Engineer Story: Raluca Dragomir

Before joining Digital Futures, I went to university and did both my undergraduate course and my master’s in chemical engineering. Other than a couple of summer internships, this is my first job!

I’ve always known I wanted to do something STEM related since I enjoy the critical thinking and problem solving required. During my engineering degrees, the parts I found most fascinating were always tech related. This made me realise that a career in tech was for me. Finishing university during the pandemic and entering the job market with no experience was a tough process and involved a lot of rejections and disappointment. Then, I came across Digital Futures.

The first thing that excited me about Digital Futures was the mission statement. It seemed like the perfect place to get the skills I needed to break into the tech world. The application process was also amazing. At that point I was so used to lengthy application processes that took hours to complete. But applying to Digital Futures was fast and the process focused on my skills and thinking rather than my lack of experience.

The Academy was challenging and rigorous, with loads of things to learn in just 12 weeks. However, it was also one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had. The instructors were extremely supportive, and my peers were amazing. I still keep in touch with friends I made in the Academy! My favourite part was getting to work on fun projects with amazing people and get to bond with them.

I am currently a Graduate Data Scientist in an ESG data team at a global financial services organisation. I am currently working on two main projects. One is an NLP focused project meant to improve the way we look through our available ESG data. The other project is focused on deforestation detection using remote sensing. I am really enjoying that the team I’m in is focused on R&D which in turn means we get to explore loads of new projects and ideas. It feels like I am learning 100 new things from the people around me every day.

Having gone from never having worked before to joining a huge company, it was initially quite scary initially and required navigating a lot of new environments and situations for me. However, I felt constantly supported thorough the onboarding process and the monthly meetings with my engagement manager are really important. I get to talk to someone from Digital Futures about my work and potential challenges at the bank and I really value an outside perspective.

Since there are multiple other engineers from Digital Futures in my department, it’s also really nice to have that added layer of familiarity with them. It made joining much easier and it leads to connections across different pods which is super helpful when I need to ask questions about their projects!

Digital Futures has given me an amazing foundation. I know it’s impossible to know everything about data science but I really love that there is always something to look up and learn in order to do my job. My training gave me solid knowledge of the basic data science concepts and techniques, which in turn has made it much easier to learn things on the job.