Alumni Stories: Jumpstart Showed Me That I Could Succeed at LEARN

Alumni Stories: Jumpstart Showed Me That I Could Succeed at LEARN

Apr 7, 2023
Adam Cuppy

After years of experience in a particular industry, acquiring new knowledge and skills to enter a different field may feel overwhelming and possibly even futile. Starting from scratch can be daunting, and you may wonder if it’s even worth the effort. We know how relevant this is to our students, so we wanted to invite you along as we delve into the firsthand experience of a recent graduate, Monica Arganda.

Tell us about you! What were you doing before LEARN, and what was the catalyst that set you on this path?

Before LEARN, I worked in the front office at a Pediatric Dental office. I handled tasks such as verifying insurance, making/scheduling appointments, and other administrative duties. I decided to make this big pivot in my career due to my desire to learn. I have family members who are software developers. Through them, I learned about different tech stacks, what daily life as a developer can look like, and how much they love what they do. Getting this exposure to the tech world was so helpful. My cousin recommended LEARN to me; he had heard nothing but good things, which prompted me to do my research.

What were you expecting coming into the weekend program, and what surprised you about the experience?  

I was very nervous coming into the Jumpstart weekend bootcamp. I had no idea what to expect since I was completely new to coding. I was shocked by how welcoming the environment was set up by the LEARN staff. It made me feel comfortable in the new space I joined, making me want to dive in and participate in the ongoing discussions. I was also surprised with how much I learned; the instructors made the curriculum understandable, which was shocking because I had no previous coding knowledge.

What was your biggest takeaway – this can be coding-specific or more abstract!

My biggest takeaway from the Jumpstart bootcamp was within a short period of time, I proved to myself that I can and will be able to learn coding in this environment. I was very skeptical in the beginning. I was still determining if I could grasp the information and put it into practice without previous knowledge. After the bootcamp, I understood that this learning style worked for me, and I was also comforted in knowing that I was not the only person weighing their options in a new career. I felt confident with the LEARN staff that I could become a good developer, and they could teach me something new to the point that I could pursue a career in coding.

What has your path been like since Jumpstart?

I took the Jumpstart Bootcamp in August 2022 and signed up for the full-time cohort a couple of months later, in November 2022. It was a rocky path to make sure that this was something I wanted to do before committing. That time involved a lot of decision-making and weighing out my options. Financially I was not ready to start immediately after Jumpstart hence the three-month gap. After deliberating over my options, I chose to invest in myself. I knew it might be challenging, but my hard work would eventually pay off.

How did LEARN stand out to you amongst all of the available programs?

LEARN Academy stood out to me for many reasons, mainly because of the internship offered during the 4-month intensive bootcamp. Getting actual work experience was something I placed a lot of importance on. To succeed in my personal development, I need stepping stones. LEARN offered me exactly that. With the internship, I would gain professional experience in a company that would provide me with the necessary tools to further my success when looking for a career. With the internship came a mentor who provided the guidance and structure I sought.

Any advice for folks considering making the leap and taking the program?

I say do it – this is a great program to leap with; they genuinely care about everyone’s learning journey and mental well-being. LEARN offers more than just the curriculum; they also come with a community. This element has allowed me to make more connections than I ever expected, from classmates to instructors to actual business owners. The tools and fundamentals they engrave throughout will take you far in your professional development; their mission is to prepare the students as much as possible to get them ready for their future careers. I can’t imagine attending a different program.

What advice for people who have signed up and are about to begin the program?

Remember to be easy on yourself; coding is entirely new for many. Rarely will students feel confident in their coding ability, and that’s okay; it’s part of the experience. Always remember why you wanted to be a web developer in the first place and look to that when the imposter syndrome hits. Use your resources; your classmates are in the same position as you, and the instructors are there, so use them. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, AND ALWAYS TAKE BREAKS!!

Planning, as Monica did, is an effective way to prepare for a significant transition in life. Having a plan and support system gives you much more resilience to navigate challenging situations so that you can maximize this opportunity to learn new skills and forge a new career. Our Jumpstart program is the quickest way to gain firsthand experience of what it’s like to learn how to code with us at LEARN. It’s a short taste of our full-time program – our instructors teach it, and often our current students are the teaching assistants. It’s an invaluable chance to get reassurance in your next steps and network with some of our community members. Whether you’re interested in joining one of the many tech workers near Technology Square in Atlanta, GA, or looking to join a startup in the booming biotech scene in San Diego, sign up for Jumpstart to learn some fundamentals and test out the waters!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most common questions you may have. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just Contact Us!

A woman presenting and a woman listening.

Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I call you or drop by to talk?

Absolutely! We love chatting with potential partners and students. It is always best to make an appointment first so we can make sure someone is available to answer your questions. You can email us hello@learnacademyorg.


Is there any required prep work?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the 4 month bootcamp are required to attend and participate in a workshop, called Jumpstart, offered by LEARN academy prior to the first day of the program. These workshops are free for students and included in the price of the tuition for the bootcamp. LEARN academy offers multiple workshops leading up to the start of class that students can sign up for.


I don't live in San Diego, can I still apply?

Yes! LEARN academy’s live-remote courses allow students to take our courses from just about anywhere in the United States. However, we are not able to support International students at this time.


How long should my application be?

One of the things we look for in an application is – did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of the essay answers is only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.


How old do I have to be to attend LEARN academy?

Code school students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.


What does the application process look like at LEARN academy?

Once you have submitted your application, the team at LEARN academy will review it and be in touch within a week of your submission date. If we feel it is a good fit we will ask you in for an interview. It is an informal interview. A chance for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions you might have about the coding course. We know that it is vital to your success to find the course that is best for you and your learning needs. We use the interview to find out if we are the best fit for you! If at that point we both agree that it is a good fit we will invite you to secure a seat in the class of your choice.


Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I call you or drop by to talk?

Absolutely! We love chatting with potential partners and students. It is always best to make an appointment first so we can make sure someone is available to answer your questions. You can email us hello@learnacademyorg.


Is there any required prep work?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the 4 month bootcamp are required to attend and participate in a workshop, called Jumpstart, offered by LEARN academy prior to the first day of the program. These workshops are free for students and included in the price of the tuition for the bootcamp. LEARN academy offers multiple workshops leading up to the start of class that students can sign up for.


I don't live in San Diego, can I still apply?

Yes! LEARN academy’s live-remote courses allow students to take our courses from just about anywhere in the United States. However, we are not able to support International students at this time.


How long should my application be?

One of the things we look for in an application is – did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of the essay answers is only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.


How old do I have to be to attend LEARN academy?

Code school students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.


What does the application process look like at LEARN academy?

Once you have submitted your application, the team at LEARN academy will review it and be in touch within a week of your submission date. If we feel it is a good fit we will ask you in for an interview. It is an informal interview. A chance for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions you might have about the coding course. We know that it is vital to your success to find the course that is best for you and your learning needs. We use the interview to find out if we are the best fit for you! If at that point we both agree that it is a good fit we will invite you to secure a seat in the class of your choice.


Still have questions?