Aaron’s warm personality and care for others builds cohesion for the team
Most of his life, Aaron thought he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as a police officer, but by the time he got to college, he discovered that working with technology was his true passion.
He developed a strong interest in hardware, software, and cybersecurity, and after four years, Aaron held a degree in IT. If only his position in the university’s work-study program would automatically translate into a job, Aaron would have been set, but he knew that wasn’t realistic, so he started the job search to find work close to home.
For as long as he can remember, it’s been a challenge for Aaron to articulate what it feels like to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). When he was younger, he stuttered a bit and had difficulty remembering things he read but working with a tutor and practicing martial arts helped him improve his comprehension and concentration. The job searches that summer and fall after college was a pivotal time, putting his confidence in himself and his abilities to the test.
Then, after learning that CAI Neurodiverse Solutions had openings in Chicago at the beginning of the new year, Aaron reached out to hear more. He completed the initial phone call with a neurodiversity-certified Outreach and Development Specialist and attended the local “Meet and Greet” information session. Aaron readily accepted the invitation to CAI’s upcoming Talent Discovery Session (TDS), an extensive, customized workforce development training and education program that prepares candidates to be successful in the work environment. From day one, Aaron felt comfortable in the small group setting and found the instructors to be friendly and supportive. Throughout the team project, Aaron gained confidence to share his project ideas and act as a leader on his team.
A few weeks after completing the TDS, Aaron got the call he was waiting for. It was from CAI offering him a full-time position onsite at a large law firm with headquarters in Chicago. Right away, Aaron began helping coordinate and manage an ongoing project to collate and fact-check bios for the firm’s 2,700 lawyers. The work is crucial to the company because the bios include personally identifiable information (PII) that must be kept accurate and complete to reduce the firm’s risk.
The project requires Aaron to interface with several applications, including the firm’s systems of record. His work includes verifying PII fences for the attorney bios as a security measure and then documenting and reporting the status of the project. Over the course of completing the 2,700 bios in just four months, Aaron has reviewed 14,000 facts. The work demands a very detailed eye, requiring Aaron to comb through considerable data and make decisions about which details to include or not include for every individual attorney bio.
“Aaron's attitude has helped him stand out as a positive voice in an ever-changing environment and get selected for new projects. He creates real value for the client and the CAI Neurodiverse Solutions team overall.”
“Carrying out repetitive tasks is something Aaron excels at,” says his CAI Team Lead Kelly Anderson. “And the work he is doing is protecting the firm. He’s careful and conscientious with PII data. He takes careful notes when he begins a new project, and once he gets going, he is very deliberate in his work, double-checking the accuracy of the bios while also working to increase his efficiency.”
Like most workplaces, the law firm is far from a static environment, and Aaron’s CAI Neurodiverse Solutions colleagues are involved in a variety of projects: research, analysis, reporting, and macros. The team is an adaptable group, allowing the law firm and CAI to work together to make sure the right person is in the right job. Anderson works on coaching and training Aaron and his associates with hands-on learning techniques, professional development activities, and self-appraisals for reviews.
Since March, Aaron has grown in his role with CAI Neurodiverse Solutions, leading morning check-in meetings that allow his colleagues to communicate what they’re working on, set expectations, and offer each other support. Aaron’s warm personality and care for others builds cohesion for the team. “Everything he’s turned in has been turned in perfectly,” says Anderson. “Being a part of the team at CAI Neurodiverse Solutions has helped him build his confidence.”