Aubrey is a Medical Technology graduate from Centro Escolar University (CEU) – Makati. She worked in a public hospital as a Medical Technologist for a year. Later on, she decided to enroll in Zuitt Coding Bootcamp to help her with her career-shifting goal. Today, she works as a Design QA Specialist in a US-based company.
Career shifting always involves risk. Aubrey needed to get out of her comfort zone. One day, she decided that she needed to do something different for her career growth even if it means not continuing in the Medical field. As a licensed professional, it took her time to truly convince her family and even herself to actually pursue a career change. All thanks to the influence of her husband who is also a Web Developer, Aubrey became driven to take on the challenge of learning Full Stack Web Development through Zuitt’s Developer Career Program.
In this article, get a career shifter’s perspective on Zuitt’s beginner-friendly curriculum, and how Study Now Pay Later works. Learn from a licensed professional’s personal experience on leaving the healthcare industry to start a new quest in the Tech industry.
(Interviewed and written by Dana Diaz)
– Introduce yourself to the Zuitt community.
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: Hi, everyone! I’m Aubrey. I am 23 years old. I am from Pateros, Metro Manila. I have been working since 2018. I have a degree in Medical Technology and I practiced it for quite some time. Early on I realized that it was not the perfect career for me so I shifted into a career in Tech. I shifted because I saw that there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to work-from-home positions. There is a lot of growth as well in this industry. I am an alumnus of Zuitt from Batch 210. I graduated last October 2022. Now, I am a Design QA Specialist at a US-based company.
The Transition from Healthcare to Tech Industry
– Why did you study Web Development?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: Back in my college days, I really didn’t know that there was a career in Web Development. I think it is mainly because I was really focused on earning a degree in Medical Technology. Back then, I really wanted to be a doctor. There was a lot of inevitable stuff that happened which made me not pursue medicine anymore. I think that it is a blessing in disguise.
When I met my boyfriend (now my husband), he was a Full Stack Web Developer. I saw that there is a lot of potential in his career. He is permanently working from home. Although his pay is not too high yet, it’s justified that it is better compared to what I was earning as a Medical Technologist here in the Philippines. I felt really burned out in my MedTech career. I think it was not worth it to still continue being a Medical Technologist. I was earning a little then I was exposed to different types of diseases – especially when Covid-19 happened. I changed my mind about my career completely. Medtech is a beautiful career. It is a great career, but maybe it is just not for me.
In college, Multimedia Arts was my 2nd option course because I was naturally a creative person. I did not know about Web Development before. I just needed a job that is relevant nowadays and I saw that Web Development is a perfect choice. It pays well and it is very flexible when it comes to working from home. I think that is why I studied Web Development.
– How was it like for you having to deal with the transition and also having to let go of your MedTech career? Did you have any doubts? What were your thoughts during that phase?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: In the Philippines, your career should be related to whatever degree you finished. There was a lot of criticism from my family because I was a licensed professional. I think that is a big deal here in the Philippines. I really don’t blame them for thinking that way because it’s not in their generation to be a techie.
Honestly, I really had a hard time shifting into a new career in tech. Coming from a healthcare industry with a license, I worked on my transition little by little. What I did was I shifted into a career in the BPO industry but it was healthcare-related also. I told my mother that it is okay because I am still working in the same background but doing things in the back office. Little by little, I introduced Tech to my family. At that time, when I was enrolling at Zuitt, that is when they started saying things like “Go abroad. You have a lot of choices because you are a licensed professional. Try government positions.” But my passion prevailed.
As a Medical Technologist, I was not able to freely express my creativity. In the first part of my life, I always followed my parents. So now that I am in my 20s, I want to follow what my heart wants and that is Web Development and Design. To be honest, It was really hard for me. I even started having thoughts like “Are they just waiting for me to fail?” or “Can I do this?” I had thoughts like those but at the end of the day, I learned that it is just about taking one step at a time.
When I entered the world of Web Development, I can confidently say that I have no regrets because it is absolutely an additional skill for me. Not everyone knows how to develop a website. My transition was fun.
