Are you an ambitious IT student who wants to become a professional ethical hacker, web developer or data scientist in the future? Are you eager to learn and want to expand your knowledge in a challenging and fun way? Then I have good news for you! Let me introduce you to the Mediaan IT Masterclass – an event where you can learn from the experts in those areas, meet other students who share the same interests as you, prove yourself as a mastermind in various challenges, enjoy delicious food, win an awesome prize… and all that for FREE! In this blog, I will briefly tell you why I decided to join the Mediaan IT Masterclass, my experience there and how I managed to win the grand prize.
Got pretty excited already? Sign up now for the Mediaan IT Masterclass in March 2020!
How it all started
A software engineer from Mediaan went to my faculty at Maastricht University to talk about version control software, its history and some approaches that his team uses in the project. He also mentioned that Mediaan annually organizes an IT Masterclass which consists of several classes covering different topics. I was intrigued by the idea and immediately filled in the registration form on the website. In my motivation letter, I told Mediaan about my utmost desire to participate. After a few days, I got an email from Mediaan saying that they were amazed by my story and motivation, so I’m allowed to take part in the Masterclass!
Great source of practical knowledge
The Masterclass took place at Mediaan’s office in Heerlen. It started with a backstage tour of the daily workflow at Mediaan. During the classes, we were guided through the process of developing an Android/Kotlin application, coming up with the design of a webpage, how to critically approach data and gain valuable insights from it. This year’s topics are about web development, artificial intelligence and security & hacking. Finally, we had to gather our thoughts and try to hack into one of Mediaan’s environments. Some participants already knew about Android development, others were skilled at hacking. As there were students with different backgrounds, the goal was not only to finish the challenge and win but also to help others learn, even if they’re from another team. In the end, helping each other was more valuable than just winning on your own!
A typical Masterclass day
A masterclass usually started with a presentation that either covers the topic of ethical hacking, development or data science. The event would then proceed to a practical group challenge where we had to tackle a real business problem. Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice dinner together with conversations ranging from IT topics to football teams or Netflix series. By the end of the day, the speakers would conclude the challenge, share the solution and drive us to the station. The classes didn’t only consist of work– we also had refreshing breaks with some snacks and competitive table tennis games.
Guess who won the 1st prize
The final moment was the ‘award ceremony’ – a closing of the Mediaan IT Masterclass. All of the participants, already knowing each other well, we started making jokes of who’s going to win – but nobody knew for sure. After some great words from the Managing Director– Elmer Nelis, the organizers proceeded with announcing the winners… 3rd prize went to Maartje Stokvis, 2nd prize – to Dennis Potter and the 1st prize winner … to ME! Everybody started cheering, I stood up to receive this massive heavy cheque and expressed my gratitude to everyone involved in the Masterclass. When I won the 1st prize, I could choose between a 1500€ device or a trip to a Microsoft conference in the US. I picked the latter and went on to experience one of the greatest trips I ever had. For winning the Masterclass this year, you will get to win a device of YOUR choice worth € 1500!
Why should YOU join the Mediaan IT Masterclass?
The Mediaan IT Masterclass wasn’t only an event that can teach you the real art of programming, hacking and data science – it was way more than that! It was a place where people share brilliant ideas and mention their curious and sometimes funny stories. It started as a technical workshop but ended as a friend gathering – you eventually get most of both worlds. Do I recommend it? – I wholeheartedly do! I also won it, why won’t you?
This blog is written by Hristo Minkov – a Junior Data Scientist at Mediaan and a former winner of the Mediaan IT Masterclass 2018