Piankhi Finds His Passion

When New Frontier participant Piankhi discovered he wanted to pursue a career in information technology, he wasn’t sure where to start. Now, he is enjoying an internship in the field he loves with a bright career ahead of him.

Piankhi first came to New Frontier in 2019, connecting with job coaches for vocational preparation, job acquisition, and ongoing support so he could thrive in his job search and obtain his dream career in the IT field.

“We went over my resume and practiced interview questions,” he said. “Working with the job coaches was awesome.”

New Frontier participants are given the unique opportunity to engage with employees of corporations who leverage their expertise, network, and resources to help facilitate employment and internship opportunities for individuals through mentorships and workshops. Through this opportunity, Piankhi connected with Head of Information Technology at Lloyds Bank North America, Prakash Kirupaharan.

Birch partners with a growing network of forward-thinking companies through the Corporate Advisory Network, a consortium of organizations who recognize the mutual benefits of welcoming young adults with autism and developmental disabilities into their workplaces and removing barriers to the individuals we support. Lloyds Bank North America, charity partner of Birch Family Services, connected to New Frontier through this initiative, giving participants like Piankhi support through mock interviews, updating LinkedIn pages, and reviewing and improving resumes. But for Piankhi, the connection grew to be much more than that.

“I also recognized the opportunity, where we can possibly extend the mentoring into part-time internship by offering a role in our Technology team,” said Prakash. “This will provide Piankhi with hands-on technology experience, boost his confidence, and serve as a key steppingstone towards his career.”

Piankhi eagerly started his internship in December and has since become an integral part of the IT team.

“As part of the IT desktop team, I help with different technical issues,” he said. “So far, it’s great I am learning from new people and learning new skills for a future in my field.”

Piankhi’s daily tasks can range from supporting employees with internet connectivity problems to computer hardware issues. The time he has spent at Lloyds Bank North America also motivates Piankhi to further his education in his chosen field.

“Working with Prakash and the team has really inspired me,” said Piankhi. “I’m taking more certifications and trainings.”

Although he already has a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Engineering Technology from the New York City College of Technology, Piankhi is always on the lookout to increase his abilities such as obtaining the Google IT Support Professional Certification last year. When he isn’t taking advantage of resources for his career, Piankhi works part-time at Columbia Medical University doing administrative work. Securing two positions and valuable technical experience, Piankhi is looking forward to a promising career in his chosen field.

“I feel satisfied and accomplished to be getting this experience for my future,” he said. “Birch and Lloyds Bank North America have really put me into the position to find my fit for a career. It’s giving me hands on experience and the first steps toward joining the IT field.”

A similar sentiment was shared by Prakash, who is happy to receive the benefits of working with individuals like Piankhi.

“It’s truly a heartfelt and life changing experience to aid and assist someone with a disability and support them through their career journey,” added Prakash. “This will be a very good experience for both Piankhi and also for the Lloyds Technology team, where we can learn to adapt to colleagues to nurture positive inclusive culture.”