Landing that first job is one of the most difficult challenges a young student or graduate can face. Even with co-ops and internships becoming more widely available, the reality is that in this competitive market, most students just cannot land the jobs in the fields that they’re interested in – no matter how smart, capable and dedicated they are.
Canada, for example, has a 10% youth unemployment rate, whereas youth employment hovers between 50-60%. This leaves a lot of young, hardworking individuals without the opportunity to show the world what they’re truly capable of.
Chicken, meet egg.
As anyone who has ever looked for a job will tell you: there are plenty of jobs out there, but every employer wants +++ years of working experience (many times in technologies that have only been out for a few months) for entry-level positions. And for those without experience, straight A’s in Algebra, English, Biology, Rocket Science, and Underwater Basket Weaving will suffice. That is, unless you have a time-machine, you’re a walking encyclopedia, or you’re SOL.
On the flip side, as corporations we are keenly aware of how young talent can bring new perspectives and approaches to how we solve age-old problems. We are innovators, we look at things from new angles and want to pull in the right talent to help push the envelope and create solutions for our clients.
Introducing: The CTO Boost Student Ambassador Program
Genius comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. That’s why we have launched our Student Ambassador Program – where we will mentor, work with, and learn from top young talent. Our goal is to identify and collaborate with high potential students who we believe will become technology leaders in the near future.
Grades, experience, and age are irrelevant in our program – we are simply looking for smart, passionate youth who have demonstrated strong knowledge of technology beyond what textbooks have taught them.
Alex Shevchenko, our first CTO Student Ambassador
When you first meet Alex, you’ll find him to be a quiet, calm, and very reserved high school student. Having said that, he came highly recommended by Christian Hissibini, a Microsoft MVP who works with a lot of tech students. As Christian put it, “Alex is possibly Canada’s next big thing in AI – we just need to help him get there”.
In our initial meetings, Alex quickly (very quickly) exemplified his technical capabilities and his creative approach to technology – and literally blew us away In one instance, he was able to put together a prototype in a single evening that previously had taken several senior engineers many months to build. There was no way we were going to let him go – we had to help Alex use his powers for good – and teach him something about business along the way.
Last weekend Alex attended an Ethereum hackathon – a technology he previously had no experience with. But with encouragement and ultimately his own passion, he travelled 650km from Montreal to Waterloo, befriended and worked with other students, and ultimately won the hackathon. Their final product: a decentralized smart-contract auditing platform.
Bonus: he received top honours and also had the opportunity to snap a selfie with Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum.
We are very happy and proud of Alex for the accomplishments he’s attained since we joined forces; and we look forward to continue working with him to solve big tech problems.
Ultimately, his goals are to create impactful products that will serve a massive audience, to learn from top academics and technologists, and to eventually become a world class CTO.
Our goal is to empower him to attain this.
Way to go Alex!