Success Stories: Desiree

We want to highlight some of the success stories that have happened for people involved with Shift/Enter. We are going to start the series off with Desiree who landed a brand-new job, launching her career through involvement with Shift/Enter. First let us introduce Desiree.

Desiree was looking for a career switch. Working for ACAC kid’s zone as a manager and previously at Worldstrides she was looking at what aspects of her current jobs she liked and those that she didn’t care for. At the same time, she was going to school at Reynold’s Community College for Front-end Development and looking to make the jump to a technical job with ostensibly no background in it at all.

Desiree started by seeing Gigi, the careers counselor at Piedmont Virginia Community College on March 12th 2020, right when the pandemic was starting to gain ground. She became aware that she needed to stand out somehow from everyone who was potentially looking for a new job during a global pandemic and that pickings may be slim. She joined about 13 different organizations related to technical jobs, one of them being Shift/Enter which she found through a salsa dancing friend who just happened to volunteer for Shift/Enter. She attended the first fully virtual career day event and was very impressed with it.

Aspects that Desiree really liked included the mock interview where she discovered the kind of questions that technical interviews generally cover. Desiree was impressed by the fact that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have a strong background in coding and that everyone was very helpful and enlightening for someone coming from a non-technical background. In addition, the vibe from everyone was extremely welcoming. Most importantly Desiree says it is important for anyone attending Shift/Enter to connect with as many people as possible at the event, including the volunteers, as everyone is involved in the tech industry and may connect you with someone looking to hire you. After Shift/Enter Desiree also attended the coffee and code events because it allowed her to get information on what she was working on and increased her knowledge base.

So how did Shift/Enter lead Desiree to the job she has now as a Client Advocate for Flexible Informatics? Being active on the slack channels of Shift/Enter directly led Desiree to her new job. Nico, a recruiter at the time, had posted the job on the jobs channel and Desiree contacted him for further information. Desiree liked the way Nico recruited. First by spending time together through zoom meetings to determine if Desiree would be a good fit and then by introducing Desiree to the CEO of the company. Meetings went further so that Desiree got to meet with other members of the small company until she was offered the job. Desiree really liked that it was a small company that was looking to grow and that her skills set would come in handy for that aspect of the job. Desiree has been working for them since July and is loving her new role.

When I asked Desiree to sum up Shift/Enter in one simple phrase her response was “A supportive community that is looking to help individuals grow” I think that mirrors the mission statement of Shift/Enter very nicely. I want to thank Desiree for taking the time to answer my endless questions and wish her every success in her new career.