The new Technology ETL (Engage, Thrive, Learn) program members at Kline & Co. were welcomed into the fold at a recent off-site in India.
ETL is the Technology team’s first intake of college students directly after their graduation. Candidates were sought from a number of leading universities in India, with a focus on core technology skills such as familiarity with object-oriented coding and relational database concepts; there was also discussion and review of their fit with the Kline culture of collaboration, innovation, and working as part of global teams. The goal of the program is to build a new generation of technologists at Kline, increasing capacity to deliver for business and clients.
“The off-site saw our India Technology team travel across the country to meet up with the new graduates at Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,” says Duncan Lawie, Kline’s Vice President of Technology. “The ETLs were wowed by the welcome they received, and the more experienced team members enjoyed the opportunity to share their knowledge and their experience of being part of Kline.”
The ETLS — Mahika Choudhary, Nikita Dey, Prestha Hooda, Sarthak Prakash, Riya Sharma, and Astha Vishnoi — participated in sessions on Angular, Azure, and more in a windowless (but air-conditioned!) conference room that enabled them to focus on the topics at hand. But each time the door was opened and team members got a glimpse of the outside weather – which ranged from bright sunshine to pouring rain and steamy jungle conditions – it became clear that evenings would need to include a date with Mother Nature.
Kline’s ETL members, from left: Sarthak Prakash, Astha Vishnoi, Riya Sharma, Prestha Hooda, Nikita Dey, Mahika Choudhary
“We spent our free time enjoying the outdoors and getting to know each other,” says Duncan. “We even waded in the Kosi River one night, but as the rain continued, the waters began to rise, so on subsequent evenings, we stayed high up on the bank and enjoyed the cool breeze as we shared our talents for poetry and song.”
The group also explored wildlife in the national park, and while the tigers of Jim Corbett proved to be elusive, other animals, including monkeys, deer, eagles, and monitor lizards, were spotted. And Duncan, who’s well-known for his interest in bird watching, was particularly delighted to see the Asian Paradise-Flycatcher and Red Jungle Fowl – the wild ancestor of all our domestic chickens.
Duty, however, was always calling – and by the end of the week, the ETLs gave their very first presentations.
“Their approach of collaborating on the work and presenting independently was a thorough success, and we were delighted by the variety of topics and quality of the material presented,” says Duncan. “The second week was an introduction to office life and a deep-dive into the technology areas where the new starters will be working.”
In addition, the ETLs spent time with Ali Khan, Vice President of Kline India, and eventually met with CEO Joe Tarantola, who warmly welcomed the new hires.
Says Duncan: “Given the breadth of the team, all of the ETLs were able to learn something new from their colleagues, and all went away with a better understanding of how much Kline Technology contributes to the success of the company.”