Here at Udacity, our students always come first and we’re constantly working to innovate and add value to our programs. We recently redesigned our Nanodegrees and launched new features that’ll better support our students on their career journey.
This week we have the privilege of hearing from Nunny Reyes — a climate change scientist turned front end developer thanks to Udacity’s Nanodegree program. Interested in a career change, Nunny turned to Udacity to get fundamental tech knowledge and real-world experience. Join us to hear more about the impact Udacity has had on her life and career.
As a climate change scientist, what motivated you to enroll in the Front End Developer Nanodegree program?
There were so many things. I’ve been interested in launching into tech and was wondering how I could make that happen. I had started to learn how to code by myself. Then, a friend of mine recommended Udacity’s Grow with Google scholar program. I applied and got into the program. I was really motivated to enroll in Udacity because I thought this was where I would get the most real world experience and learned the fundamentals.Then, I could enter the technology workforce and tackle climate change, the environment and tech issues.
Is your Nanodegree program experience fulfilling your expectations?
Honestly, I think it’s so great. I feel like both the instructors and the material is really clear. I’m confident that if I ever have a question, I know where to go. I don’t feel lost or like I’m doing it alone. That was a really big, big thing for me. While I may be physically on my own, I didn’t want to be in a program where I felt like I was studying alone. I’m consistently blown away by how clearly the material is taught. The community and the Slack group at Udacity are also really great. I just love everything that I’m studying, and I learn something new every day.
We are pairing students with personal mentors. Do you interact with your mentor?
My experience with my mentor has been really good. I feel that my mentor I have for this session is a lot more present compared to the one I had previously. To clarify, I was in the Grow with Google program, but then, I had some personal life difficulties. I still really wanted to finish, and so, I re-enrolled in the Front End Developer program since I only had a couple of projects to complete. Now, I’m really excited about almost finishing. I feel that my mentor has been really, really great. I have been really enjoying the fact that my mentor has been posting weekly lectures, whether it be about closure and scope or the BIs concept. If I can’t make it to his live lecture, I can just click the link and listen anytime when I’m going out or even on the train. If I really need to watch what he’s doing, then, I’ll make time for it. I really like the fact that he’s present. He’ll say, “Hey Nunny, I see you’re here. What about this…” The response time has been amazing. I don’t wait that long to hear back from my mentor.
I imagine that your time is limited. How were you able to manage your life and school?
That was really, really difficult. In the beginning, I was definitely able to find a balance. And, I will be completely transparent; I couldn’t at one point, which is why I enrolled a second time. I knew that if I were running a mile, I was on the last lap of the race. So, I wasn’t upset with myself for not finishing in the allotted time. I just had real-world stuff happen, and I’m so thankful for Udacity for giving me direction. I knew that if I needed a bit more time; then, that’s what I needed. I think finding that balance is so hard especially if you’re also the first generation. I feel like students, who are doing something on their own or for the first time, don’t know that they’re able to ask for a lot of help. I think that it was just balancing a new experience, a new field or a new program. I think that I’ve definitely found a balance now.
How have the projects helped you with your skills and career pursuits?
At the moment, I’ve been creating my own portfolio with the projects that we’ve been working on. Every time that I completed a project, I added a new tile to my portfolio. This was really cool because one of our first projects was to create a mock portfolio. And, while I’ve been working on my Front End Nanodegree, I created a real one. All my projects are displayed and connected to my GitHub and LinkedIn. Now that I’m looking for a job, whenever I talk to developers, I pull it up quickly and show them what I can do.
Udacity really does prepare you by teaching you the basics and builds on top of them. You learn the fundamentals, and this has given me a lot of confidence. The other day, I went to a TypeScript event, and even though that is not what my Nanodegree taught me, I didn’t feel lost at all. I knew exactly what was going on and which components were related. My Nanodegree program has given me the fundamentals to learn something new quickly and the real world experience that I need. Now, I’m really excited about transitioning into tech.
As you plan your next steps, how has career services and coaching been useful to you?
At this time, I haven’t used career services or the career coach. Right now, I’ve done what Udacity recommends, including brushing up on my GitHub and LinkedIn profiles and taking workshops. The workshops have been amazing because I’ve been able to make more connections. Plus, I don’t have to second guess what’s on my profile and wonder if it still has high school information on it. I’m also hoping to connect with career services after I wrap up this last project.
How do you see this program impacting your career?
Before finding Udacity, I was a climate change scientist for the environment. Udacity has helped me gain the skills necessary for my new career. I love Udacity because it’s given me the ability to start a new career.
Congratulations on your journey into your new tech career. We’re excited to see you develop technology skills and achieve the goals that you’ve set for yourself.
If you enjoyed the story and would like to follow Nunny on her journey into tech, you can follow her on instagram at Nunny.SV.
If you would like to learn more about gaining in-demand skills with Udacity Nanodegree programs, check out our programs here.