Casi is a Senior High School graduate from the STEM Track in the K to 12 Program that helps equip students with 21st century skills and be prepared in pursuit of a higher education and be geared towards employment.
At 21 years old, she took the leap of faith to become what she truly wanted to pursue since her junior highschool years, to become a Software Engineer.
As a recent graduate of Zuitt Coding Bootcamp’s full time class, Casi is now climbing up towards her tech-career dream with her job as an Information technology Officer.
(Interview by Kaye Hechanova, Article by Akiko Iwai)
Becoming a Career Shifter at 21: A Senior High School Graduate Success Story
——Tell us why you chose STEM as your SHS track.
I chose STEM because I knew that Information Technology (IT) or Computer Science (ComSci) is a course I wanted since the 9th grade. I knew that if I wanted to pursue those careers, I had to do well in my mathematics.
My main motivation for my course and my specialization being IT, is because I was very interested in Web Development since the 9th grade. The HTML language just made perfect sense to me! I really enjoyed learning about it a lot.
——What was the career path your ‘Junior High-self was envisioning?
For me, I got a sense of what I wanted to be but it’s not so clear what it is which is why we junior high school students would explore them. But I knew that I dreamt of working for a tech giant like Google or IBM. I knew it might take me a long time to get there, but I knew that it wasn’t impossible.
Pursuing the Spark of Coding
——What sparked your interest in coding? Did something inspire you to learn coding?
No one really influenced me to obtain a career in IT. If I were to think about it, my computer classes during Junior High was the one that piqued my interest in coding. I recognized early on that to others, it was a chore for them whenever they were coding, but for me, that challenge fueled me and became the drive for me in understanding how the system or how coding worked.
——What led you into thinking that maybe web development can be your entry to the Tech Industry? Is it during your SHS year as a STEM student?
It was because during my senior high school years, we had a lot of opportunities to work with Web Development. However, it was only during my time in Zuitt that I realized that there were an infinite amount of careers and opportunities within the tech industry now and how this field is still rapidly evolving with new jobs increasing in number each day.
——Tell us about how you came across the idea of studying in a bootcamp.
To be honest, I had never heard of what a ‘bootcamp’ is at the time. It was actually my mother who told me to try studying in one, which was Zuitt. Before I joined the bootcamp, I did try to self-study at home. The advantages of self-studying was its flexibility but the downside was that there weren’t any specific structures on how to study programming. I believe that any person who self studies can attest that there is a myriad of information and resources of learning online, but it can be pretty overwhelming especially for beginners, which can ultimately be deterring them from their original goal. That was one of the factors why I considered why I should study in Zuitt coding Bootcamp, because of the clearer structure of how I was going to study.
Bootcamps: Bridging the Gap between Academia and Industry
—— Why did you choose to study in Zuitt?
My mom had found an email advertisement from Zuitt and shared it with me. My mom encouraged me to try out the boot camp because of its good reviews. She went on to say that she believed that trying out Zuitt would be a good opportunity for me, giving me the exact knowledge I needed and increasing my job landability. So I believed in my mother’s words and gave Zuitt a try. I was really happy and excited when I passed my screening and it’s been exciting days for me ever since.
—— What was the highlight of your training?
The highlight of my training is the collaboration with me and my classmates. Despite the classes being fully remote and online, it felt like the distance didn’t matter because everyone was approachable, kind, and warm. The instructors were also very friendly as well as approachable. Learning alongside people like that can just motivate you to do better and learn faster.
—— As the youngest in your batch, how’s your relationship with your peers/instructors in your Bootcamp training?
My kuya’s and Ate’s were very helpful despite the age-gap in the bootcamp. It goes the same with my instructors as well. They were really fun to be with, we can just talk casually to each other while maintaining respect. By the end of the bootcamp, I felt very close to my peers and instructors. My age wasn’t a barrier for them to be friends at all.
—What Is the best thing about learning in a coding Bootcamp?
The best thing about learning in a Bootcamp is it bridges the gap between industry and academia. I think it’s also suitable for people who dropped out of universities because it levels the field for them. In today’s time, we can see that degrees are becoming less relevant. It’s not that they are not important anymore, but what would be the purpose of a degree if the degree holder lacks the skills needed in the real world?
The Search in Finding the Right Tech Opportunity
—After the Bootcamp training, how did Zuitt help you in your job hunting?
One of the best things about Zuitt is that it’s not just an ordinary bootcamp. I really admire Zuitt for having Career Advisors. As we were progressing in our main course package, our career advisers would always check in with us. My career advisor has always been so helpful to me. She gives me a few resources here and there so I could practice on how to sit for an interview which I feel like I’m doing very well right now! She also gave me some technical mock exams to practice. We were also given a job post list like a data-base for us to skim through or browse through and make it more easier for us to apply to jobs. The career adviser that was assigned to me was just very helpful and thats why im able to find the right jobs for me.
—Any future training opportunities you are booking into tapping next?
Im looking to expand my skills more and complete my course credits at Zuitt! I’m looking forward to learning PHP Laravel, which I feel is very important since it’s needed by most employers right now. Facing Fears and Doubts for a Better Tomorrow
—What are your current life goals?
Number one is to provide for my family by working as a Software Engineer for a tech company that values every race, every gender, religion, and race. Aside from that, I want to be financially independent and literate. I’m looking to save and to invest so that when I’m old and retired I’m still able to tend to myself and my family.
—Any message that you would like to share for those who are interested in career shifting?
Making a sudden career shift can be pretty frightening and daunting. To any person who is considering to shift careers, know that all your fears and doubts are completely valid. You just have to give yourself some room or time to really weigh things out. If you really think this is the right path for you and if you really decided to shift careers, know that it’s not gonna be easy. But as long as you have the determination to make things work and to understand the world of technology, I’m sure you will be able to stand up on your own two feet sooner rather than later.
(End of Interview)
A few weeks after this interview, after managing to fully complete all her Zuitt Coding Bootcamp courses, Casi has since updated us that she is now currently working as a Full Stack Developer for a major brand!
If you want to learn more about Casi and what she has to say about her Zuitt Coding Bootcamp Experience, Click the link provided so you can watch her full interview on our Youtube page!
Casi’s Zuitt Coding Bootcamp Journey as an SHS graduate – YouTube
Just like Casi’s we check in on our past Zuitt bootcampers’ stories during and after their training with us. If you have a similar experience to share with our bootcampers, drop us a message at email@example.com.
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