Atlas Coast is a staffing firm that specializes in the placement of Information Technology employees. Atlas Coast is an ever-growing collection of relationships, created through constant interaction with members of the IT and business community who believe that in order to make a good fit, they need to know the candidates whole story.
We got the chance to chat with Traci Marcero, Senior Technical Recruiter at Atlas Coast, an employer of Grand Circus alums, to talk about the growing tech industry and their experience with us.
How would you describe your organization and what does your team try to solve?
At Atlas Coast, we forge meaningful connections across the West Michigan tech community, building bridges between top employers and IT’s best and brightest professionals.
We are a unique, face-to-face staffing firm. Through years of community involvement we’ve built strong, invested relationships with tech employers and experts throughout Michigan.
In your opinion, how does Grand Circus prepare students for careers in tech?
As a former graduate recently explained to me, Grand Circus works with potential students to determine not just whether they are the right fit, but to ensure they are equal to the program’s demands before taking the plunge. This resonates with me. As a recruiter, finding the right fit for candidates and employers is core to my position.
I also appreciate how Grand Circus partners with some of the community’s biggest employers to offer mentorship, job shadowing and mock interview opportunities, helping students build personal brands and professional networks while they gain tech skills.
What are you looking for when hiring programmers?
Our ideal candidate is a well-rounded, creative problem solver who excels at communication and loves a challenge. We look for polished professionals that can easily adapt to any environment.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in tech?
There are so many areas within the tech space that getting started can be daunting. Consider what area of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Math (STEAM) you gravitate toward. From there, research the many roles in each discipline. Digging into the details of what it really means to be an Engineer or Developer can highlight some of the fascinating opportunities these roles can offer.
Then seek out job shadow opportunities to see which roles feel right to you. It’s a smart and easy strategy before making a big investment with your time or money.
When you’re ready to move forward, seek out community resources to help you along the way. And always check whether your current employer is willing to invest in your training. It’s often far less expensive to train and retain current employees than it is to hire outside talent.
More specifically, for someone without a background in tech or a computer science degree – what advice would you give them and what should they know going into tech?
While tech is booming, and the opportunities are vast, it’s important to do your homework before making any major career change. Start by exploring a free, online introductory programming or digital design course to see if it’s still for you.
For boot camp participants and graduates, put just as much focus on building professional networks in the local and digital tech community as you do on education. Polish those interview skills and get out there to let people see you, hear you, and get to know you. Take on side tech projects to build up your expertise and portfolio.
What resources would you recommend to new developers?
Get to know your local technical staffing firms. Work with companies that are willing to meet with you in person, listen to your story, and help you find your ideal fit.
If you aspire to be the next great leader in your tech space, find a mentor that can help lead the way.
Attend as many conferences and local technical meetups as you can and work to grow new professional friendships and connections.
Being marketable means that it’s crucial to stay current with technology. Those that don’t may be passed up for promotions and new opportunities.
Is there anything else you’d like folks to know about your organization, becoming a programmer or of Grand Circus?
At Atlas Coast we value our face-to-face relationships with technical community employers, leaders and experts. We know our clients and our candidates, and we pride ourselves on being the bridge between their networks. We’d love to hear from anyone looking to learn more.