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How Kathy Became a Digital Nomad in Just A Few Months

One year ago, Kathy was a therapist in the US. Today, she is a Growth Engineer for a french startup, but she works from Albania, where she currently lives. Her story is the perfect example on how upskilling can truly turn your life around!
'The fact that many tech companies are embracing women and people of colour and can be so focused on equity was a big push for me.'

I. Can you introduce yourself to our community?

I'm Kathy, I'm 35 and I'm from Seattle, WA, in the US. I am currently living in Albania and working remotely while enjoying a new lifestyle for me. I always wanted to be part of a digital nomad community and enjoy location freedom so I am happy to finally do that.

II. What did you do before joining Le Wagon Australia?

Before Le Wagon, I was a Behaviour Therapist for the public schools and homeless shelters in Seattle. I spent years in social work where the work can be very challenging with little flexibility for change or innovation. The role was quite physical and dangerous due to the unpredictability of the youth and troubled teens. When COVID hit, and with the lack of support in roles like mine, I decided to change careers in order to have a liveable wage for a job that would allow me to be creative and provide room for growth. The fact that many tech companies are embracing women and people of colour and can be so focused on equity was also a big push for me. That's why I decided to join Le Wagon!

III. How would you describe your experience in Le Wagon Melbourne?

Doing the bootcamp online was an interesting and enjoyable experience. Although we were all remote for most of the time, we were able to get to know each other, especially when pair-programming and during the final projects. The instructors were really helpful and always did a Q&A and/or lecture before we split into pairs to make sure we had a good understanding of the lecture. These start of class moments were vital and extremely helpful because you could ask any questions without feeling like they were 'stupid' at all. The teachers and teacher assistants' were great because, aside from being supportive, they brought a positive vibe to the group especially when some of us felt insecure or needed an extra boost of support.

IV. So, what’s up since you graduated?

About two months after graduating, I landed a remote internship with a French startup as a Growth Engineer. I went through three interviews with them: One was a JavaScript challenge that I was not successful in, but I explained to them how I would've solved it if I knew the specifics of how to do it. Luckily, I was a great fit personality-wise and with my past experiences in sales and therapy, and got the role. Now, I am in my fourth month with them and I have learned so much, especially in marketing, testing, and JavaScript. I also was offered a full-time role with them which I have accepted. I couldn't believe that I went from a failed tech challenge to a full-time role!

At the same time, I was volunteering to create an MVP of an app for a friend I made during the bootcamp. I worked on it with other alumni and he was able to submit the prototype to the Australian government for funding - and it was approved! This has given me a little experience in the freelancing world. My plan is to gain as much experience as I can from both of these positions and continue to develop my programming and leadership skills. I hope to continue working remote and enjoy life.

V. What would you say to someone thinking about joining the course?

You will learn a lot, and also learn how to learn, so ask questions and truly dive into the lectures. It might feel overwhelming, and you might feel like you can't do it, but you can. It takes commitment: If you sign up, then show up and be ready to change your way of thinking and solving problems. It's important to note that everyone learns at their own pace, so never compare yourself to others! Empathy goes farther than pride so I think the best learning experience is when a community is built over a competitive environment.

'My plan is to gain as much experience as I can, and continue to develop my programming and leadership skills. I hope to continue working remote and enjoy life.'

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