isaiahTrying to figure out if a bootcamp is right for you? Talking to alumni and learning about their experience is a great place to start. We realize that not everyone has the time to personally connect, so we’re working to bring you a series of Q&A’s with alumni. Check out the post below to learn about Isaiah Coates, an alumni of our Data Analytics program in Charlotte.  

Why did you choose to attend a bootcamp?
My background is in web development, and I was able to see the immediate benefit that attending a bootcamp can have. I recognized that an academic bootcamp would quickly develop a foundational skill set that I can continue to build and nourish over time.

What other bootcamps were you considering?
I looked at Iron Yard, Tech Talent South, and Byte.

What made you choose Level?
My mom lives in Charlotte, so the location played a big factor. Additionally, I was interested in learning data analytics and the price is reasonable.

Did you attend the full-time or part-time program?
Full time.

What happened after graduation?
I immediately started to job search. I developed a system where I would edit my resume at the end of every week and continuously apply to new jobs. I eventually joined the team at AAA Carolinas as a Web Analyst.

What technologies do you use at your current job?
Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and SAS. Honestly, I’m using all of the technologies learned at Level on a daily basis.

Did attending a bootcamp help your career?
I feel like attending a bootcamp was the beginning of my career. I left job in Memphis and moved to Charlotte to attend Level, so I was unemployed when I began the program. The Monday following my graduation, I started to job search by applying to multiple positions.

When I began speaking to employers about Analysis based positions, it was clear that the Bootcamp experience would benefit my career. Every conversation I had with hiring managers referred back to my bootcamp experience and what I had learned. During my interview process with AAA, we spoke in-depth about my Capstone project. In fact, I believe the approach I took with my project, and my ability to articulate the process is the reason I was offered my current role.

Throughout the interview process, it became clear that the hiring managers weren’t current with data analysis technologies– they were only familiar with Google Analytics. When I started working, I realized that the tools I learned in class were the same tools I would need to leverage in the professional world.

You’re a TA for Level, how did that come about and what made you decide to take on being a TA?
It came about because I helped classmates out a lot during my program. I actually did it so much that it became a joke around the classroom and one of the instructors mentioned that I should be a TA. I liked the idea of helping other students through the program and thought it would also help me continue to learn and build my network.

Final Question, what would be your advice to anyone looking at a bootcamp?
First, I would say make sure that attending a bootcamp is something you actually want to do. These programs are very intense, and you need to be in a certain place before you dive in. Know that there will be days you where you will want to give up for whatever reason. Don’t. The only way to succeed is to keep pushing. Ultimately, your bootcamp experience is only worth as much as you put in.

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