Meet Elodie, a Le Wagon alumni. Elodie saw Le Wagon as an opportunity to move abroad to a city she's always dreamed of living in: Amsterdam. Discover how she took her freelancing career to the next level by combining her knowledge in marketing with her new coding skills acquired at Le Wagon.
"Le Wagon gave me this amazing opportunity to move abroad. When I first arrived in Amsterdam, I already had a network thanks to the bootcamp. It was the perfect fresh start in a new city."
Hi Elodie, could you please introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Elodie Marie Duffau and I'm a digital strategist freelance and an entrepreneur. I'm originally from France, but since doing the bootcamp, I've been living in Amsterdam.
Can you tell us about your background before joining Le Wagon?
Before I joined Le Wagon, I studied business and then did a masters in digital marketing and e-commerce. Before my freelance career, I was working at Disneyland Paris, in digital marketing. After this, I wanted to work more independently, which is when my career as a freelancer took off. Since then, I've been working as a digital strategist, as I like to say, where marketing meets tech. Having always had an interest in tech and wanting to learn to code myself, I knew that Le Wagon was the ideal next step for my career.
What made you want to learn how to code and join our Web Development Bootcamp?
When you're working as a freelancer, you always need to improve and to learn. This is especially relevant working in both tech and marketing. I'm always on the hunt to challenge myself and learn new skills. Le Wagon has been in the back of my mind for a few years, so after two years as a freelancer, it was the perfect moment to learn something new that I could still connect to my past experience. I saw coding as the freedom to build a project from scratch, which is something that always attracted me to the field.
Can you tell us about your journey at Le Wagon?
My journey was definitely inspiring, but intense. I actually moved to Amsterdam to do Le Wagon, so there were a lot of big changes in my life at the time. I had to keep myself motivated, but it was definitely worth every minute of it. The bootcamp allowed me to see a lot of new possibilities and opportunities. I learned a lot about myself such as what aspects of coding I enjoy the most or what my strengths are. I really enjoyed the front-end side of the bootcamp, which for me makes sense, as it's really where my marketing knowledge and my coding skills come together. Overall, it's an experience I won't forget!
Do you believe that joining Le Wagon opened any doors for you?
Yes, for sure. The biggest takeaway for me (other than the hands on skills acquired) is the network within the Le Wagon community. I learned as much in the lecture as I did from my classmates and the people surrounding me throughout the bootcamp. It was so inspiring to see everyone grow within the bootcamp as everyone has such a different story and background, but we all come together in this amazing environment.
I wanted to learn how to code, but I also wanted to learn more about the tech industry itself and the skeleton of a website and how it works. This is definitely something that Le Wagon brought to me. Last but not least, Le Wagon gave me this amazing opportunity to move abroad. When I first arrived in Amsterdam, I already had a network thanks to the bootcamp. It was the perfect fresh start in a new city.
Why did you choose to study in Amsterdam?
As I said, I'm originally from France, where Le Wagon was born. I've definitely asked myself this question a few times, as staying in France would have been an easy choice, but travelling to study is just such a great opportunity! I've always wanted to live abroad, and Amsterdam has been at the top of my list for a while.
Amsterdam is a very attractive destination as it's so international, and therefore easier to work here. It's especially a great city with regards to tech, being a tech hub with so much emerging talent. I also just love the culture here, being able to bike everywhere and being surrounded by the beautiful canals is such a luxury.
Now that you’ve graduated, what projects have you been working on?
I mainly work in two different fields: freelance and launching my own business.
I've been working on finding new freelance projects. My new clients and projects are primarily in marketing but I can definitely see my tech knowledge coming through and influencing my work. My new clients are mainly startups that have different technologies, which I help them sell and make understandable to the larger public. It's a much better experience having this background knowledge as you have a greater understanding and fully see the project through.
The other half of the time, I'm working on The Bach Experience, which was actually my final project at Le Wagon. Coding gives you the freedom to build a project, which is exactly what I'm doing. I've been working on re-building a new MVP (Minimal Viable Product). I did this first with Le Wagon, along with my teammates Mateusz and Mélanie and I'm now building a new one on my own. On top of this, I'm launching the whole business side of this, which has been an exciting project. Working on The Bach Experience has been the perfect opportunity to keep practicing the skills and knowledge that I acquired at Le Wagon. It also allows me to continue my learning journey and grow my tech skills.
Can you tell us more about your final project and what plans you have for the future (The Bach Experience)?
The Bach Experience is a tool to easily organize your bachelor or bachelorette party event. During Le Wagon, we were able to pitch a business product and this project was selected. This was such an amazing experience as you can actually see your idea becoming a reality and all of the challenges ahead that you'll need to solve. After only two weeks, you have your project and it's ready to launch which is just amazing. During our final presentations, we also get lots of feedback which is what led me to want to pursue this.
My main focus currently is to build a second version of the MVP and I hope to launch in a few months. We're going to begin with a focus on the French market, and eventually we'll be moving more broadly within Europe. I'm currently working on all of the aspects of the business plan. I also have a new partner on board which has been a great help. There's lots to come, so be sure to follow us here on Instagram for updates!
Do you have any advice for anyone that may be reluctant to step into the world of tech?
A lot of people are afraid of jumping into the world of tech because they feel it's too late, but this is not the case. There's more and more opportunity to join the world of tech. I would also advise people to be very open minded and to think outside of the box. There's a sea of possibilities, but you really need to open your mind. Lastly, I would recommend that consistency and confidence are key. We're in a generation where we expect immediate success, but this is never the case. Remember why you took this leap to begin with and be confident in yourself and in your strengths.
Finally, do you have any advice for someone thinking of joining the Le Wagon community?
Don't underestimate the work. I think everyone can succeed at Le Wagon, but you need to be highly motivated, you need to know why you're doing this, and you need to take it seriously. It's definitely doable for everyone if you have the right motivation and attitude.
I also want to tell you to enjoy the ride. Our teachers tell us to trust the process, but I would even add, enjoy the process.