– What is your advice to those who are currently having to handle that same situation?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: I think my advice for healthcare professionals is to just try. Do not quit your job if that is your passion. No one is stopping you from doing what you love. But if you are like me who is 50/50, and you constantly think that you have to start providing for your family and that you are thinking of the future, if you have that slightest idea in your head that maybe you should try a new career, I think that is just a sign that you are not loving what you do. Personally, it took me time to realize that I did not want MedTech. What I really wanted was to create things and to see the result of what I am creating. I really wanted to get creative.
My advice is to just do what you love because when you are doing what you love, it is like you are not working. If you are starting to doubt, that means you really do not like it. To college students or fresh graduates, choose a course or a career where you will see yourself working in that profession in 50 years. I think your parents can have a say in your future but you should also have a say on what your future should look like. At the end of the day, you’re going to be in that future and not them. It’s you who is going to build your own future.
– Tell us more about how you were influenced to learn Web Development.
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: I got interested in Web Development because of my husband. I saw what he was doing while he was developing websites. In my head, I was wondering how lines of code in a black screen can create something. That’s when I started asking questions about it. I started realizing that nowadays we have a lot of electronic equipment like laptops and mobile phones. I thought to myself, “Why am I not asking how it works?” I was amazed by it. My husband showed me how HTML and CSS work. It started with my fascination with “H1 Hello World.”
– Did you try to ask your husband to teach you more?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: I tried learning from him. I asked him to teach me and have like a learning session with him. Since he is a Computer Engineering graduate, there are things that he taught me that took time for a healthcare employee like me to understand. When I ask him to try and explain things to me, he was not able to explain it to me further. I think it has to do with being super experienced in the field. He just knows that things are done in a way but he’s just not able to explain it like how an instructor does it. It is actually a soft skill developers are trying to develop too – making technical terms into layman’s terms. It was hard and I think that is the skill he lacked. Next, I tried doing self-study but there was no accountability. That’s why I looked for institutions like Zuitt Coding Bootcamp.
Zuitt’s Flexibility with the Study Now Pay Later Payment Plan
– How did you find out about Zuitt?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: I found out about Zuitt when I was at work one day. I searched in Google: “Best Bootcamps in the Philippines.” I opened a lot of sites about the top 10 best Bootcamps and in all of those sites, I saw Zuitt in all of them. I asked myself, “Why is this Bootcamp constantly popping up in all of these articles I visited?” I checked out Zuitt and what caught my eye was the Study Now Pay Later Plan.
My decision took time because I didn’t know that there was Development before. Bootcamps are expensive ranging from ₱50,000.00 to ₱100,000.00 and sometimes it can go higher like ₱150,000.00 to ₱180,000.00 for about 6 months to a year of studying. As a career shifter, I can’t lose a job for 6 months to a year because I was also supporting my parents. I can’t go on for 6 months without a job. I have to choose a Bootcamp that offers a short amount of time to study. I found out that Zuitt has a program that is only for 2-3 months. I had nothing to lose but so much to gain. I registered at Zuitt, clicked apply now, and it was fast. They have a fast response and I received an email right away. There was also an interview and a quiz to check if you are really fit for a role as a Software Engineer. That is also one of the good things I liked about Zuitt’s application process. If you are someone having doubts, Zuitt will help you assess yourself. They will check if you can do Web Development through their Suitability Quiz. That’s how I found out about Zuitt. You have everything you need to know on their website.
– Why did you choose Study-Now-Pay-Later (SNPL) from Zuitt?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: There is an interview after you pass the exam. They will confirm that SNPL will be allowed as your payment option. I did not have money at that time. I think SNPL being offered to me was a sign from God. It was not really that big of money. I just did not have money at that time. For SNPL, you can study first and then you can pay through a staggered payment. It has a monthly payment. You won’t be afraid or shocked. The fact that you can start studying without money pushed me to enroll in Zuitt.
– What do you think are the advantages of enrolling with Zuitt with a Study-Now-Pay-Later (SNPL) plan?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: What happened to me was I availed the full-time class which runs for two months. You have two months to study without paying anything. I think 2 months is ample time for you to find a way to get an amount of money which is only less than ₱3,000.00. I did before leaving my previous job, I set aside a little money from my backpay and I kept it for my payment which will be allocated for the first 3 months after my Bootcamp with Zuitt.
