Coding Bootcamp (Student Stories)
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Darin Meraz Coding Bootcamp Graduate

Darín Utilizes Networking to Land Competing Job Offers

I graduated from Oberlin College as a Comparative American Studies major. I was a Bonner Scholar, for which I did a variety of volunteer service and set myself up to have a non-profit career. Throughout my service and work with non-profit organizations, I noticed a disconnect between the needs of the organizations and their databases. The databases often lacked data fields and reporting options for the organizations to do their data entry and analysis in an efficient manner. This sparked my curiosity to find out who makes databases. I learned about information architecture and slowly started looking for ways to learn coding. My last employer was sharing information about We Can Code IT’s boot camps when I was trying to decide if I wanted to take classes full-time or part-time at Tri-C. I remembered hearing about WCCI when it was first founded and being excited by the prospect of learning in a woman and PoC centered environment, but I was in a contracted position at the time. Needless to say, I was excited to look them back up and enroll. I felt WCCI offered more support for job placement, and I preferred the practical approach that allowed me to build a portfolio before I graduated. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment where I was able to let go of my fear of being challenged and grow.

 

My job search began during boot camp. I started reaching out to people on LinkedIn to learn about different companies and their experiences. This helped me determine what I wanted from a position and which employers to keep an eye on as I approached the end of boot camp. Most of my interviews were the result of a primary contact. I feel very lucky that I landed the position I did despite not having applied to many jobs. I credit the networking skills we were taught for this and am especially grateful because about a month after graduation, my health began to suffer and I needed surgery. Though it was a minor procedure, and I am recovering well, I don’t know if I would have had an offer, much less a choice between competing offers, had it not been for the networking that I had done before my health became an issue. I’m excited to begin work as an Analyst in the Tech Connect Program, part of the Technology Analyst Program, for Chase Bank in Columbus this June. In the meantime, I’m using the same networking skills to help me find a temporary position and practicing my programming skills.

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