If you are a student or a fresh graduate, we have a question. How confident are you at applying for a job at different companies? Do the names of some companies scare you off? Do you sometimes feel like your skills and abilities don’t match the potential job, thus feeling inferior? Feeling this way can lead to losing many opportunities. The best way to overcome this is through a suitable form of education that will provide the right attitude and skills fit enough to work in any atmosphere and culture seamlessly. On this week’s #AlumoftheWeek, we tell the story of one of our alumni working at LinkedIn. He tells his story before AIMS and thereafter. Our Alum of the Week is Mitiku Yohannes Fuge.
Q: Kindly tell us about yourself and your journey before AIMS.
Mitiku: I have had a passion for technology since my childhood. I graduated high school with first-class honours and enrolled at Addis Ababa university to offer a program in Software Engineering. During this period, I have presented a certification of recognition for my valuable contribution to developing the “Amharic Online Handwritten recognition” project, which is one of the outstanding graduation projects. I also worked as a programmer at iCog-Labs on various machine learning projects.
Q: You seem to have had a lot of experience before joining AIMS; how different was your experience at AIMS?
Mitiku: Even though I had worked with AI and other technologies, AIMS provided me with the opportunity to understand most machine learning algorithms and how they work. I gained valuable mathematical skills needed for my career. As a graduate of the African Masters in Machine Intelligence (AMMI), the exposure to world-class professors and interactions with them made learning on the African continent closer to what you can get anywhere in the world.
Q: What will you say is your most tremendous success after AIMS?
Mitiku: Before joining AIMS, I never dared to apply to big companies. I always felt I was not good enough to work in those companies. After joining AIMS, I understood myself. I started to explore more about Machine Intelligence and began to communicate with people around me who have the exposure and are experts in the Artificial Intelligent ecosystem. This experience helped me better explain my thoughts and get more insights into what to do to get myself into these big companies. While at AIMS, I started applying to companies such as Google and IBM. I was privileged to interview with Google. Even though I didn’t get the job, I felt I was in an excellent position to work in companies like Google for the first time. The interview I did with Google inspired me to prepare better using online tools. That helped me to get a role at LinkedIn as Artificial Intelligence Engineer. My experience at LinkedIn has been impressive so far, and I look forward to building on it to advance the usage of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies on the African continent.
Q: Share with us some challenges you have encountered on your tech journey.
Mitiku: I think that the greatest challenge in this space is the ever-changing nature of concepts and technology. What may be the talk of the world dies off in a year or two, and one has to adapt to entirely new ones. This challenge requires one to be studious and up to date. The advantage it comes with is enormous as one gains new skills if you are intentional about keeping updated.
Q: What will be your word of advice to potential students of AIMS and the African youth?
Mitiku: Every effort counts. Seize every opportunity to learn and build skills. Apply your skills to solve problems, and the results will surely contribute to something more significant in the world for it to be a better place for all.