Posts about Grand Circus News

Google Recruiters’ Tips for Job Seekers: Resumes & LinkedIn

October 13, 2018

Google was on site to have their recruiters give their best advice to job seekers during our first Women in Tech Symposium.  Women and men from metro Detroit gathered to hear different speakers and workshops on a wide range of topics. In my final year at U of M, I cannot help but think about all that I need to do to make my job search as successful as possible.  In this blog, I am going to take you through some of the highlights and most important tips from “the Googlers.”

Job-Seeking Tips from Google Recruiters

Your Resume Should be Evolving


Announcing our Rising TIDE Project

August 29, 2018

This blog post was written by Kelsey Perdue, our Grand Rapids Assistant Campus Director.

I believe that solid, rewarding careers make for happier people, stronger families and better communities. And I believe these kinds of careers should be accessible to everyone, regardless of background. I joined Grand Circus in 2017 because they believe the same thing, and are successfully helping people start rewarding careers in tech — a fast-growing industry with in-demand, high satisfaction, high pay roles. The industry’s growth is so great that there’s a talent shortage: there will be 1 million unfilled, needed programming roles by 2020. Still, even if you’re not in tech you may know there is a concerning lack of diversity in the industry. Not everyone is involved or benefitting from these great opportunities. With major challenges come huge opportunities, and Grand Circus and I are excitedly working to address both.

A little about my background and experience:

In college, I changed my major five times. I didn’t know what my career options were or which path was the best fit for me. When I met or saw someone I liked and learned what they did, I would consider that career as an option to look into. Kelsey Persue discusses the Rising TIDE project and why it's importantThat’s what got me interested in law, political science, research and finally led me to education. This is the case for many people when deciding their career path.

When leading a classroom of students or participating as one, exposure to jobs was a consistent theme in discussions about workforce development — no matter what grade or age. When I talked to my 6th grade students about the challenges of being an NFL player or the importance of janitorial work, they began to think about their options in a new way. Their eyes were just as curious as mine were when I was a college student. Choosing your career path is an important decision. It’s extremely important to know what job options exist, the reality of the work and where one might thrive. It takes more than just job knowledge, though, to confidently make that choice. Seeing people who look like you or share a similar background occupying and succeeding in those spaces is just as critical.

At Grand Circus, I’ve seen many of our students struggle with something called Imposter Syndrome. This is true for a lot of professionals. When you’re a high achiever you often don’t think you’re good enough – despite proof of your successes. I’ve found this feeling especially strong amongst those from underrepresented groups. They face the possibility of being the first women or only African American, for example, on their team. This comes on top of the natural worries and angst that come with being new on a team or in a career. That’s why it’s important for everyone to “see themselves” and be supported in entering these spaces.

Project Rising TIDE was birthed from this need for exposure, representation and mentorship in tech. Our initiative has four key goals: to expose people to careers in the fast growing technology industry; to be intentional and hold ourselves accountable to being inclusive of different journeys and diverse people; and to break down barriers to education opportunities in coding.  

Over the next two years, we will reach 1,000 people through Grand Circus’ introductory and advanced coding trainings. Our goal is for half of those people to be in underrepresented groups in tech. Half of our introductory trainings will be held at community locations. We know it’s important to be close to where people live, work and play. But going to people isn’t enough. We are also providing childcare, transportation and equipment assistance so anyone can join. Lastly, we hired a new team member who is knowledgeable about the community, relationship building and equity. SheThey will work with local agencies and individuals to provide information and support to carry this project to success.

We’re happily investing two years, thousands of dollars and a lot of work into seeing what difference we can make in people’s lives and the local tech community as a whole. What makes this project even cooler? The City of Grand Rapids is a partner on this project and elements of Rising TIDE are possible thanks to a SmartZone contract. Two years from now, more of Grand Rapids will know about the opportunities that exist in tech. Companies will have a stronger, more diverse talent pool to drive their growth. And we want you to be part of this. We host free workshops every month that we’d love to meet you at, so you can learn about tech for yourself. Bring a friend with you, too. You never know. Once you try it, you just might find the career you love.

Alumni Wisdom Series: Feeling Like a Fraud? Tips to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

July 20, 2018

It’s easy to feel intimidated, even when you’ve demonstrated success. A feeling of “I don’t belong” or “I’m not good enough to be here.” This feeling has a name—imposter syndrome, and it makes it hard for people to really own their successes. Imposter syndrome is common among even the most successful people, including Grand Circus alumni. Even wildly successful celebrities, like Tom Hanks and Tina Fey, have expressed feeling of self-doubt. 

