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Student Profile

Kevin Zhao

Technical Account Manager at Stripe

Program Taken

Web Development

Program Type

Full-time Bootcamp

Key Skills Learned

  • Server-Side Programming
  • Web Servers
  • Databases
View Program Details
Kevin Zhao

Interview

Where are you working currently, and what do you do there?

I currently work at Stripe as a Technical Account Manager. My role focuses around working cross-functionally to support some of Stripe's most strategic and largest users.

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

You could say I've had a "shotgun approach" when it comes to my career path. I received a Bachelor of Science in Economics at Occidental College in California, and have dipped my toes in a number of job industries like real estate, teaching, and sales. Ultimately, I landed in a buying position at Costco Wholesale for their apparel department. If you love Costco and have bought any clothes you've probably touched some of the items I worked to bring into the warehouses!

Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?

I've never been hesitant to try something new. At the time, I was looking for a great way to jumpstart a role in the tech industry and Brainstation seemed like a no-brainer. Brainstation offered all the courses I needed to feel comfortable applying for roles I otherwise would have felt unqualified for. And the community - I can't stress enough how valuable the people at Brainstation were at putting me in a position for success.

Brainstation offered all the courses I needed to feel comfortable applying for roles I otherwise would have felt unqualified for. And the community - I can't stress enough how valuable the people at Brainstation were at putting me in a position for success.

What motivated you to start digital skills training?

Fast pace and innovation. Those two things really appealed to me and I felt like the tech industry was my best chance at finding a career where I was constantly challenged. Digital skills training was definitely a must to make that transition.

What was the highlight of your learning experience?

The first highlight that comes to mind is Demo Day - my project represented a very tangible example of all the progress and learnings I had made at Brainstation.

But! The real answer is completing a hackathon project with my classmates at Brainstation. All of us working day and night, utilizing the skills we had gained during the course, was an awesome experience. I would later discover that the hackathon experience was the best example of what working at a tech company is actually like. Rarely do you find yourself building solutions on your own - instead, it always involves working with various stakeholders to meet a common goal.

What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?

Coping with imposter syndrome. As someone with little to no tech background, it was very easy to fall into the trap of doubting your own skills and adequacy. Having the community at Brainstation around to support me through the entire process really kept me focused in order to visualize the progress I was making. At the end of it all, seeing my portfolio and all I had created at Brainstation really boosted my confidence to take that next step.

As someone with little to no tech background, it was very easy to fall into the trap of doubting your own skills and adequacy. Having the community at Brainstation around to support me through the entire process really kept me focused in order to visualize the progress I was making. At the end of it all, seeing my portfolio and all I had created at Brainstation really boosted my confidence to take that next step.

How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?

I really do give Brainstation a ton of credit as to why I'm in the position I currently am. I'd be lying if I said I planned this all out, and that I use every single thing I learned at Brainstation in my day-to-day. But about two years ago, I would have never imagined I'd have a technical role at a company like Stripe. Brainstation laid the foundation for me.

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

Take the leap with confidence! If you talk to anyone who has taken a Brainstation course, they'll tell you that you will get out as much as you put in. That's to say, it is by no means easy and there will be some tough nights, but there's no better place to build the digital skills you need.

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