM’s University Program put their tech knowledge to work by starting their careers at EPAM – in fact, since the inception of the program, over 6,300+ students have been hired.
In the final installment of this blog series, we’re featuring four former students who currently work at EPAM – Andrey Chadov and Anastassiya Silantyeva from Kazakhstan, as well as Alexey Safonov and Maria Meerevich from Russia. What did they have to say about the training their received? Let’s find out…
Why did you choose to study computer science?
Andrey: I like computer science very much, but I’m also interested in learning about different subjects related to computer science like computer modeling in quantum mechanics.
Anastassiya: I chose to study computer science because it‘s very important today. Starting from my childhood, I have worked with various technologies. At school, I started studying the subject and decided that this was the right path for me.
Alexey: I’ve been interested in computers ever since I was a child, but had no idea what they actually did. Every industry uses computers, so it’s exciting that I could work in many different environments.
Maria: When I finished school, computer science was rapidly developing and growing in popularity. So, that’s why I chose this field. I’m a computer science and English language teacher at the university, and a business analyst at work.
What specific project are you currently working on?
Andrey: I’m currently working as a java developer on several internal EPAM portals that our staff use to manage projects and engage with peers.
Anastassiya: I’m taking part in the EPAM Delivery Health Monitor project, a next-gen transparency monitoring and reporting solution, as a Software Testing Engineer.
Alexey: I’m currently working on eCommerce. There are many mechanisms that look simple, but they are actually very complicated. Evidently, eCommerce will be a logical part of any business in the future and a fast growing trend at EPAM.
Maria: I’m working on a project for one of the biggest Russian banks for individuals. Our team consists of 62 EPAM team members: three business analysts, 38 developers, 17 QA engineers and four support engineers. We develop a service that provides a huge range of possibilities for users – from managing bank products or profiles, to making transactions.
Have you used the skills you learned in the University Program after graduation?
Andrey: I use some skills that I gained from the college.
Anastassiya: I use the knowledge that I gained from the University Program in my work every day.
Alexey: Unfortunately, the basic university courses do not cover all specific project needs, and self-development is a continuous process. So yes, I have used various soft and hard skills training from the University Program, but am still learning new things.
Maria: Yes, I apply the skills I learned mostly with business analytics.
How have these skills from the University Program helped you at EPAM?
Andrey: The programming skills that I gained from the University Program not only helped me, but also are what ultimately led me to work at EPAM.
Anastassiya: Before EPAM, I didn’t study testing. The University Program introduced me to this specialization. I gained a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge.
Alexey: It helped me to gain knowledge in various technical areas. The University Program was a bridge to EPAM and it was a better way to meet my future colleagues.
Maria: The program is based on real-life business analytics scenarios, so it was very useful.
How many of you were in your group? How many of your peers work with you at EPAM from that group?
Andrey: There were 18 people in my University Program group and four of us now work at EPAM.
Anastassiya: When I was trained, we had a team of six people. All six people work for EPAM.
Alexey: There are two people from that group working with me.
Maria: There were six participants in our group. Three of our University Program group participants work at EPAM.
What are some challenges for people interested in starting a career in the tech industry?
Andrey: The most difficult challenge is understanding that you cannot know everything. You always need to be flexible and never stop learning.
Anastassiya: The University Program provides knowledge from the beginning. If you don’t have any specific knowledge for a project, there are resources out there to obtain the IT training that you need.
Alexey: I think that every newcomer faces challenges when it comes to a work-life balance. In the tech industry, it’s easy to bring your work home, so you need to figure out how to balance it.
Maria: The greatest challenge is that the industry changes rapidly and constantly. You should never stop learning so you can always be an up-to-date and qualified IT specialist.
What advice would you give to aspiring technologists?
Andrey: Everything is possible – just be patient and persistent, and do the best that you can.
Anastassiya: For those who are just beginning their careers – try to work closely with your team, explore parallel additional information from external resources and constantly practice English.
Alexey: Feel free to ask any questions about your study program.
Maria: Never stop learning!
It was a pleasure speaking with each of the University Program interviewees to get the inside scoop on their experience! Stay tuned for more updates about the University Program and other EPAM CSR initiatives…