Before Sabio, Becca was hustling to break into the LA art scene, “I had gone to design school in Pasadena, CA and was trying really hard to make a career out of my art. I got some commissioned work, but then the pandemic hit and everything kind of grinded to a halt. I had been working at multiple different jobs to get by and when everything shut down, I didn’t have a lot of options. Then, a close friend of mine started looking at Sabio and I thought that sounded pretty interesting. One of my side jobs had been data management at a production company, and when I looked into the brass tacks of coding, I noticed a lot of structural similarities. To me, that was a sign that this might be something I could do.”
It wasn’t just the structure that drew Becca to coding, “My friend actually had another close friend that was a Sabio alum that graduated about five years ago. She had such awesome things to say about the experience and she’s very successful now. She really encouraged us to do this and kept singing Sabio’s praises. I was also very lucky to receive Sabio's women in tech scholarship. I was also able to do their deferred payment program which was a lifesaver. In that, I didn’t have to pay anything upfront and started to pay it back only when I got a well-paying job in the tech field. These things together were what sealed the deal for me.”
Even though she was a fish out of water, things eventually started clicking for Becca, “It was definitely a lot to take in, but even during the preliminary coding classes there were little things that clicked that made me realize I made the right decision. I did the program full-time, so Monday through Friday was 12-hours a day and then 9 hours on Saturday. It was a hefty commitment, but I was so grateful that was the track I had chosen. I was able to cut out outside and things that would maybe distract me from what I was learning and I was really able to just completely focus on this. And, not only did I learn so much about coding and programming, but I learned so much about myself. I learned how to have a career in this profession, how to communicate with people, how to do job searches and advocate for yourself. That’s what makes Sabio great, it’s more than just learning how to code, they really prepare you for getting a job in tech.”
Becca was also grateful to be doing the program remotely, “It was really awesome. I really enjoyed being able to roll out of bed, start the day, and immediately get to focus on the stuff we were learning in the classroom. And it was really nice to be able to go out and go for walks around the neighborhood if I ever need a 5 or 10 minute break. My cohort was great too. I really liked the people that I was working with. I got to meet all of these super intelligent, super nice people from all over the country.
We were going through this really unique experience together, and we all helped each other out. It was sad to say goodbye to the friends I made, but we actually all still keep up which is great.”
The instructors were also instrumental for Becca, “They were incredibly helpful and really pushed you to not only ask questions to them, but to ask questions within yourself and learn how to go out of your way to try new things even if they’re scary. They really gave us the encouragement and the confidence to experiment with things. I was especially nervous about a lot of stuff in the beginning, like if I made a mistake I was going to break everything. But they were very supportive and put this foundation of confidence in you to succeed.”
And succeed she did when Becca received a very coveted paid internship at Microsoft, “It’s a 13- week program and at the end, depending on how well you’ve done they’ll either invite you to do an interview loop or not. I actually just found out that I’m going to be interviewing which is really exciting. It’s been the most amazing experience, and either way it’s going to be great on my resume. I’ve learned so much here and I never would have reached this point without Sabio. They really prepared me for the job and the whole job interview process. One thing in particular they did is code talks where at the end of the day, they would set up sessions for all of us in the cohort to actually talk out our code. I found that was really helpful for me, just being able to speak out loud to technology and it really prepared me for the interview process. Sabio also really taught us how to adequately ask questions, which was something that I found very helpful when starting this apprenticeship program, because I’m very entry level and I’m working with a team much more advanced than me.”
What makes Becca even happier, is she’s now able to integrate her art into her tech career, “I recently have been working with this Dnd group and doing their website interface and logo design. I love how I can incorporate this new technology into my art world. My life has changed in so many positive ways since going to Sabio because of this new knowledge base that I have. All of these door have suddenly opened. Being able to do this Microsoft apprenticeship has honestly been a dream come true. Before, I was really hustling and struggling without a lot of outcomes. Now that I am hustling and making stuff work, I'm getting those outcomes. Things are really coming to fruition for me, which is really exciting. My salary has also definitely increased at least 50% since I went to Sabio. I have this whole other skill set in my toolbox which makes me so excited for the future. There’s a lot of change happening for me right now, and I’m beyond grateful for it.. I have nothing but thanks and gratitude to Sabio for bringing me to this point in my career, but also in my life.”
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