From Young Professional to AI Expert

The future is all about AI and Julita is preparing for it. Enrolled in bol’s Young Professional (YP) programme, she is currently gaining valuable experience by working closely together with bol’s seasoned software engineers. Today Julita talks to us about the past year and shares her aspirations in the field of machine learning. “I am very passionate about AI, and I truly believe in its potential for some incredible applications. This time at bol helps me to achieve my future goals while also enjoying a really fun journey along the way.”

Gaining experience as a young professional

Bol’s YP programme allows young graduated IT talents to work for the organisation for two years across two different departments, learning valuable skills as they go. The first few months were all about training for Julita. “I had finished my Master’s studies in AI, but now got to learn about systems like Docker and Kubernetes. While these are basic tools for software engineers, they were very new to me. I quickly realised that I made the right decision diving into software engineering, as all of this information will contribute to achieving my goals in the field of AI.”

Projects, events and team building

Besides working with a talented team of seniors, Julita was given the opportunity to take on other tasks too. “I love that the YP programme allows us to dedicate 20% of our time to personal growth. Whether that’s by reading books, taking courses, or starting projects that spark our interests. Lately, I’ve been teaming up with our Head of Data Science and fellow YP’ers to launch bol’s very own generative chat. It’s a very exciting new project to be involved in from scratch, and it fuels my passion for AI even more!”

Julita loves to be busy and that shows: “If you’re open to it, there is so much to do at bol. Besides my daily work and ongoing projects, I regularly join bol’s sports activities, team get-togethers, and company events. As an expat being far away from family and friends, these activities give me the amazing opportunity to easily connect with new people and build close relationships outside of work alone.”

 "Once I wrap up the programme, I'm pretty confident that I'll have the knowledge and experience needed to dive into my AI career. "
Once I wrap up the programme, I'm pretty confident that I'll have the knowledge and experience needed to dive into my AI career.

Room for girls and women in tech

Another thing that Julita actively engages in is the programme’s building blocks. “bol encourages you to contribute to the organization by getting involved in areas like onboarding and networking. I joined the PR team, and now represent bol and its YP programme at universities and women in tech events across The Netherlands. It’s been really fun for me, and it also made me realize that I want to do more for the women in tech community.”

Why does this cause specifically matter to her? Julita elaborates, “I believe in embracing diversity, whether it’s related to gender, ethnicity, or experience. As a woman in tech, I understand the often lonely feeling of being ‘the only one’ in the room. Even though our YP team currently has more women than men, I recognize that this is an exceptional situation and there is still a long way to go.” She emphasizes, “I want to make it clear that I don’t advocate for women being hired solely because they are women. I wouldn’t want that to be the only reason a company chose me. I think we need to start early, showing girls that a career in technology is not only possible but also fun! That’s why I’m passionate about participating in bol events – this way I can hopefully spark an interest in technology and demonstrate to young women and girls that they can join in on the fun too.”

An exciting future in AI

As of now, Julita has more than nine months remaining in the YP programme. What lies ahead for her? “Once I wrap up the programme, I’m pretty confident that I’ll have the knowledge and experience needed to dive into my AI career. The future of machine learning is incredibly exciting, with so much happening and lots of fantastic applications for AI. I’d love to one day get involved in the medical world, and use Artificial Intelligence to better people’s lives.”

“As for continuing with bol? For now, absolutely! I’m very much enjoying my time here and feel completely at ease and supported. If some machine learning engineering roles open up next year, count me in – I’ll definitely apply for them.”