Welcome to, Transformational Power of Technology, a new series at HHF where we speak with Latinos in Tech who have been placed into jobs or internships after joining our Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) and Code as a Second Language (CSL) network. The power of technology is a force like no other, a part of everyday lives and the means of constant communications across the globe.
Next up is Fuad Mohamoud, Software Engineer Intern at Target. He talked to us how his connection to HHF ultimately landed him with an internship opportunity at Target, how HHF has helped his professional career and tips for other professionals in the workplace. This is what he said.
How did you connect with HHF?
My friend is a part of a Latino organization and they heard word of the LOFT Coder Summit coming to Target in 2015, he extended the invitation to me and I ended up attending the Summit. I was blown away by the presentations, all the other people who were minorities studying technology talking about all of the obstacles they faced and how they overcame them. I’m studying computer science and I was unsure of the major at first because the school I attend there are only 10 minorities out of 150 people in my major. After going to the LOFT Coder Summit at Target, I had reassurance and it pushed me to move forward. I met some recruiters at the event, stayed in contact with them and that lead me to getting this internship.
What does it mean to you to be connected to HHF and the Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) network?
For me it means finding people who come from the same status, I came here as an immigrant 15 years ago, and you know we are a minority, and although we might not come from the same culture, we face the same struggles, being a minority and empowering each other, and HHF has done a lot for me in terms of empowering me.
What does your internship at Target look like day to day?
I work on the point of sale system, for everyone out there that is familiar with Target the grocery store. Working on point of sale means possibly writing code that interfaces with multiple hardware devices (registers, Card Reader, handheld devices) writing code that could potentially affect how payments are accepted, or even implementing new UI screens for self service checkout lanes. Point of sale at target is a huge team and what you do day to day could mean something completely different depending on what sub-team your on. I specifically work on the Continuous Integration team within Target’s Point of Sale division and my day to day entails writing code to help make finding issues easier and will hopefully be used by all Point of Sale Team members.
How is the diversity and culture like at Target?
I actually just got out of this meeting and it was a Tech talk that Target hosted for Diversity and Inclusion, so it’s the perfect time to talk about this! Being a Software and Engineer Intern, our class is very diverse. We have people from all over the United States and all different cultures. In terms of the full-time staff, it doesn’t reflect the same way as the intern class, but Target is taking great steps, along with great initiatives to improve the diversity and inclusion. The entire presentation that I just heard was really great and informative, but it definitely takes time and a lot of work.
Networking advice for college graduates?
The one thing I would say that has helped me a lot, is put yourself out there. Sometimes, it will be uncomfortable, sometimes it will be different, and sometimes you might not know what will come out of it, but it’s those situations where you are unsure that you will grow the most. I had no idea what I would get out of attending the LOFT Coder Summit and all of a sudden I met Alberto, I helped out at one of the Code as a Second Language (CSL) Coding Bootcamps where I also met a lot of amazing people, because I put myself out there and all of a sudden I’m interning at the Company Headquarters where my LOFT relationship all began.
What tips would you give to other students and professionals who deal with criticism in the workplace?
I would take the feedback, take a step back and really reflect on it. I would also remember that criticism is there to help you improve yourself, so you can become a better version of yourself.
HHF’s CSL initiative provides opportunities across the country and opens its doors to everyone, Whether you are a CSL fellow, participate in our Bootcamps, Academies, Jams and or attend our LOFT Coder Summits, the opportunities in technology are endless! We’d love to chat. Contact us!