Welcome to part two of our three part series on Thinkful student turned Twitter engineer Sam Gould. In the first installment, Sam shared his pre-tech career journey. Now, we dive into his experience as an Engineering Immersion student.
Describe your Thinkful learning experience.
The meetings with my mentor were a grounding part of every day. We’d go through the day's learnings and it provided me the opportunity to solidify my understanding of the material. Talking to an industry professional gave me a good handle on everything. I understood from him which aspects of the program really modeled real professional work experience. My mentor prepared me to be ready to enter the working world and that is so important.
What was the hardest challenge for you during the course?
Trusting in the career services program and actively putting myself out there. You are ready to be hired and want to contribute to a team, but it doesn't always feel that way. You need to trust yourself, your ability to learn, your mentor, and the career services to take this next step. It was a really scary thing for me at first to apply for jobs at massive tech companies–there was this little voice inside of me saying: I don't know if I'm ready or if I'm qualified. Emotionally, it was really hard to put myself out there and get rejected. It was really hard at times, but in the end it just takes one person saying yes. It's okay if you get told no a bunch of times, but it's that one yes that starts your professional career.
Would you have been able to succeed in the course or land a job at Twitter without your mentor?
No. I find it hard to imagine succeeding in the way that I have without the support of theThinkful community. So many individuals along the way really helped me feel like this was possible. Having a cohort of people that were all going through this experience together and having a mentor who helped me appreciate that what I was learning was something was marketable and desirable, was incredible. I was prepared to go out and get paid for what I’d learned at Thinkful.
In tech, your learning is not going to end. You are the minimal viable product of yourself at the end of the program. What I learned at Thinkful were some languages and frameworks that are desirable on the professional market, but I also learned how to learn, how to use resources, when to ask questions, and when to Google. Every day was about becoming a better engineer and hiring managers were really responsive to that on the job market.
Stay tuned, in our next installment, Sam gives us the inside scoop on life at Twitter.