There are many great reasons to work at Perficient – including the company’s commitment to its core values and communities. Back in March of 2021, Perficient announced a collaboration with the Mark Cuban Foundation to host an AI Bootcamp in the Dallas area. This bootcamp was designed to help educate underserved high school students on AI Fundamentals to increase AI literacy and understanding. Perficient was thrilled to sponsor this initiative and promote our core value of innovation, providing volunteers to mentor and teach students aspiring for careers in technology.
Mentoring the Next Generation
Last month, Perficient deepened its involvement with the Mark Cuban Foundation by supporting an AI Bootcamp Terms of Service Virtual Design-a-thon. This event ran similarly to a hackathon. Participating students worked throughout the day to create and pitch a solution for a provided prompt. Perficient provided mentors from our team to code and help students execute the project prototypes.
I spoke with one of Perficient’s volunteer mentors, Taylor Anderson, to get the scoop on what exactly this event was and why programs like this are so important.
How did you get involved with this event?
My General Manager sent out a request asking for individuals to help mentor students at a Design-a-thon event hosted by the Mark Cuban Foundation, with support from will.i.am’s i.am.angel Foundation. I had heard great things about the bootcamps in 2021. As a Solutions Architect at Perficient, I felt I was a good fit for the role.
Can you tell me more about what this even was and what the day looked like?
This was a one day, virtual event. Participating students were given a prompt regarding the complexity of standard terms and conditions. They were asked to come up with a solution that would make this information easier to digest. This would give users a better grasp on what they are signing up for when agreeing to these terms. There were six total teams, and each was given 1.5 – 2 hours to ideate and build a presentation. The students were really excited and motivated throughout the day, as the winning team received a two month informal internship with will.i.am’s foundation and a grant for their solution.
How were the winners chosen?
The students went through a judging process throughout the day to determine the winner. The group initially broke down into sets of two to advance onwards to the next round. Each team had three minutes to pitch their solutions, and the best of each pair moved on to the finals. The final three teams presented their pitches against one another and were judged by representatives from the Mark Cuban Foundation and the i.am.angel Foundation.
What did you get out of this event as a Perficient mentor?
This was an incredible experience – made even better by my involvement with the winning team! I had a lot of fun working with the students and experiencing their youthful and open take on things. They were very sharp students who were supportive and helped engage one another throughout the process. It was interesting to watch them develop their solution. I had a lot of fun watching how their process worked. Hopefully I was able to add some real-world flavor and practicalities to their efforts.
Driving and Inspiring Innovation
Perficient is proud to play a part in driving innovation through our support of the Mark Cuban Foundation and events like this Design-a-thon. Technology is a connector, and inspiring and energizing the next generation to pursue careers in the field is a passion found in many of our colleagues.
Perficient Promises to Challenge, Champion, and Celebrate Our People
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At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.