Career Services at Grand Circus

career fair, career servicesIt is no secret that there is a severe tech talent shortage in the ever expanding Michigan market. Grand Circus’ mission is to close this talent gap for employers, beginning with our Career Services.    

So, you’ve decided to take the next step in your career by starting a bootcamp at Grand Circus. How do you know that this will be the right move towards a successful career in tech?

cody-grant-career-services

Meet Cody Grant, Company Engagement Manager

Background

Cody has been on staff at Grand Circus since March 2017. Prior to joining our team, he worked in IT Staffing and Talent Acquisition since 2013.  Cody has experience in full-cycle recruiting and believes that optimizing personality-job fit is one of the most valuable aspects of hiring today.  Cody earned his Masters in Human Resources and Employment Relations from Penn State University. Every coding bootcamp student works closely with Cody and his team to better understand the job search and what it takes to be effective on a tech team.

Why Grand Circus Career Services Make a Difference

Grand Circus takes a holistic approach to career services to support both job seekers and career changers.  These services are not generally what you would learn in school, and include the ability to sell yourself, act with confidence and grow your individualized network.  With Grand Circus, students gain the skills to recognize and seize opportunities with employers. These career services help take students from technicians to professionals.

Advice for Job Seekers

Make the effort to get things done, with the understanding that many jobs aren’t gained through the standard channels, like applying online. This will mean that you need to prioritize in-person networking and add value whenever possible.

Secondly, be honest with yourself about putting your absolute best work forward. Think like a hiring manager, what would you like to see out of a top employee?

Career Services Offered: 

  • Weekly Soft Skill Sessions
    • Imposter Syndrome
    • Career Exploration
    • Job Search Strategy
    • Resumes and LinkedIn
    • Interview Prep Part I
    • Interview Prep Part II
    • Professionalism
  • Career One-on-Ones
  • Tech Wednesday & Coffee with Cody
  • Resume & LinkedIn Edits
  • Mock Interviews
  • Company Info Sessions
  • Demo Day

Among all of our graduating students, 89.1% of them find careers. We have devised a career-oriented segment of our bootcamp to integrate the required tools to become a successful tech professional.  Every week students from all bootcamps participate in a two-hour long soft skill session. 

Soft Skill Sessions:

1. Imposter Syndrome

Learn that “feedback is a gift” by mastering the most effective ways to give and receive feedback. In addition, how to rid yourself of chronic self-doubt while you explore the concept of “Imposter Syndrome.” In this session, you will receive tips on how to combat inner self-talk.

2. Career Exploration

General coaching concepts and tactics for how to identify your future and figure out what you want out of your professional life! This session will help to define job roles, day-to-day technical duties and provide an overview on salary outcomes for Grand Circus graduates. The main goal is to expand your understanding of what can be done after bootcamp and making sure that there is inspiration to find your technical calling.

3. Job Search Strategy

You have all of the technical knowledge and personality to nab a job, but how do you start the job search process? In this session, you will learn how to plan, search, and execute your job search process. You’ll understand that finding a job requires a systematic approach and learn about the hidden job market. We’ll provide tips on how to apply to roles online and how to best leverage your time searching for positions and networking your way into a new role.

4. Resume and LinkedIn

In this working session, you’ll begin crafting your technical resume to help land that first interview by reviewing best practices and leveraging your translatable skills. In addition, you’ll discover LinkedIn and its magical potential to help brand yourself as a capable and valued asset. We’ll also cover the do’s and don’ts of using the professional network and some tips on how to get the most out of it for your upcoming search.

5. Interview Prep Part I

  • Become an interview “STAR” with this session by learning about how to crush the first part of most application processes: the phone interview/phone screen. Topics covered will include the dos and don’ts of communication, elevator pitches, and the STAR method for behavioral questions (Situation, Task, Action you took, Result you achieved).

6. Interview Prep Part II

  • Interview Prep Part II builds on the content from week five and tackles the in-person interview and beyond. Providing a systematic approach to interview prep – What to do the night before, the morning of, etc. The session also provides students with a Grand Circus interview checklist to return to in moments of need. Other topics include: dressing with confidence, body language, first impressions, interview strategies and how to follow-up with companies.

7. Professionalism

  • In our final soft skills session, you will explore the attitudes, behaviors and actions that will help you not only with your first job in tech, but the next few years of your career! This session will try to change the way you view work and what it takes to fit into a company culture after bootcamp. We work together to establish a service mindset that focuses on value to understand first impressions and accountability.

career fair, career services

Career One-on-Ones:

A private 5-10 minute session held between bootcamp students and the career services team. These meetings are to understand career goals and career assistance needs. Students are given the opportunity to ask questions privately, diving deeper into their own personal situations. Together, we devise a plan that is curated for their success.  After the first session, each 1:1 will also focus on a behavioral interview question. This is a way to stay on theme and keep the meetings productive.

Tech Wednesday & Coffee with Cody:

Along with weekly career one-on-one sessions, our career services team strives to keep an open door for all questions that are career related. These two sessions are held before and after class once a week for any extra resources students may need whether it be “How do I follow up with an email?” or “Can you help me prepare for this phone screen?”

Resume & LinkedIn Edits:

After the resume soft skill session, students will have a workshop to create and perfect their technical resume and LinkedIn profile. We’ll even take your new, professional headshot! Here, they will have the guidance of former HR and recruiting professionals (our career services team) as eyes to gauge what will get them through to the next phase of the interview process.  

Mock Interviews:

Students are given a mock behavioral interviews that are conducted by a Grand Circus staff member. The interview consists of 10 behavioral interview questions and they will be graded on how well they answer according to the STAR method. Students will also have a mock whiteboard technical interview with members of the learning team. Students get the feedback needed to make a great impression with employers.

career fair, career servicesCompany Info Sessions:

Our employer network consists of 250+ companies statewide.  Every cohort, we ask a select few to come to our campuses and talk with students. Hiring managers and tech recruiters speak about their workplace, company culture, and responsibilities. And, an added bonus, Grand Circus alumni that work at these companies often tag along and talk about their own job search. They also share how they transitioned from a bootcamp student to a full-time employee.

Demo Day:

Upon completion of their final assessment, students are divided into teams for final projects. Students have two weeks to create a Web-based API project, which will be presented to the local tech community, friends and family, and the Grand Circus staff during our Demo Days. 

So, how do you know that Grand Circus will be the right move towards a successful career in tech? I hope this blog post was able to give you a clear idea of this.  With anymore questions we encourage you to stop by and see us, give us a call, or visit our Bootcamps page here.  Looking forward to helping you in your next endeavor!

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Luke

Luke is the Career Services Specialist at Grand Circus. With a background in staffing and recruiting, he is here to aid bootcamp students in finding their personal success. His main focuses are job search strategy, career readiness, and soft skill development.

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