By Megan Sayles
This post was originally published on Afro
(WIB) – Milan Ball, 24, doesn’t consider himself the typical software developer. First, she is a woman. Second, she is African American. Plus, she doesn’t have a computer science degree – it’s the third hit.
Instead, Ball earned his undergraduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, then began his professional career in fashion design.
From internship with Victoria Beckham, to forecasting sustainable trends for Material ConneXion and buying for fashion tech startup Corporate Catwalk, Ball has boasted numerous roles in the fashion industry.
When the pandemic hit, he began consulting with companies he had a relationship with. Many of them were social impact-oriented companies, who supported his love of philanthropy.
However, Ball realized that most people have no idea how their spending can impact if they buy from charities.
“It’s been frustrating to keep discovering all these companies that have done so much good, but no one has ever heard of them,” Ball said. “My desire has become to somehow try to highlight those companies and educate people about the social impact. Everyone wants to change, but figuring out how to get started is pretty difficult. ”
Ball switched to entrepreneurship in March 2021 when she founded Philan. As a consumer impact power grid, Philan helps shoppers measure the impact of their spending to remind the world that every dollar counts. It also helps them discover charities that align with their personal values.
Several months after the establishment of Philan, Ball had the opportunity to join Bubble’s Immerse program, which helps Black founders launch web apps through a fully funded pre-accelerator.
Often, technology can be a stumbling block for founders, especially due to the costs associated with hiring developers.
Bubble’s Immerse program seeks to support non-technical founders in becoming their own Chief Technology Officers through a code-free platform. Instead of learning programming languages, the founders use a drag-and-drop interface in the browser to create their applications.
During the program, Ball was able to create Philan’s minimum viable product. This spring, Philan will have its beta launch.
“There are many companies that are taking performance measures to bring about changes. I think Bubble is one of those exceptions where they are really sowing the future of founders joining their cohorts, “said Ball.” Every ounce of time they’ve taken from us on this program is spent investing in our future as founders. , and I couldn’t sing its praises more. ”
After completing Immerse, Ball’s instructor offered her a software developer position at The Momentum Group (TMG), an Australia-based company that uses code-free tools to create scalable technology products.
Even though he never imagined becoming a software developer, he is lucky enough to seize the opportunity. As one of the first founders, Ball was able to add an additional stream of income and strengthen the skills required for Philan’s sophisticated app.
Ball said it was encouraging to take a dynamic career path and encouraged others to pursue career opportunities, even if they were unexpected.
“For those who have the luxury of choosing to pursue something else, I say they do it because not everyone has the luxury of thinking about doing what they want,” Ball said. “You don’t want to be the thing that keeps you from getting exactly what you want or want for your children.”
The post From fashion designer to software developer: Milan Ball’s successful professional journey first appeared in American AFRO newspapers.
Support for this Sacramento OBSERVER article was provided to Word In Black (WIB) by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. WIB is a collaboration of 10 black-owned media that includes print and digital partners.