By Guillermo Zerpa, LC101 Graduate and Apprentice
As a Venezuelan, leaving my family and country and becoming an immigrant was difficult, especially when trying to land a job in my specialty in a new country. Because the people are different, businesses are different, and hiring systems are different I had to start from zero. Even trying to get a phone interview without having any professional references to back me up was always a challenge.
After approximately 8 months applying on all the online job sites, applying on companies' career portals, and even delivering my resume in person to many of them, I had zero interviews that would at least give me the opportunity to sell myself as a prospective candidate for a position.
I talked to many recruiters, paid to have my resume and cover letter reviewed and rewritten, and spoke with other Latin people that were in a similar position to me. I came to the conclusion that I was overqualified for many job positions and underqualified for some others. I knew I was in a very uncertain position and realized I had to do something to change that.
One day, while searching for job opportunities, I read that there was an organization called LaunchCode that offered a free coding course for those who were accepted.
One day, while searching for job opportunities, I read that there was an organization called LaunchCode that offered a free coding course for those who were accepted; they were also offering to place the graduates in an apprenticeship program. I had some coding experience in Venezuela, so I did the work I needed to do to get into the course and for 28 weeks I went to class, studied hard, coded a lot, and learned new skills that helped me create my first Web project. With that, I entered the apprentice program, and with that, I finally got my first interview.
LaunchCode has been a life-changing experience for me and my family. They tailored the course curriculum according to today's market needs, they taught me the technical skills, they guided me in building my resume, they coached me to interview well and they even helped me get interviews. The rest was up to me to do my part and apply all this knowledge I had acquired. One month after finishing the LC101 course, I had four interviews, getting not one — but two — job offers!
So, thanks to LaunchCode, a year-and-a-half after beginning my search for work I finally:
• have the opportunity to show what I am capable of doing,
• have the job I needed in the career I wanted,
• have the possibility to provide and support my family financially, and
• have made many new friends and connections that I'm sure will help me develop my career.
The future is getting better and brighter and I have no words to express all the appreciation I have for LaunchCode and all its staff. They have an incredible vision, mission, and social objective and they are achieving it every day. The only thing I regret about this experience is that I did not know about this program and this company before.
Guillermo Zerpa graduated in March of 2019 from LaunchCode’s LC101 South Florida, a curriculum providing world-class resources to put individuals on the path to obtaining a job in tech. Shortly after graduation, LaunchCode placed Guillermo into an apprenticeship at City Furniture in Broward County, Florida.