Alumni Stories
Amazon Career Choice Kenzie Academy alum Gilbert Garnica

Gilbert Garnica

Forging a Tech Career

Amazon Career Choice '21
  • Job Title
    DBA Consultant
  • Employer After Graduation
Gilbert's Story

Gilbert Garnica was employed at Amazon and working on his college degree when COVID-19 put his plans on hold. Determined to fulfill his goals, he realized Career Choice could be a viable option for career advancement. He already considered himself “slightly above average” in tech due to his interest in music production and his passion for gaming, so enrolling at Kenzie Academy became the natural next step.

What Kenzie Academy is All About

Kenzie is about getting your feet wet and getting you comfortable to the point where you have the tools. It’s where if you legitimately put in the effort, you can get a tech job … It’s an industry where you’re constantly having to learn new things and you’re constantly having to refresh your skills.

Creativity in Coding

I knew I wanted to do something with music. And I wanted to do something where I could make enough money to be able to financially support myself, and if I could take care of my mom and my dad in their later years, I’d be able to do that no problem. Finding out that you can do a lot of creative things in coding, with a lot of CSS — my favorite thing is to look at some of the subreddits where you see some of the programs that people make on GitHub. I really, really like the different gif animations that people make using CSS and HTML, and a little bit of JavaScript. I think it’s really, really cool.

Putting in the Work

A lot of the time I would either forget simple things or I wouldn’t understand that I was doing it right but just not having the syntax in the correct order. And a lot of that really had to do with me just really having to put a ton of extra time, rewatching the same old videos … I remember watching those videos over and over and over and over and taking detailed notes.

Fear of Failure

I never really struggled too much at school, but if I did struggle, it would be a really devastating failure to myself … I feel that, as an adult, you kind of shy away from learning a lot of new things because you’re kind of afraid of failure … I think coding and Kenzie helped remove that barrier.

Working Past the Fear

I was able to, not really get over the fear, but just being like, hey, I need help. This is where I’m at. Can you guys help me?

Advantages of Learning with Like-Minded Learners

With Kenzie, pretty much everybody knows that they’re trying to get the best out of this education … You have a lot of people that legitimately just want a career change … Whereas when you’re in college, you’re also a student alongside kids who don’t even know what they want to be.

Looking Back at Previous Jobs

I don’t think I could do that anymore. I do appreciate just being able to answer emails and attend scrum meetings and do little trainings here and there rather than physically working hard. I’d rather do that at the gym.

Advice for Anyone Considering Kenzie

Use your resources, use your advisor, and definitely use the extra homework study session that they have on the opposite days that you work. You’re going to get out of it what you put into it.

A new career in tech could be on the horizon for you! Will you take the opportunity? Kenzie Academy’s programs can help you build a foundation for a bright future in a growing industry. Apply today and begin your journey.

Read more about Gilbert's Story!
"Use your resources, use your advisor, and definitely use the extra homework study session that they have on the opposite days that you work. You're going to get out of it what you put into it."
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