This Lifelong Learner’s Passion for Social Change has Powered a Remarkable Career Journey

Jamaal Davis will be speaking at Udacity Festival 2018 about learning new skills, crafting your own journey, and advancing your career—subjects he knows a great deal about!

Udacity - Student Success Career Journey - Digital Marketing

Jamaal Davis has always been driven by a strong desire to help others. He has worked on community outreach projects with disadvantaged communities, and taken on the challenge of teaching coding to teenagers. Now, after graduating from Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree program, he has landed an exciting opportunity to put his skills to positive use yet again—working as a Digital Coordinator for Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

We spoke with Jamaal to hear about his passion for social change, and how it has inspired his career journey.

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George Ampartzidis made a spectacular career change—from bank teller to Android developer!

George Ampartzidis - Udacity - Student Success - Career Change - 2

George Ampartzidis’ career wasn’t going where he wanted. He’d worked in the banking sector for twelve years, but was unable to move up through the ranks. He’d added a Master’s in Information Systems to his resume, but it hadn’t enhanced his employability. He’d even expanded his search for new roles across his homeland of Greece, but he found opportunities severely limited.

Then George heard about a Udacity scholarship, and saw in it the opportunity to start something new. He applied, and was accepted. Less than two years later, nearly everything in George’s life has changed. He moved with his wife from Greece to the UK, and he landed a great new role—as an Android developer!

We spoke with George to hear how he succeeded in making such a spectacular career change.

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Meet Derek Kim, a Digital Marketing Specialist Working in AI

Digital Marketing - Google Analytics - Udacity

Derek Kim’s career journey took him from economics to graphic design to data science, but it wasn’t until he discovered digital marketing that he found the perfect blend of analytics and creativity he’d been seeking. From that moment forward, it all fell into place for Derek—he enrolled in Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree program, built his portfolio, and landed an internship in New York. Today, he is a digital marketing specialist, working for an AI company in the medical field.

This is Derek’s story of how he found his perfect career track.

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Gil Akos, and his Nanodegree-powered path to co-founding Astra

Gil Akos knew the idea was a good one. He knew the product was something the world needed. But he didn’t have the skills yet to make it a reality. Four Nanodegree programs later, and Astra is live!

Astra - Udacity - Gil Akos

Gil Akos had an incredible idea for a new app. He wanted to empower individuals to make better decisions about their money through the power of technology. Gil believed that through smart financial modeling, based on deep learning, he could give people the power to make smarter moves with their money.  

There was just one problem. Gil’s background was in architecture, not artificial intelligence. While his self-taught programming experience could get him so far, he lacked the skills to turn his app into reality. So Gil set out to master the skills and tools he needed. He found Udacity, and enrolled in the Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program. Now, two years later, his new iOS app—Astra—has officially launched, and Gil has graduated from four (and a half!) Nanodegree programs that he took to learn the skills he needed to bring his app idea to life.

We spoke to Gil to hear about his story.

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This Business Analytics Grad Set Her Sights on Success, and Landed a New Job

Vidya Thandra Satyanarayana pointed to an office building, and told her father she’d work there one day. She was right.

St. Louis Missouri

Vidya Thandra Satyanarayana was told from an early age not to take chances in her life. There were health-related reasons for this, but it was still hard news to hear, particularly for a young girl in India with dreams of education and a career in her future.

The years ahead would bring additional challenges, including a move to another country, and a ten-year gap in her work experience. But nothing could stop her, and today, this Udacity graduate is working at what she describes as a “dream company” in her adopted hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

This is her story.

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This Udacity Graduate Successfully Transitioned From Soldier to Software Developer

Udacity - Programming - Student Success

Like many of us, Robert Pullan reached a level of success in his life, and then realized he wasn’t satisfied with the direction his career had taken. He’d served five years in the British military after high school, but life as a vehicle mechanic wasn’t where his ambitions lay. Robert had held an interest in computers and programming since before he enlisted, but after leaving the military, his first experiences working “in tech” meant working as an IT technician, and that didn’t inspire him. What the experience did do, was motivate Robert to start researching the life of a developer; through that research, he came to realize there WERE ways for him to forge a career in programming.

Robert started an intense effort to learn new skills and gain valuable experience. Today, he’s a graduate of two Nanodegree programs, and he’s also on course to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from a UK university. Best of all, he’s landed an exciting new job as a junior software developer!

We spoke with Robert about his journey to a career as a developer.

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This Udacity Graduate Has A New Artificial Intelligence Career!

Willian Ver Valem Paiva has come a long way—both geographically, and in his career. He’s gone from Brazil to France, via Ireland, and he’s recently landed an incredible new role as a Lead Artificial Intelligence Engineer at a start-up in Bordeaux.

Udacity - Around the World - Student Success

Growing up in Sao Paulo, Willian spent hours working out how to program his computer. It became his passion, and he knew he wanted a career working with computers. When he started looking at universities, he found he simply couldn’t afford the expensive fees to pursue a computer science program in Brazil. What he found instead was a company that would sponsor him to study engineering. It wasn’t the subject he loved, but at least it was a degree program. Within a few years however, he realized he’d made the wrong choice, so he did something very bold. He emptied his savings, left his program, and got on a plane.

This is the story of what happened next.

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