Nicolas Stayed Confident Throughout the Job Search. His Reward? A Junior-Level Position at a Fortune 500 Company

“I barely even know how to write this one line and you're asking me to sit here for 10 hours? It's crazy.” A coding bootcamp doesn’t come easy for anyone and Nicolas was no exception. Even though he groans while saying it, he reiterates Sabio’s tried-and-true phrase: “Trust the process. They got the system down pat. Just keep pushing. That's all you need to do.”


Hard work and discipline were traits Nicholas had already perfected in the military. When wrapping up his eight years of service in the Navy, Nicolas knew he wanted to go into tech but didn’t know which avenue to choose. It was a toss up between Sabio and an IT bootcamp with Microsoft. What ultimately tipped his decision was the fact that he was able “to do SkillBridge” with Sabio, since he was still in the final stages of his Navy service. 


When he first dove into the program, it was a whirlwind. “The first four weeks – Crazy. Didn't know anything, trying to learn HTML JavaScript, pulling my hair out. Pretty sure I still got alopecia right here.”  But Nicolas relied on his classmates. “Sometimes it may click for them and not the other, and they can give you that caveman version of kind of what you're looking for.” 

If learning new technical skills in a short period of time wasn’t hard enough, try adding in the dramatic moments of family life. In the middle of the program, his wife gave birth to his second child. “If you guys want to talk about the struggle, I think I probably top most everybody here.” 


But Nicolas persevered and stayed on track so that by the time he was graduating, he was already knee-deep in the job hunt. Naturally, he had to brush off countless rejections. But he maintained a healthy level of self-worth and resisted doing tasks that were below him or distracting, like taking tests or doing “someone else’s work,” knowing that his future employer was out there. “I knew that they would be getting quality work or a great person to work with them on their team or whatever it may be. So I just kept that drive in my mind and I knew that I was worth it.”


Also, Nicholas’s strategy was to seek out the human beings behind the posts and listings. He went direct to websites and avoided relying on automated networks and algorithms. “I was trying to talk to recruiters, just build my confidence about talking about myself and what I can do.” This verbal practice was supplemented by Sabio’s interview guidance. One tip that he used was to ask the question at the end, “Why wouldn’t you hire me?” Using this unexpected question seemed to get the hiring managers thinking a bit differently or at least made him more memorable. 


The way he managed the “experience question” was also according to Sabio’s guidelines. “I would always tailor it to having 1 to 2 years experience equivalent. I haven't done that amount of time, but the amount I've learned in the short period of time would be more equivalent and more relevant to today's society than what you would learn in college…And I tailored that to me being available, willing to learn, learning new things. I'm ready to learn more things like I'm not stopping at React, C# and SQL.”


Now, Nicolas enjoys the fruits of his labor and the tailwinds of his intense time at Sabio. He’s learning new things everyday at a Fortune 500 company. And what’s more – he’s not ashamed of asking for help. “I asked for help yesterday…You're entry level…They know that if you're not reaching out, you're probably not doing something right and you're probably going to end up breaking the code.” 


Nicolas was hired by: Northrop Grumman Logo