Throughout coding bootcamps, we talk a lot about imposter syndrome, having a growth mindset and the importance of understanding that you do belong here, you are good enough and you can do it.

Here’s their best advice for combating imposter syndrome and embracing the skills and abilities you have.


Grand Circus 2017 Outcomes Report

June 26, 2018

Curious what life after a coding bootcamp looks like? Or who Grand Circus students are? We’re excited to introduce you to our 2017 Outcomes Report that includes more on that!

Since 2015, Grand Circus has released an outcomes report that outlines how soon after graduation our students are finding their first careers in IT,  graduates’ salary information as well as demographics. We believe in transparency – for our alumni as well as current and future students alongside the broader tech community. (more…)

Making a Career in Tech Accessible to All. July 2018 Scholarships

May 22, 2018

2018 has already been a busy year for Grand Circus From graduating our 1,000th coding bootcamp student to extending our full-time bootcamps and even launching a new After-Hour Bootcamp,  our team has been working on some major improvements to ensure a career in tech is accessible to everyone. We’ve also been working behind the scenes on some big goals and announcements that will further support our community and their ability to thrive in the tech industry. We recognize that the goal for the majority of our graduates is to land a new career in tech. Because of this, we’ve worked even harder in recent months to connect with more employers and dig deeper on their needs when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. (more…)

Introducing the Grand Circus Academy

May 15, 2018

What is the problem we’re trying to solve?

There will be more than 1 million unfilled computer programming positions by 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Michigan’s tech industry is booming, however, a talent shortage remains a major hindrance to growth. Grand Circus’ vision is to close this talent gap for employers.

A technology training institute founded in Detroit, Grand Circus opened in 2013 and has trained more 1,000 developers. These graduates have landed new tech careers at over 250 companies.

Our mission: to make a career in technology accessible to all our immersive coding bootcamp students. We believe that anyone can be a developer if they have the tenacity, hustle, and commitment. Through this training, we’re working to fix the talent shortage Michigan is facing. (more…)

Announcing our New 26-Week Bootcamp Model: After-Hours

May 10, 2018

“We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.”

Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

What can you accomplish in 24 hours? In 26 weeks? A lifetime?

You spoke, and we listened. Beginning in July 2018, Grand Circus is offering 26-week After-Hours bootcamps. This new model offers the full-scope of coding curriculum, covering the entirety of a full-time bootcamp experience, including soft skills, and does it during weekday evenings. (more…)

Announcing our New 12-Week Coding Bootcamp Model

January 18, 2018

Here at Grand Circus, we’re excited to be starting 2018 by announcing our new coding bootcamp model. Today I’d like to provide more details on this change, why we’ve made this decision and how it will impact our community.  We’re super happy with the new additions, but I get that you’re probably wondering why. Grand Circus had full-time bootcamps for nearly three years around a 10-week model with good success! Why change the model?

Grand Circus family photo

Well, at Grand Circus we pride ourselves on being committed to student success and being responsive to feedback. As we looked toward celebrating our 5th birthday and our 1,000th bootcamp student, we took time to reflect on how we could better serve our community as we continue to grow. We listened to our partners, surveyed our community and identified a few areas that could lead to even greater student success. Feedback is something we’ve taken very seriously since Grand Circus was founded, and this anniversary was the perfect time to take a deeper dive and implement a few changes. (more…)

Grand Circus Celebrates Five Years

January 9, 2018

The beginning of 2018 marks an important milestone for Grand Circus – we’re turning 5!

To mark the occasion I wanted to share some of our proudest moments, and let you know about some exciting changes for the coming year.

When Grand Circus was founded, the simple idea was to teach the masses job skills for the modern digital economy.  While we have always been true to that vision, I never imagined the profound impact we would have on people’s lives.

These student stories inspire us every day, and they also serve to reinforce our belief that anyone can learn the skills of a developer. 

A few coding student stories – 

Matt Terrian

(Left to Right) Segilola, Matt, Michael and Jefferson graduated our Front-End coding bootcamp

There’s Matt…He was delivering sandwiches for a local cafe when he heard about Grand Circus’ bootcamps.  Matt took a Front-End bootcamp, now he’s a software developer at Accenture.

Or Deeann…She was a stay-at-home mom for more than 10 years who was finding it difficult to break back into the workforce.  She took a Java bootcamp and now works at Pillar Technology, a leading software development firm.

Or Terrell…He’s a current high school senior who learned HTML/CSS in a Grand Circus youth program.  Terrell picked a class project which took his mom’s clothing business online and has since started his own web development business! (more…)