Update: Yasmine is now the Admissions and Learning Team Administrator at Grand Circus.
One of my favorite parts about working at Grand Circus is getting to know students as they begin the process of changing careers. As the Director of Learning, I’m lucky enough to get to hang out with all of the students in all of the programs. Getting to know Yasmine was especially exciting for me though, not just because she’s amazing, but because we both share a background in teaching. So when I was given an opportunity to put the spotlight on an alumni, she was my obvious choice!
Yasmine is originally from Farmington Hills, MI and took our Front-End Bootcamp in October of 2015. I’m so excited to share more about her background, her bootcamp experience, and her incredible advice to prospective students.
What did you do before the bootcamp, and why did you decide to take the bootcamp?
Before the bootcamp, I was a teacher in Austin, Texas. I moved back to the Detroit area because my husband and I wanted to settle close to family. I had been thinking about making a career shift given the situation for teachers in the area, and my sister encouraged me to look into a programming bootcamp. It was something I always wanted to do, and my brother had done one before and enjoyed it, so I went for it!
What are you doing now?
Right now, I work at AMBR Detroit on their development team. AMBR Detroit, a web development company located in downtown Detroit, currently has a team of six people, including me.
Describe your job hunt process.
Grand Circus brought a bunch of companies into the bootcamp to meet us, including AMBR. I e-mailed AMBR, a company I really liked, during their company visit. They brought me in soon after and now I work there. I actually only applied for one job, which was really convenient.
What are your career goals?
Given that I’m so new at this career, I would like to just get more comfortable on the development side of things. I eventually want to merge my love of teaching with development.
What was your hardest moment during the bootcamp?
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable! The code challenges always threw me for a loop, but the amount of practice we had throughout the bootcamp was super helpful.
What was your a-ha moment during the bootcamp?
During the code retreat seeing how a function is built out and optimized in
small steps was awesome!
During the bootcamp, what was your support system outside of class?
The other people in the bootcamp were so supportive and easy to work with, my class was amazing! We still keep in touch. My family, my friends, and my husband (fiancee at the time) were so supportive as well. I still can’t believe I was planning a wedding during the bootcamp!
How would you describe your overall experience with Grand Circus?
It was great! The instructors are such valuable people to know, and really want you to do well. There’s no such thing as failure because of everyone’s support and encouragement. I met my current employer through the bootcamp during a company visit, and have made so many wonderful friendships with people who have the same goals I do. I’m also so thankful and appreciative for the Grand Circus team as well. In addition to just being great people, they also work so hard to find you opportunities and truly have your back. You guys are the best!
What was your best Detroit discovery (business, lunch spot, hidden gem) during your bootcamp?
So many! I really liked Bucharest before they moved to Jefferson. I also really like SocraTea, which I found through Girl Develop It‘s Code and Tea. The amount of knowledge everyone in my class had as far as restaurant recommendations was insane. We ended up creating an app for our demo day because we wanted a place to save all the recommendations everyone had!
What piece of advice would you give to someone about to embark on a bootcamp?
Take classes! See if coding is for you first. There are free Intro to Coding classes at Grand Circus, or workshops hosted by Girl Develop It. It gives you an idea of what to expect in the bootcamp. Also, do the pre-work diligently. And then do it again. It helps so much going into the class having an idea of what is going to be covered rather than going in completely blind.
At the end of the day, it really is what you make of it. If you take advantage of opportunities and really work hard, you will get a lot more out of it. Show up every day, do all the work, ask a lot of questions, and participate.