Mothers embody strength, passion, and empathy. Our mothers are our guides to growth and a better, fuller life — encouraging us to grow, change, and build better futures. Here at Flatiron School, we believe in helping our students gain the skills they need to change things — and they also happen to be more than just “mothers.”
For Mother’s Day, we want to highlight some mothers who chose to change things — for themselves and for their children — and represent the values that have guided Flatiron School. Who better to show the way forward than mothers who are now software engineers?
An opportunity for a better life
Jennifer S. had a few teaching jobs before attending Flatiron School. She was a health coach at a wellness center and worked with women in low-income communities to manage their chronic illnesses. She also worked as an education coach and a Spanish teacher. She was passionate about helping others, but needed more stability.
“I was doing a lot of things, but didn’t necessarily have a career,” she says.
As a health coach, she used data to better understand her clients and how best to support them. She used Excel, growing increasingly frustrated, and needed a better solution. Her brother told her she could solve these problems with code and in a much better way.
While she didn’t have a coding background, once she started learning code she couldn’t put it down. But she was the sole provider with a three-year-old at home and quitting her job would put a strain on the family’s finances. Still though, Jennifer needed to pursue this opportunity to change her life and, with the support of her husband, decided to enroll in Flatiron School’s immersive Software Engineering program in NYC.
She wanted a career. She wanted a better life for herself, her family, and her young daughter. “I was making ends meet,” she says. “But I wasn’t making enough to save, or to travel, or to think about having more kids because I was barely making it with just one kid.”
“Going to Flatiron School was the best decision I ever made,” she says.
Jennifer worked her way through the full-time program and she said she valued the support she received throughout her time on campus. She only saw her daughter at night, but she was hoping that sacrifice would lead to a good salary and a good career.
She worked with her Career Coach and soon received two job offers within three weeks of graduation. She accepted a software engineering role at XO Group. Four years later, she’s now a Senior Software Engineer.
“I couldn’t imagine I could have this level of compensation and, at the same time, enjoy so much freedom,” she says. “I work from home. I had a second child. There’s so much flexibility and so much opportunity to learn.”
Overcoming Impostor Syndrome
Aniqa E. had a Computer Science degree before Flatiron School, but spent over a decade away from the field. By the time she enrolled in Flatiron School’s Online Software Engineering program in 2016, she said she felt like she forgot most of her education. Luckily, Flatiron School provided the support and flexibility she needed to begin a career. Whether it was in the morning or in the evening, she had someone to help her.
“What was great about Flatiron School was that it helped me learn so many new things,” she says. “The best part about Flatiron School, beyond the curriculum, was Career Services.”
Even though she had a Computer Science background and was about to graduate Flatiron School, Aniqa was nervous going into her interviews. Luckily, she had a Career Coach who could help her overcome Impostor Syndrome.
Aniqa says her Career Coach was always there to support her. She conducted mock interviews and go other the same question multiple times until Aniqa felt comfortable with her answers. “I started developing confidence in myself,” she said. With that newfound confidence, Aniqa started her career as a Technical Support Analyst.
Every day is a challenge and an opportunity to learn something new. “Compared to two years ago, or all the way to the first day at Flatiron School, I am gaining the confidence to succeed,” she says. “Every day I am learning more and with that knowledge comes confidence.” She’s really happy and she can work from home, have flexible hours, and take care of her three children.