That is the benefit of Zuitt’s Study-Now-Pay-Later (SNPL) plan – you pay in installments that are easy in the pocket. One more thing is that you can talk to Zuitt if you are struggling to pay. They are flexible and understanding with their boot campers. You’ll just have to comply and submit the things they ask you to submit. You’ll also get a job right away. Zuitt has career training sessions where their career advisors can help you look for a job.
– Did you consider other Bootcamps? Did they also have an SNPL like Zuitt’s?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: To be honest, when I looked up Bootcamps online, other Bootcamps started to pop up on sites. I was curious so I tried comparing the other Bootcamps to Zuitt. The other Boot Camps were way too expensive. Their installment plan was not for everybody because they only allow 2 – 3 installments. It is still a big amount of money and it is not as flexible as Zuitt where you can pay a little amount in a matter of 2 years. For me, it was so not affordable to join other Bootcamps. Zuitt provided a contract where the computation is included and seeing that I only have to pay ₱3,000.00 a month, it felt easy and stress-free.
Studying in a Bootcamp provides Accountability
– What were your expectations on Zuitt’s training?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: Like I said earlier, I tried learning Web Development on my own. I even asked help from my husband but we both really had a hard time. So, my expectation was that it is gonna be hard for me to understand. I expected that I would be bombarded with technical terms. At the same time, my excitement was there because I will be taught by legit instructors and I know I will learn a lot.
My first day was vividly funny. The class starts at 8 AM but I was already up by 7 AM. I have this personality that when someone asks something, I want to be the first person in the room to raise a hand to answer the question. I told myself that maybe I should do an early reading and then what happened was we only had to introduce ourselves on the first day.
– How was your overall experience in the Bootcamp?
Front end. Here’s where my early reading paid off. I only read about HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap. I was really able to enjoy this phase because it was all about design. I had a hard time but I was enjoying it. You really do not have to memorize all the tags, the elements, or the attributes because W3 and Google exist. Technically, what you do in the front end is all about design.
In my capstone, I designed it first on paper because we were really not introduced to Figma yet at that time. I was able to actualize what I drew on paper on my actual website. Front-end is more on customization. It’s about what you want the user and the customer to see on the website. I truly enjoyed it.
Back end. When we started the back-end course, this is when I started questioning myself, “What did I get myself into?” We learned the MERN Stack. I had a hard time but Zuitt instructors are very understanding. Even though I was asking the same questions over and over, it was okay with them. Our instructors will repeat it for us. And if you already understood it the first time around, and others are still asking for help, it’s fine because it gets reiterated to all of us. You will suddenly realize that you can now do it on your own. We did mini-activities just like in the front-end course but I appreciate it more when we did it in the back end. We actually did things on our own. I find it hard to formulate a logic. Doing back-end was fun because you would be able to observe how your classmates are thinking too – their own logic. You will realize that you all have different solutions to one answer or output. They would say that you don’t have to be good at math for you to become a Developer, but I think being good at math helps. It won’t depend on your math skills because it is all about your drive. Your passion for web development will be tested when you start learning the back end. You do not have to memorize anything but you have to understand how things are happening and how things work. The back end was a roller coaster experience for me.
Full Stack. Learning the back end was cool, but it was cooler to learn Full Stack. I enjoyed ReactJS. When Figma was introduced to us, I got super interested in Web Design. I was really creating my own icons in Canva. It was fun because I get to do an e-commerce website for our Capstone 3. It was as if I were able to create my own Lazada or Shopee. It was no easy thing. Zuitt instructors were really great because they would really guide and teach you all throughout. When you want things to be repeated, the instructors will do their best to help you recall. You will appreciate it more and more as you progress with the course. When I saw my final capstone, I was proud of myself for learning these things. Up until now, I keep on improving my capstone. What is good about us, Zuitt boot campers is that after our training, we would be able to show our projects to probable employers. That is an edge you can have if you study in a Bootcamp. My journey was really fun and I hope that other carer shifters from the healthcare industry can experience what I experienced with Zuitt. It is really fun to have a career in Tech.
