Thinkful’s program eased Illana’s transition. She had a bit of coding experience under her belt and began to establish friendships with her newfound colleagues.
“After so long trying to learn on my own, having that connection with a person made it feel more doable,” recalled Illana about her early days in Thinkful’s program.
Illana’s desire for something more sustainable pushed her to strive harder. She decided to dedicate herself to studying full-time.
“I wanted to make sure I got the most out of Thinkful,” recalled Illana of her decision to focus full time on Thinkful’s Full Stack Flex program.
Within months, she transformed into a programmer. “My progress was a lot faster, and I was able to focus on my coursework,” said Illana.
Illana traveled cross country from Boston to San Francisco looking for a change. It was a transitional time for Illana. A new city brought a search for a new career. Change is difficult, but she wanted to do more than making ends meet.
A research scientist by trade, Illana studied biology and research sciences. But, she liked to tinker. When working in labs, she would think about building software.
“Tech had always been in the background,” admitted Illana, who spent a year debating her career jump. Having worked with some front-end projects in the past, Illana knew it would not be easy.
She explored a few schools, but after speaking with Liz at Thinkful, she made up her mind. “I really liked the conversation I had with Liz,” said Illana. “At the time I was worried about quitting [my] job and going full-time - the part-time made it possible.”
With the support of Thinkful’s Career Services team, including several mock interviews, Illana kept her nose to the grindstone. Recruiters contacted her after graduation. Within one month Illana secured a position as a front-end engineer at Simplr.
“My career coach, Jenny, gave me a lot of support,” Illana remembered about Thinkful’s Career Services team. “It was my first in-person interview, and having this support alleviated a lot of stress.”
At Simplr, Illana develops a web platform to provide new customer service solutions to small businesses. She works with the front-end client, building and debugging. Recently she started working with the server-side code. It is a great learning environment.
Change is difficult. Before Thinkful, Illana dreamed of something different. Now, she is challenging the world around her - and she never has to settle. She makes more money now, but that is not what is important to her.
In regards to her new career, “It feels great to be on the career track that I want to be on,” said Illana. “It's nice to be able to talk with people who care about the same nerdy things I care about.”