Student Success stories come in all shapes and sizes. Some unfold over the course of years, while others happen virtually overnight. Some take unbelievable turns and twists, and feature major obstacles being overcome. Others though, are often very straightforward, and while they may lack the fireworks of the more “dramatic” narratives, they are no less remarkable for what the student achieves.
Empowering oneself through learning is an incredible thing no matter how you do it, and truthfully, more of us will recognize ourselves in the comparatively straightforward tales anyhow. Those rarefied rags-to-riches tales pull the heartstrings, but they don’t always apply!
At this time, I’d like to introduce you to Horatio Thomas. His is a great story of someone who set out to be in demand, and ultimately succeeded in a very special way. But don’t expect fireworks—just the story of a young man with no programming experience who now teaches others how to program!
For Horatio, the story begins his freshman year at a a student organization at Temple University called International Business Association. Despite having no programming experience, he got handed some web development responsibilities, and had to learn some fundamentals quick. He discovered Udacity, and enrolled in our Intro to Computer Science course.
Step 1: Intro to Computer Science
Probably the most important thing Horatio learned from this course, is that he loved programming. So when summertime rolled around, he decided to try and parlay his newfound programming chops into an internship. It worked. He got one. He spent the summer working as a web development intern at an e-commerce company in Philadelphia.
Step 2: Web Developer summer internship
Next summer, Horatio sets his sights a little higher: an internship at a Fortune 10 company’s innovation lab.
“It is kind of an interesting story, how I got the internship at Walmart. After I first interviewed, they sent me an email letting me know I didn’t get the internship. But, something Udacity taught me was to never give up when you face tough problems, so I emailed my interviewers asking for feedback. A few days later they gave me an offer for the internship!”
Step 3: A bigger, better internship
By now, Horatio knew he was on to something, felt he was hireable, and was ready to start thinking about a career. Udacity had gotten him this far, so he turned to Udacity again, and enrolled in our Android Developer Nanodegree program. But, he did more than just enroll. He also took on work with Udacity as a code reviewer.
“Being able to make my own schedule as a code reviewer while completing school is the dream part-time job any college student could have.”
Step 4: A Nanodegree program, and code review
Horatio graduated from the Android Developer Nanodegree program, and once again put his skills to work. He won a prize at PennApps, one of the nation’s largest student-run hackathons. And he earned a spot at our Android Developer Career Summit at Google, where his team won an award for building the most technical app. He was finding ways to motivate himself, and by building apps, Horatio was literally building his future.
Step 5: Building apps, gaining visibility
Horatio was ready to enter Silicon Valley orbit. He was now a senior in college, he had a Nanodegree credential under his belt, enviable internship experience, and a growing portfolio of successful apps.
“As a senior, I was more confident about getting a great job in Silicon Valley because of Udacity.”
So Horatio connected with our career advisors to help optimize his personal brand assets, including his LinkedIn profile. This directly resulted in recruiters targeting him for Android developer positions. Udacity additionally set Horatio up with interviews:
“Being able to interview at Google was something almost unheard of for people who attended my school, but because of Udacity I was able to get the opportunity.”
Step 6: Interviews
And here’s the beautiful conclusion to this story. Out of all the available options Horatio had earned for himself, he chose a role with Udacity.
“Nothing would make me happier than to help other students learn to code and find well-paid tech jobs as I did with Udacity.”