Recent Sabio alum Dominique didn’t know a lick of coding before going to Sabio. Now he’s making the big bucks at Amazon. Here’s his story:
S: Dominique, your story is so unique and at the same time, I’m sure very relatable to veterans and even non-veterans trying to make it today. Tell us a little more about your journey that led you to Sabio.
D: For sure, well, my name is Dominique L. and I’m a US Navy veteran. I spent 10 years in the Navy as an electrical engineer, which sounds technical, but I can assure you, it was nothing compared to what we did at Sabio. I had run across coding stuff, like running systems, but I never actually did any coding. I would just hit, ‘run’ and let the code run for itself. So, that’s the most experience I had with coding before starting Sabio. After I got out of the Navy, I went to school for music business & entrepreneurship and opened up my own recording studio, but you know, that wasn’t quite as lucrative as I hoped and I needed to make a little extra money on the side. So I started side hustles like selling insurance, selling solar, and was just working non-stop to make ends meet. I ended up running into one of my friends who is a cyber security engineer and one day he was in my studio looking at what I was doing as a sound engineer, and he was like, “if you can do this, you could probably do software engineering.” That’s how it all started.
S: What specifically drew you to Sabio to pursue this new career?
D: I actually was looking at a lot of different schools and saw that a few offered the vet tec program. It wasn’t an immediate decision, but I was just hustling day by day, trying to make money, get some stability and provide for my family, and one day I just decided to go for it. Although, I was about to go to a whole different school; I even enrolled in a different school. But then, it just didn’t work out because I was doing their pre-work program and it was like, none of this makes sense to me. It wasn’t coming together or clicking for me in a real way. Then, I looked into Sabio. I read the reviews and thought, okay, this school looks dope because they have a lot of good feedback. I went to a couple of info sessions there, heard a lot of good information and enrolled. It was a huge difference starting at Sabio vs. the other school. It’s not like everything made sense right away, but it was really smooth coming into it. I did the 17-week program, so I learned the basics, then got into the series stuff. One thing I really appreciated was how Sabio was able to ease us through this crazy process. They worked with everyone’s learning style. I’m not the type of person who just figures things out on their own, but if I see somebody else do it, I can repeat it and ask questions. That way makes sense to me. Honestly, their teaching style was really helpful and translates super well into the job world.
S: What advice would you give to a new or prospective Sabio student?
D: Hmmm, I think if I was to give any advice, it would probably be… don’t try and move too far ahead too quickly. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out why we’re doing this or that, just do it. Eventually, we’ll get to the part where you really start to understand why you did what you did, but at a later time. That part was kind of difficult for me at first. But, we heard it a lot, just follow the process. And, the real part of trusting the process, is knowing that you’ll get the answers you need later, just do what you need to do now.
S: We’re so happy to hear about you scoring a paid apprenticeship at Amazon, can you tell the readers a bit more about your job application process?
D: When Sabio started on the job portion of the bootcamp, I was completely overwhelmed with how many resumes they expected us to put out. But, I just picked a number that worked for me and then I committed to hitting that number every day. I got a couple good interviews, one in particular with an insurance company that gave me a good offer of $40/h with benefits. But then, I got this offer with Amazon and I knew right away that it was just a way better option. At the end of the day, Amazon got me to where I really wanted to be, especially when it comes to continuing to pursue music.
S: That’s great! Can you elaborate a bit more on that?
D: It’s interesting the way the apprenticeship is set up. It’s already great pay, pretty much full benefits, full everything, you get everything. Once you put Amazon and AWS on your resume, it’s pretty much the sky's the limit at that point. Plus, they essentially hire you unless you don’t want the job when you’re done with your apprenticeship. Just knowing both of those facts was like, okay, this is the perfect stepping stone to get to into any position that I want to be in. Once you’re in Amazon, they pretty much allow you to go to different departments and learn different sector to try anything out. That was the party that really made me be like, “okay, yeah, I want to do this.” Because, no matter where I am now, I know I can go work in their music department they have over here, which is what I want to work on in the first place. It’s honestly the best I could ask for.
Dominique was hired by:
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