– What is your personal developer career goal?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: Since my job now is Design QA specialist, what I really want is to be a Creative Developer with a purpose. I want a job with that title. I really want to do design. I want to be helpful in my community. I really believe that having a developer job is relevant nowadays – especially for Gen Zs. Our generation is very influenced by social media. Honestly, I don’t like the environment in our social media today. As a developer, you can do something about it. It is somehow like a social responsibility as a Developer because you can control social media sites. It is such a relevant job in the Tech industry.
– What is the training you wish to take to become a Creative Developer?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: That is actually a good question. Before you get what you want, you have to work for it. My job title now is Design QA Specialist. I want to immerse myself first with a lot of designs. That’s what I really wanted as a start. I want to try and observe, compile, and learn from the designs that I will encounter in my current role as a QA. My role includes Graphic Design, Web Design, Mobile Design, and any other designs. I think I will be able to use all those learnings and insights in the future. Also, one of the learning experiences I should aim for to become a Creative Developer is to be on top of what’s new and what’s a fad in the Design Tech world. Tech is really fast-paced. I have to collect designs and make my own portfolio because at the end of the day if it is not recorded, it did not happen. I will focus on profile building.
– How was your career search?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: To be honest, if you are new in Tech, if you don’t have any experience, and you are not a graduate of Computer Science, it is very hard to land a job. My advice to those who have no experience and have no degree in Computer Science is for them to compile everything they did in Github or Gitlab.
You will encounter a lot of rejections. After the Bootcamp, Zuitt has these career questions that they ask their boot campers. One of the questions is, “How many rejections can you take and still pursue a career in Tech?” My answer was: 250 and greater. When I started my career search, I had so many rejections and I cried a lot. The right mindset for us career shifters is that there is a job meant for you somewhere out there. Write down all the questions from all the rejections.
My career search was really fun. I had mixed emotions because some HR officers won’t reply to you, and some will ghost you, and that is a common thing. You just have to keep pushing. There will always be the right job for you and I can vouch for that. Keep looking for it and don’t lose your purpose.
– What is the best thing about Zuitt?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: I think the best thing about Zuitt is how flexible their payment terms are. That’s what I really like about Zuitt and I think that is the main selling point Zuitt has to me. At the same time, you just have to allot 2 months of your life to study Web Development with them. Zuitt’s pacing on their lessons is very important, especially to a non-tech person like me. The good thing about Zuitt’s Bootcamp to is their online class because most people nowadays, they do not want to go out anymore. They want to study in the comforts of their home. You can choose between a full-time or part-time schedule. Part-time is good too because if you have a day job, you can learn after you work. I also like Zuitt’s culture because the people I met are all aspiring developers. For example, if I want to build a small company, I would already know some people who are developers.
I want to share this tattoo that I got. There is an intentional error here. There should not be any space between the $ and the gain. I intentionally did it like that to remind me that this is how I started. This is a compile error and my first error when I started learning web development. This is like my roots. If I did not risk anything, I will stay in my comfort zone.
I learned a lot with Zuitt. I grew not just professionally, but also personally because I am really not a patient person and I get irritated easily. But if you are a developer, you can’t be like that because you won’t be able to think straight. I think that is the best experience. Learning with Zuitt is the highlight of 2022.
– What is your message to those who are still thinking if they will enroll in Zuitt?
Aubrey Antonio-Umali: First, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. For example, if you chose not to enroll, you’re still in your comfort zone, you’re not doing what you love, and you’re not growing as a person. You don’t have additional skills. But when you choose to enroll in Zuitt, you will obtain a relevant skill nowadays. Covid really changed the world. Most of the companies transitioned to work from home setup, and some permanently. Second, the pay won’t be as big initially, but compared to the basic salary, it is kind of high already. Third is your growth, you will gain a lot if you grow in the Tech industry. If you do not want web development, go with web design, and if not web design, you can be a project manager. All of these can start if you will start learning a great skill.
Choose Zuitt because they have flexible payment terms. You can learn in just 2 months. You will have the accountability that you needed compared to studying on your own. Zuitt has a caring community. Their instructors are really good. Their process is good. Their career advisors will literally help you find a job.
(End of interview)
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