Success story

Breaking the glass ceiling to become a machine learning engineer

From fleeing war-torn Syria to starting over in Turkey with a vision to launch a meaningful career in technology, Shahed Al-Ghorsi's story is a testament to her resilience and perseverance. Discover her journey from Re:Coded’s inaugural bootcamp in Turkey, to winning a Chevening scholarship to study in the UK and landing a job as a machine learning engineer at Virgin Media O2.

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min read //

February 22, 2024

Alexandra Clare


Breaking the glass ceiling to become a machine learning engineer
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In 2013 Shahed was forced to leave her home country of Syria, just two months before her final baccalaureat exams. With the hope of coming back, all that she gathered were her preparation books and some family photographs.

One year, she returned alone with the hope of taking her exams only to experience war again as ISIS took over her home city.

Back then, Shahed thought it was impossible to finish any degree. She was finally able to enroll in a public university in the south east of Turkey where she studied computer science and in 2018, Shahed got the opportunity to start learning the mobile app development when she entered Re:Coded’s inaugural bootcamp.

The program opened up Shahed’s eyes to the possibilities of a career in technology. She got her first taste of Machine Learning after a guest lecturer from the Netherlands came to deliver a week-long module on deep learning and AI. It was the spark she needed to keep pursuing her dream. Soon after graduation, Shahed secured a role as one of the first female machine learning engineers at Turkcell.

She has since gone on to win a Chevening scholarship to study her Masters of Machine Learning in the UK and after graduating, secured a global talent visa.

Shahed now works in London for Virgin Media O2 as a Machine Learning Engineer.

"The community and bootcamp changed my life," says Shahed. "Re:Coded is and will always be my north star.”

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Authors biography

Alexandra Clare


Ali is the CEO of Re:Coded. With a background in humanitarian advocacy and law, she co-founded Re:Coded after roles at NYU, the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Department of Public Prosecutions. Alexandra's achievements include the Women in Tech Global Award, NYU’s Changemaker of the Year, and ANU’s Alumni of the Year. She holds an MSc. in Global Affairs from NYU and a law degree from the Australian National University.

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