brittanytan@gatech.edu

FICOcosm

Blog Post created by brittanytan@gatech.edu on Jun 30, 2016

Preface:

Initially, I hoped that this blog would be more than just a poor conglomeration of my cynical thoughts. Then I realized that withholding such cynicism would suppress the tone that could possibly make my blogs unique. So here's to publishing blogs the same way I like my Instagram posts: no filter.

 

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I am privileged and arrogant. Day by day, I only grow to be more aware of this, and each day, I must actively try to maintain a balance between my esteem and my humility. As a student at "one of the finest technical institutes in the world" (President Barack Obama, 2015), I have learned what it is like to be a small fish in a big pond. The transition from being regarded as an exceptional student in high school to being no more than a painfully average human at Georgia Tech was, needless to say, overwhelming. I continue to be humbled each day as I am surrounded by extraordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things; when enveloped in such an environment, my own extraordinary accomplishments become nothing more than ordinary. Now as I transition into the working world, I am but a small fish in a small pond in Silicon Valley. But if there's anything I've learned during my five weeks here at FICO, it's that even a baby fish can make contributions to this network of ponds and that those contributions are not necessarily insignificant.

 

Before coming to FICO, I envisioned it to be a small software community full of CS nerds and flocks of INTJs. When I started working here the week of May 16th, I only came to discover that I was completely right. Everyone here adheres to their daily routine of submerging into their cubicle with their cup of Joe as they occasionally scuttle over to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a snack. While that sounds like your average work office, there's a certain hint of awkwardness that lingers in the atmosphere that I find to be warm and welcoming. After a week or two of acclimating to the new environment, I found myself to be a comfortable fit in the FICO microcosm.

 

The FICOcosm.

 

Behind the credit scores and the decisioning software, there exists an interesting--to say the least--network of people. Among this network of people, there exists a unique ambiance that's relaxed, efficient, and, more than anything, purposeful; none of which need to be mutually exclusive. The one nature about the workplace that I value most, though, is that it's comfortable. The FICO world consists of diverse groups of people who come from different backgrounds and different places around the world with unique perspectives and ways of thinking, and it's these facets about humans that can never be replaced by artificial intelligence.

 

While I have had no problem assimilating into the office (or so I would like to think), I still find it to be a challenge every day to contribute more to the company beyond the scope of software engineering. I am not blind to certain understandings; there will certainly be some who will always view me as some summer intern who helped write tests for thirteen weeks and left. While I am perhaps making someone's job easier or increasing work efficiency in some way, my test writing labor is not what will stay with the company after I leave. What makes the FICOcosm so special, like any other community, is the people; as a short-term intern, one might think that all I have to offer is nothing more than the naive perspective of a privileged college student or some more residual awkwardness to pepper the atmosphere, but it's these contributions that help furnish the personality of the office.

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