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A degree is just the cherry on the cake

We’re always looking for new and better ways to provide equal opportunities for everyone. Our Uplift programme in India is run in partnership with the non-governmental organisation Navgurukul, and provides development opportunities to young people from underprivileged backgrounds to find their first job.

Until recently, Computer Science has been a career option only open to people with college degrees – something that is out of reach for many people in India – but we’re working to open up non-traditional routes into the field to everyone. As the daughter of a maid and autorickshaw driver, a career in software engineering isn’t something Bhagyashree Karale imagined for herself.

But thanks to our Uplift programme in India, she’s now in a position to pay for her younger brother’s education and to study for a computer science degree alongside her job.

Bhagyashree is part of the first cohort of female Software Engineers to complete a 6-month internship at the bank and, along with her fellow interns, has now secured a permanent Software Engineer role across Enterprise, Engineering, Data & Analytics, Finance & Risk.

Looking beyond formal degree education

Umang Doctor, Director of Software Engineering, has a longstanding relationship with Navgurukul and leads the internship programme.

He says the programme not only offers a way out of poverty for interns and their families but helps create social upliftment of women from disadvantaged backgrounds and change in communities, by inspiring others to pursue education and professional careers.

Meanwhile, the bank benefits from a talent pipeline across a much broader range of educational backgrounds, and gender and social diversity within our teams.

‘We’re driving diversity, equality and inclusion as a business strategy to create win-win outcomes for our business as well as society by hiring talented underprivileged youth, especially girls from marginalised communities, for Software Engineering jobs,’ Umang says.

‘There is an immense potential that is waiting to be unlocked if companies are willing to look beyond formal degree education. Good programmers can come from any background.’

A large group of people smiling for a photo

Beyond wildest expectations

Bhagyashree says the internship has given her opportunities to develop both professionally and personally.

‘As an intern, your thoughts and contributions are valued every day as you work alongside respectful and welcoming staff.

‘The bank invests lots of time and effort into our interns. The various tasks I completed allowed me to understand what my strengths are and what I want to work with in the future. I gained a variety from soft and hard skills that will be applicable to my career.

The best part was that it was a programme focusing on my holistic development rather than making me just work.

‘Being selected for this internship is a great honour and I would highly recommend this internship program to anyone considering it! In fact, we need many more such internship programs to recognise the talents individuals hold regardless of the educational qualification they possess. For me, getting a permanent job offer post internship from such a top organisation was beyond my wildest expectations. It’s high time we realise that a degree is just the cherry on the cake.’

Proud village

Mamatha Degavath joined Bhagyashree as an intern after completing a one-year Computer Science residential programme run by Navgurukul.

‘I had always wanted to be a frontend developer, and I was interested in exploring different software applications,’ she says. ‘Joining the bank gave me the opportunity to enhance my interest and my skills.

‘It not only empowered me, but I am the only one from my village who is working in a company and supporting my family also. Today my whole village, along with my parents, are proud of me. They’re now encouraging their daughters to study more, rather than getting married at an early age. Coming from a village made it tough to adjust to the office environment but I’ve been lucky to have had supportive co-workers, who have helped prepare me to be successful in a permanent role.’

Have you ever considered if you’d make a great Software Engineer? Find out today.

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