Oleksandra Fedorova

AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Kiev Ukraine
INTERESTS: machine learning, artificial intelligence and studying at 42

What did you do before 42?

I went to a university in Ukraine for one year for computer science and then I came here. I haven’t finished my degree in Ukraine – I quit because it wasn’t as good education there and I wanted to try something else where I would perform better.

Why did you choose to join 42?

My mom sent me a link about 42 opening in California and it is free so I thought let’s give it a shot. I chose to join because it is a different type of education. You learn here at your own pace, you learn here a lot of skills that you will need on the work, and you speak to so many people from different countries and get so many ideas.

Did you know how to code before coming here?

Yes, I studied programming for six years before I came to 42 so I know a fair amount about the field. But here I learn a lot more.

Did you like the “piscine”?

Yes, it was really fun, really intense. I met a lot of people and the days were fun because you didn’t know about anything – nobody knew about anything – and you figured it out day by day. You worked like 15 hours a day but it was really good.

What do you like about 42 academics?

I like that we need to speak to each other to get ideas for projects and that people encourage us to discuss projects. I also like that we have group projects where 42 randomly picks your team members, so you need to speak to a lot of different people that you didn’t know. I also like that we there are different start dates. We have a lot of people who are at the beginner level and advanced level so we can exchange ideas at different levels of understanding and perform better.

What are the best parts of learning at 42?

You learn from the Internet, not from your teacher. You search for a lot of different solutions and you need to find the best one and understand it. You know it is the best one because you try it a lot of times and you fail and you try again. This is the main reason why 42 works.

Who are your sources of support at 42?

I think my friends and also staff members that guide us through the program. For example, staff members just give us direction where to go, what projects are better for our understanding and for our internship, then with friends, we discuss projects and we search for a lot of different sources of learning.

Describe 42 community.

Our community is like a family. We know each other and respect each other each. Because our school is so separated from the world since we have the dorms in the school, all is in the same place (other buildings beside the campus are companies). I think it is fun because you get to know people, how you feel about different kinds of people, what you like about them, what you don’t like, and how you can handle situations when you need to work with them. You learn a lot because you have so many people from so many different countries and it’s fun to have friends around the world.

What is your dream job or your long-term career goals?

I really want to work in the artificial intelligence and maybe do some research at a university.

What is your most inspiring education quote?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela