How BrainStation and Techfest Helped Me Break into the Tech Startup World

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Back in February, I wrote an article for Techvibes detailing my determination to break into the tech space. It was an industry that not only intimidated me, but intrigued me.

I figured with a little knowledge and some persistent networking, I’d be a shoo-­in. Well, it wasn’t exactly that easy, but I finally did it. And it was worth every ounce of effort.

I began with the goal of completing one course at BrainStation. Twelve weeks of User Experience Design flew by and I graduated with a high-­fidelity prototype and head full of ideas.

I didn’t stop there. I decided to tackle Intro to Web Development next. I can’t say HTML and CSS are my friends, but I can say I proudly presented a three­page website, ­ including a carousel of images, to finish off the course.

In the spirit of continued growth, I’m contemplating round three this fall or winter. These accomplishments aside, BrainStation has equipped me with the confidence, knowledge and vocabulary needed to feel comfortable applying to the best of the best in the Canadian tech scene.

I attended Techvibes Techfest twice once in Toronto, and again in Vancouver. This recruiting event was an eye­-opener for me. It not only got me in the same room as the very companies I wanted to work for, but it exposed me to a sea of my competitors.

In Toronto, I rubbed shoulders with 800 of my hungriest peers, every one bright­-eyed as founders and CEOs made their 3­-minute pitch. I came to the event with a very specific hit list of people and companies with whom I wanted to connect. I believe this strategy gave me a leg up on the competition. I believe this strategy is what got me my job. I met my now employer, VarageSale, at the Toronto Techfest event.

It didn’t happen immediately. It took months of courting and interviewing to land my position as Marketing PR Manager at VarageSale. My new skillset in tote, I feel I rose above other applicants in part due to my confidence and persistence.

Three months ago, I was an employee at a bank. I felt like an outsider looking into an industry just beyond my grasp. Today, I work for a buy and sell startup that challenges and inspires me everyday. I work with people who are in it to win it and value all of my ideas. I’m in one of the fastest­ growing tech sectors. And most importantly, I’m as happy on Monday morning as I am on Friday afternoon.

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