Dane Brown: Amazon Career Choice 2021
Dane Brown’s early career took a winding path before an opportunity while working for Amazon led him to Cybersecurity.
Dane Brown, a 2021 graduate from the Amazon Career Choice Cybersecurity Analytics program, was working as an Amazon Warehouse Associate when he took advantage of the opportunity to pivot into Cybersecurity.
He shares his winding journey into tech below.
A Collection Of Careers
Dane spent the first decade of his career working in a variety of fields including retail, mental health, security, and nursing home housekeeping.
“I chose those fields just so I could afford to buy my own stuff, and pay bills,” he said. “But I wanted to do something that paid more and would be fulfilling.”
While unsure of what exactly that field would be, Dane felt drawn toward a career in technology based on an early affinity.
“I’ve had an obsession with video games and computers since I was 3,” he recalled. “I’ve always been fascinated by the seemingly limitless applications of tech, the convenience it brings, and how fun it is to learn about.”
It was while working as a Warehouse Associate at Amazon in 2021 that an opportunity to break into the industry presented itself. Dane applied to the Amazon Career Choice Cybersecurity Analytics program and was accepted.
“I knew that this program would allow me to expand my tech knowledge, challenge myself, and have a new way to help others,” he said. “And I had heard years ago that Flatiron was one of the best tech schools in the industry.”
His Program Experience
The Amazon Career Choice program Dane participated in ran for 32 weeks from February through October. The curriculum was delivered online via live lectures. Students completed about 15 hours a week of classwork while continuing to work full-time.
“It was challenging ensuring that my assignments were completed on time, and making it to all of the live lectures,” Dane said. “Thankfully my instructors and faculty were patient, kind, and informative, plus my cohort loved helping each other. We never left people behind!”
Despite the time pressures of tackling an education while continuing to work, Dane persevered throughout the course and found that he enjoyed the material.
“My favorite part of the program was learning about a wide range of Computer Science & Cybersecurity concepts [and] engaging my classmates and instructors in the community,” he said. “Also, I loved the System Administration class because I learned how to set up an organization’s computer systems from the ground up!”
Dane graduated from the Amazon Career Choice Cybersecurity Analytics program in October 2021, after completing 480 curriculum hours.
Jumping Into The Job Search
With his new Cybersecurity skills, Dane began looking for the right opportunity while continuing to work at Amazon. Unfortunately, at first, he had difficulty finding the right fit.
“My job search was brutal,” he recalled. “Most companies didn’t give me a response or interview when I first started applying for positions.”
But through working with his Career Coach, he refined his strategy and started to make headway.
“Flatiron has one of the best Career Development and job search programs I’ve ever seen,” he said. “My career coach gave me great pointers on how to refine my resume which set me up for success.”
Reflecting On His Journey
Two years on from his graduation, Dane is working in Cybersecurity and supporting organizations he is passionate about.
“I’m extremely proud to say that I provided IT/Cybersecurity services on behalf of two organizations – Zinc Collective’s DigiDems, and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, which supported the successful elections of Lieutenant Governor-elect Austin Davis, Senator John Fetterman, and Governor-elect Josh Shapiro!”
Looking back at his journey, Dane’s main takeaway from the experience is a positive one.
“Always be kind, and never be afraid to ask for or receive help.”
Dane’s advice for students is similar, emphasizing the importance of kindness and camaraderie.
“Always carry yourself with humility and grace, think before you speak, and manage your time wisely,” he advised. “Always offer to help others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever you need it. I’m rooting for all of you, so never give up!”
Flatiron School Retraining Programs
Amazon’s Career Choice offers eligible Amazon employees the opportunity to pivot careers into higher-paying jobs through retraining.
The program was created as a way to attract top talent as well as improve employee engagement and retention.
Following the initial cohort’s success, Amazon again selected Flatiron School to deliver Career Choice programs in 2023.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of March 25, 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.