Insightful launched the scholarship program earlier in 2021 to support college students who have ambitions to work in the technology sector. The program is inspired by Insightful CEO Ivan Petrovic’s experience building software while in college.

The scholarship program reached the campuses of hundreds of universities and colleges across the world. Ms Zlaticanin was chosen as the inaugural scholarship recipient for her academic performance, noteworthy application essay and vision for the technology sector.

“We’re thrilled to award our inaugural scholarship to Milena,” Mr Petrovic said.

“Through our scholarship program and the people we hire, we aim to provide support and opportunities for the next generation of technology leaders.

“Milena’s application demonstrated a real passion for the technology sector and deep insights into what the future holds for the industry. I hope this scholarship will help support Milena’s ongoing studies and future path into the technology industry.”

Ms Zlaticanin is currently completing a Bachelor’s of Computer Science at Northern Illinois University. She said she viewed the Insightful scholarship program as a way to express her views on technology and support her studies. We've had the opportunity to talk to Milena about her aspirations, future plans and technology, and we're bringing you the full interview below.

What made you interested in technology and how did you decide to pursue computer sciences at university?

When I was 16, I participated in an foreign exchange program as a High School student. One of my projects was to job-shadow someone I know. My host dad works in IT, and I thought that this was an amazing opportunity to get an insight of a “real-life” workplace. I had an opportunity to work with every single member of his team, as well as attend all of their meetings. Working with different people on his team really helped me realize what I love the most about this field, since there are many different roles. I loved the programming side, where you need to think logically to solve different problems and satisfy people’s needs. I was just so impressed by all the things that go on behind the scenes that people usually don’t even think of when they use different software. This really sparked my interest in Computer Science, and I love it more and more every day.

What experience have you had working within your field and what are your impressions?

I have had two internships so far. My first internship was working in I.T. support. Even though this was not something I planned on doing my entire life, it was an amazing opportunity to learn more about the field and professional life. My job was mostly helping out my co-workers with their computer problems, as well as troubleshooting other hardware issues (phones, printers, internet, factory machine’s, etc..). My second internship was working as a Software Engineer. I loved every second of this job, as it taught me a lot about both backend and frontend programming. I had an opportunity to learn a new programming language (Go). As well as contribute to a major OSS product by implementing a new feature to multiple databases and secret engines that customers of the company use daily. While working as SWE, it just made me realize even more that I made the right decision pursuing this career.

What are your plans after graduation?

The company where I worked as a Software Engineering Intern offered me a full-time position with them after graduation, which I accepted.

Where do you see yourself career-wise in the future? What is your ultimate goal?

As of right now, I see myself working as a Software Engineer, further developing my skills and learning more about the field. And maybe sometime in the future, I will move from that position to a position where I will be managing my own team of Engineers.

In your opinion, how do you see technology impacting modern workplaces?

I think that technology only has a positive impact on modern workplaces. I think that we call all agree that technology really helped everyone during this difficult time with COVID-19. All workplaces had to move their business online, and they wouldn’t be able to do that without technology. Almost all of the necessities that a workplace needs to interact with customers and their workers now can be done online using different software for free. Research even showed that many companies reported a higher percentage of productivity when they moved their work online. With that being said, I think that modern workplaces will only benefit from technology in the future as well.

What’s the main reason you applied for the Insightful Scholarship, and how do you plan to use the funds?

I really have a passion for technology and I think that it really benefits modern workplaces, as it helps increase productivity among other things. I heard about Insightful from a friend, and I thought that it would be a great opportunity to share my opinion and views about technology and its impact in today’s world. I plan to use the funds to cover some of my tuition for my last semester at Northern Illinois University.

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