One Student’s Journey from Stay-at-Home Mom to Mod 1

Meet Flatiron Alum and Software Engineer at Lantern, Wendy Calderon

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//  Meet Flatiron Alum and Software Engineer at Lantern, Wendy Calderon!  After raising children for years, she decided she wanted to find a flexible job that she loved.  Equally as important, she wanted to emerge as a positive role model for her daughters and communicate, “If you put your mind and soul into something, you can have it all!”  Here, Wendy tells her story:

Hats off to you for rearing children and committing to the online developer track simultaneously. How did you balance your family and studies to see the course through successfully? 

Setting realistic goals and time for self-care, as well as focusing on the end result, that ultimately made all the late nights working on projects/labs worth it.

What was your approach to networking? What surprised you about the process?

Since networking in person was not as easy for me time wise, I turned to online networking for the most part. I was surprised to see how supportive the dev community can be, all around amazing! Flatiron School helped a lot in this area by offering study groups, active social media accounts, as well as many events to attend.

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How did you ultimately secure your job?

I was contacted by the Employer Partnership team from Flatiron School about an amazing opportunity and the chance to apply. I received very useful advice throughout the entire process on how to navigate the job search. The career prep track was also incredibly resourceful. When given the code challenge as part of the interview process, I recalled when one of my instructors told me how he went the extra mile working on his code challenge.  I made sure to be a “no brainer hire” by tackling goals within the assignments, showing them how interested and excited I was about this opportunity, and performing up to my ability demonstrating that I was the candidate for the position.

Tell us where your place of employment and what you are working on.

I am a Software Engineer at Lantern, an end-of-life planning company. It's online platform offers great informative articles on everything related to making this process as bearable as possible, and I am currently working on making them more accessible across said platform.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice during Mod 1, what would you say?

I would probably tell myself to structure my study plan better by setting weekly goals that would keep me motivated. Another thing I would tell myself is to learn when to take breaks and actually take them, to code more efficiently and avoid unnecessary frustration, since a tired brain takes longer to catch those bugs. 

Career coach Jessica Mooney on how Wendy's job search was a great success:

"Wendy was the definition of proactive – she completed our coaching steps ahead of graduation. She sought out experiences and networking opportunities whenever she could. She embodied perseverance. She’s a mom and made a commitment to herself to get through Flatiron School and get a great job and she did just that. I believe she’s a role model for her children and other students."

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of May 4, 2020. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

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