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All Success Stories

Student Profile

Carolyn Isahack

Associate Software Engineer at Deloitte

Program Taken

Web Development

Program Type

Web Development Bootcamp

Key Skills Learned

  • Server-Side Programming
  • Web Servers
  • Databases
View Program Details
Carolyn Isahack

Interview

What does a typical day look like as an Associate Software Engineer at Deloitte?

As an Associate Software Engineer, a typical day at Deloitte usually begins with morning standups in which our team discusses our progress and daily goals.

Afterwards, I begin working on the training tasks that are required of me. I am currently reading about programming foundational skills and am learning new technologies to apply in projects. Depending on the day, I sometimes have meetings with others on the team who provide more insight about department goals. Currently, we are working fully remote so it is a unique experience for the first time in my career!

Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?

I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Florida International University. I have worked in various industries such as education, billing, photography, accounting, psychology/healthcare, hospitality, and commerce. Recently, I graduated from BrainStation’s Web Development Bootcamp. I felt I was trying to explore many career paths as possible back then, all of which led me to where I am today.

Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?

I chose to study at BrainStation because it seemed like a great fit for me.I felt it appealed to a diverse set of students who come from many different backgrounds willing to take on the challenge. Along with that, its immersive environment, industry-relevant topics, outstanding connection to hiring partners, and career outlook numbers seemed promising.

What motivated you to start digital skills training?

Over various experiences, I took note of how technology just seemed to be a part of every aspect of life. The main motivation however was when I was traveling during New Zealand for a year and had to rely on my phone to connect me to other people and resources in a country where I knew no one. Without technology, I do not see how I could have done my travels as safely yet as adventurously as possible. I saw its impact. I saw where the world was heading. Subsequently, I wanted to be a part of its growth. I wanted to empower humanity with technology, and I felt that learning how to build the software behind it would be the seed to its growth.

What was the highlight of your learning experience?

The highlight of my learning experience was realizing that it is okay to be uncomfortable. It is how you handle it that matters. The Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and staff provided immense support throughout the whole program. Not only that, fellow students supported one another. We were all going through the same process and it connected us.

No matter what question I had, there was someone willing to help. BrainStation provided a professional yet tight-knit family feel, which is exactly what I wanted. They had us work independently, in pairs as well as in groups, and we even had a 24-Hour Hackathon project.

Their most lasting impact on me was their influence to trust the process, get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and take things one step at a time.

What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?

The most challenging part was the growing intensity of the material at a fast pace and the deadlines. Each day we were learning something new and had to complete projects by the end of the week.

Also, Imposter Syndrome was something I internally struggled with as well. However, they had reinforced us that this is a common feeling with even senior engineers. Therefore they focused on changing our mindsets to have more positive thoughts and encouraged us from within.

BSTN offers multiple touchpoints with industry leaders, like guest lectures, fireside chats. Did you have the chance to explore these and if so, what was your favorite?

We had several guest speakers who inspired me to keep pushing through. One speaker I remember especially was Denise Mendez who works at Microsoft as a Principal Software Engineer. She delved into her work in Mixed Reality, and I thought that it was so incredible to see what new technologies will be emerging that will shape our future. We were able to engage with her and ask her real-time questions.

What was your Demo Day experience like?

My Demo Day experience was exciting. I enjoyed seeing what my fellow classmates were able to build and it was a way to commemorate our final days in the program.

The days leading up to the Demo Day were challenging, though, as I was deciding what to build as well as working with the technologies, but thankfully I had support from teachers, staff, mentors, and classmates.

I ended up presenting a project that is basically a Virtual Closest where users can upload clothes and choose outfits for inspiration. Who doesn’t like cute clothes?

What impact did your final project have in your professional development?

My final project was the foundation to help me get started on continuing to build projects after graduation. My project utilized HTML, CSS, React, Express, Node and PostgreSQL. I worked with some of these tech stacks after graduation while looking for employment. Ultimately, I developed the confidence to set and accomplish goals, solve problems, and ask for help from others if needed in my career.

How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?

It was life-changing. I am forever grateful to BrainStation. They pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and think more independently yet be humble enough to collaborate with others. Because of BrainStation, I was able to make a career change and I am now an Associate Software Engineer at Deloitte.

What would you say were the most valuable skills you learned? How have you incorporated those skills into your current role?

The most valuable skill I learned was to slow down and take it a step at a time. Breaking down the whole project into smaller tasks enables me to focus on completing one task until the whole project is completed. In my current role, I utilize it by taking it one day at a time, and within each day, I break down my goals to be reachable.

What was your job search experience like after the bootcamp? Were you able to lean on the career accelerator program?

I utilized their career support by staying connected with one of their career staff members, and thankfully I was sought out by Deloitte for an Associate Software Engineer position due to this. I was assisted with motivation, resume help, and cover letter assistance.

How has your bootcamp experience helped you connect with the tech industry?

Their career support staff post regularly about tech meetups happening locally that you can join or virtually as well. I attended several tech meetups physically in Miami after graduation to make several connections. An exceptional experience was when I was able to attend Miami Hack Week which exposed me to so many engineers doing fantastic genius-level work. I would not have known about it if BrainStation did not inform us about it.

What advice would you give to professionals considering a BrainStation course or program?

I would advise them to reach out and talk to BrainStation staff. They can also read the reviews and explore the website to see if it’s a fit for them. Aside from that, a personal recommendation would be to have a head start and begin learn how to code on their own in order to keep up with the pace of the program. It will only help them and they will be more prepared.

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