Interview with Yasin Ladha | 10 minutes read
Yasin, let’s get to know you better before we dive into serious stuff :-).
Where do you study and what is the specialization?
I am going into my second year of engineering at Queen’s University. I will be doing the Engineering Physics program, with a specialization in Electrical Engineering.
Why did you choose this specific field? What influenced your choice: parents, friends, technologies, movie characters?
Ever since I was young, I have loved creating and building things. In my junior and senior years of high school, I found my passion for physics and the sciences, thanks to the teacher of my physics courses. Integrating physics and technology is something that I find fascinating and would like to be a part of; that this program will set me up well for a career in which I can pursue that interest.
Why did you decide to get some experience in a business environment instead of just having fun during your holidays? What influenced your choice?
I wouldn’t say that work experience and fun are mutually exclusive; I’ve actually had a great time here at 14 Oranges. I’m very interested in anything to do with technology, and I like to keep myself busy throughout the summer, otherwise, I find myself feeling aimless. Also, many of my peers and colleagues have stressed the importance of having good industry experience throughout the university; not only does it put you a step ahead of everyone else when applying for internships or jobs in the future, it provides you with real-world skills that can be applied both throughout your degree and everyday life.
You are representing the generation Z, the people who were born between 1995 and 2010.
Some of the researches show that your generation with previous Millennials drives the most changes in the market: businesses and organizations started to adopt mobile technologies, change the way they interact with customers, automate their processes and so on.
Why do you think is that?
There are a multitude of factors that cause businesses to change their process or the way they work. In terms of gen Z, I feel that much of my generation fits the picture for the “perfect consumer”. With the access to technology and online shopping, especially services such as Amazon Prime, people of my generation are accustomed to having things on command, be it physical objects delivered to them within the day, or online services immediately available 24/7. People are constantly buying new products or services to meet their needs as they change. Businesses have had to adjust to meet this new demand and style of consumerism – storefronts are dying rapidly, and I feel that this mindset will only continue to grow. Online services will become less of a convenience and more so a way of life.
Do you feel that your generation is much different from the previous – Millennials? What do you think are the main differences?
Yes, aside from the obvious age gap, I think our generations have some differences. One of the main ones is that Millennials were introduced to mobile technology as adults. The majority of generation Z has grown up with mobile devices and technology being part of their lives, and that has had an effect on the mindset and ideologies from each generation. Being technologically savvy, as many Gen Z people are by the age of 10 or 12, will be extremely useful in the future as the technological revolution continues to advance.
How do you think technologies influenced generation Z behaviour: how they consume information, how they communicate with friends, how they learn, etc?
I think that gen Z have grown up with technology has had a huge impact on many aspects of their lives. Technology is an extremely useful tool, which through school and just general use allows people to obtain information efficiently and somewhat reliably. However, due to information and services being available at the touch of a button, many people, especially from gen Z, have become accustomed to instant gratification in all areas of their lives. I personally find that gen Z, especially the younger ones, are less patient and have a harder time doing research and thinking critically.
In terms of communication, social media has become a necessity to stay up to date on worldly issues and to connect with your peers and family. Again, while this is extremely useful, generation Z has grown up dependent on social media as their primary form of communication, which can cause them to have inferior social skills, and cause them to avoid making meaningful and personal connections. Many people, including me, find that social media can be addictive and detrimental to one’s mental health. I think everyone, especially those from generation Z and younger, needs to be very careful with how they use social media.
What devices do you usually use (compare to your peers): mobile, tablet, wearables, others?
I use my mobile phone mostly. I don’t use any of the wearable technologies at the moment; there just isn’t really a use case for them in my life, as they are really just an extension of the mobile phone. For me to use a piece of wearable technology, it would have to accomplish something that I can’t do with my phone, while remaining easy to integrate into my daily life.
Did you hear about emerging technologies like AR, VR, blockchain, AI, etc? What in general does your generation think about new technologies?
I think most of my generation understands the potential that emerging technologies have, especially machine learning and AI. These technologies are already widespread and the impacts can be seen. However, as AI and machine learning progress, the need for human involvement in many industries will decrease, as human error and inefficiencies will be able to be eliminated. It’s impossible to tell what specific things AI will be able to do in the future; however, most people understand that the impacts will be large-scale, and will cause a shift in the way our society operates as a whole.
In 5-10 years your generation will become the main workforce on the market. How do you think the working environment will change?
I think my generation will certainly have a different working environment than that of any previous generations. As I mentioned, human involvement in the workplace will decrease quite a bit. Already we are seeing a shift towards a more technology-run workplace. To be successful in the future, I think people will need to have a deep understanding of how technology works. This means knowing how to communicate effectively using technology and social media, and also understanding the technical aspects of development, coding and how devices and systems work. Being technologically savvy will become as necessary as being able to read and write.
Some researchers predict that many of existing professions will be replaced by robots and technology, except creative professions, professions where critical thinking and problem-solving are required. What do you think about this?
I think that wherever there are inefficiencies created by humans, technology should be implemented to help reduce waste, be it of resources, time, money etc. That being said, there should always be human oversight, especially in technology-heavy industries. Many people will lose their jobs to computers and robots in the future. While unfortunate, I think that large-scale incorporation of technology into industries is a necessary step to the advancement of our society. New industries and areas of study will open up; it will just require a shift in the way we educate young people and prepare them to enter the workforce.
It was a very interesting interview with you and to finalize it, a few more questions.
What skills and knowledge did you gain throughout your internship at 14 oranges?
Working here has helped me grow both academically and personally. I came in with little technical experience, having only been introduced to programming in university. I can confidently say that my technical knowledge has expanded, thanks to my interactions and collaboration with the developers here. I have also learned a lot about the business aspect of the company; how they deal with competition and how a small tech company operates and can be successful in such a saturated market. From a sales and marketing perspective, I have learned about how the company deals with and attracts clients, and how they are able to successfully market and distribute their services. There are too many things that I have learned to list right now, but overall this experience has been very enriching.
Would you advise your peers to get some business experience during their study at university and why?
Yes absolutely. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship, and as I mentioned earlier, having industry experience as well as a degree coming out of college will pay dividends in the future.