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Student Success Story: Juliana Isufaj

By Flatiron SchoolJanuary 16, 2020

Asteady job is a great thing to have, but is a career worth sticking to if it doesn’t challenge or inspire you? Before starting classes at Flatiron School's Denver campus (formerly SecureSet, acquired in 2019) Fall 2017 graduate, Juliana Isufaj found herself on the search for a more fulfilling career. Equipped with only a marketing background, and no cybersecurity experience, Juliana’s work ethic and her desire for something more drove her to land her first role in the cybersecurity industry as a compliance analyst for the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology.

Juliana Isufaj, Flatiron School Alumna, Fall 2017 Cohort

Before Flatiron School

Before she had heard about Flatiron School, Juliana was developing her career as a marketing consultant. While there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with her job, Juliana couldn’t help but feel a growing sense of dissatisfaction with her work.

“I had reached a point where I didn’t feel challenged, and I wanted a career that would inspire me. Once I realized that I needed a change, I started to weigh my options.” — Juliana

Juliana didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, but she knew that the tech industry, and specifically coding, peaked her interest. After attending a coding bootcamp and realizing that it wasn’t quite what she was looking for, Juliana continued her search for her dream career. It wasn’t until attending a Women in Tech conference that Juliana realized that working as a cybersecurity professional was exactly the kind of job she was looking for.

“I spoke with a Galvanize representative and they mentioned that Flatiron School was a great school for getting into the cybersecurity industry. I didn’t know much about cybersecurity, but it seemed like an intriguing and exciting field to work in.” — Juliana

Juliana was drawn to Flatiron School for its immersive and hands-on curriculum, its industry-savvy instructors, and its three to six month commitment, as opposed to the typical four years that come with university education. After concluding her research, Juliana scheduled a campus tour and met with Dani Parsons. During their time together, Dani found Juliana’s excitement for cybersecurity to be palpable.

“Juliana was extremely driven from the get-go. That stood out. It was obvious that she was a very focused person and that she really wanted to do this.” — Dani Parsons

Soon after concluding her tour of Flatiron School's Denver campus, Juliana signed up for the cybersecurity analytics program.

At Flatiron School

With her lack of cybersecurity experience, Juliana knew that in order to succeed in the program, she’d have to hit the ground running.

“I’d always get in early and stay as late as 8pm. I had to commit to the extra hours to make sure I could succeed in the program. Obviously, I didn’t have a background in cybersecurity, but I was determined, and I think that took me far.” — Juliana

Although Juliana struggled at times in the academy, she was relieved that she was getting something that her career in marketing had never offered her: a real challenge. The demanding nature of Flatiron School curriculum, as well as her excitement for a new career kept Juliana motivated throughout her time at the academy. It also eventually lead to her being the first student in her cohort to receive a job offer. After working her first day as a compliance analyst at the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology, Juliana was reassured that her dramatic change in career paths was well worth the effort.

After Flatiron School

As a compliance analyst, Juliana is thrilled with the excitement that her job has to offer. Her “day in the life” is full of new learning experiences, and rarely routine. In a single day, she can find herself facilitating audits, providing risk assessments for her agency as well as communicating and collaborating with an ever-growing list of internal and external personnel.

“Ajay always stressed the importance of communication, and he was right. I talk to SecOps, our networking team, our cloud team, vendors, pretty much everyone. I’m basically putting together the pieces of a big puzzle.” — Juliana

Even as a full-time compliance analyst, Juliana continues to embrace her passion for learning through her pursuit of cybersecurity certifications and a four-year cybersecurity degree. While her drive to learn continues to be a catalyst for her budding career, Juliana credits her time at Flatiron School as an invaluable component of her success.

“If it wasn’t for Flatiron School, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have now. Flatiron School gave me the tools I needed to succeed in this field. I believed in the process and the program and I knew that when I graduated, I’d be gaining much more than just a diploma.” — Juliana

Juliana Isufaj is just one of several success stories to come out of Flatiron School. Securing the Future becomes an achievable mission through the matchmaking of students, like Juliana, and Flatiron School's distinguished employment network.

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