Amanda enrolled in UX/UI Design with the goal of changing careers and becoming a designer.

To say she was successful is an understatement. Amanda was hired as a Product Designer in San Francisco. Two years later, she's still with the same company and has even been promoted to Senior Product Designer.

Here's how she made the switch and launched a successful career after her bootcamp experience.

Tell me: what were you doing before Thinkful?

I was a Non-Profit Development and Events Manager.

Why did you end up taking the course?

My  background is in studio art and arts management. I started working in  the non-profit fundraising world and realized a couple of years ago that I was either on a path for event management or individual giving  management — neither of which excited me (cue work boredom).

I  was supporting the Creative Director and Marketing Director on my team  with print and web design because I had expressed an interest. I found  that these were the projects I most enjoyed. I took a step back and made  the decision to pursue design full-time.

After  researching various bootcamps, I chose Thinkful because of the emphasis on  student support and because the program was longer in duration, allowing  for more projects in a portfolio by the end of the program. My only regret is that I didn’t make the leap sooner!

How did Thinkful change your life?

In  one year, I have made a career change that allows me to tap back into  my creative background and has greatly increased my income. I knew I  wanted to do something different with my career, but I also wanted to be  more practical this time around — looking at the number of jobs  available and also where they are located.

My  husband and I are considering other cities to live in other than San  Francisco in the future. I wanted to be able to find opportunities in  other areas as well, at a better income than a non-profit outside of the  Bay Area would have provided. I also now feel that I am in a career  where I can grow and be challenged. I also have to mention the Thinkful team and how incredibly supportive everyone has been. I have gained confidence in my skills & job searching/interviewing/negotiating…  seriously transformative beyond just a career change.

What advice would you give to other students currently looking for a job?

Become an intern.
I  am sure that my internship has boosted my results considerably, Not  only with getting an initial phone interview but also with making it to  the next round.

Everyone has been open to hearing about my  apprenticeship projects but they have all wanted to know more about the  ways I have been working on teams and handing off designs to developers.  Being able to talk about this piece from my internship experience has  been key. I never had the time to properly update my portfolio site with  internship projects but started sending links/info about those projects  in my cover letter.

Get your resume right.
I  seriously can’t thank Kara (my Career Developer) enough for her help  on this! Things really started to take off once I had the right things  highlighted on my resume. I also tried to create a “brand” for myself across my LinkedIn, resume, and portfolio sit to make them all feel  cohesive and memorable. They use the same bright yellow, language, and  photo.

Look at jobs with the requirement: 3 years and under.
Maybe  this goes without saying, but I really only applied to jobs that had no  time requirement or posted as “3+” years or under. I didn’t spend any  time on postings that were 5+ years even if they said entry level.

Send “cold” messages on LinkedIn.
I  think at least half of the interview requests I got came after doing  this. Even if they didn’t respond to me directly or accept my request to  connect, I would get a request. To my surprise, this has also worked  out better than having friends reach out when they know someone at a  company.

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