While working at Amazon in 2020, Katrine Jackson decided she wanted to transfer to the IT department. She had previously done some web design and enjoyed it, so she put her tuition benefits to use. She picked out an institution, a program, and even her classes but was informed she would have to wait due to an issue with her credits. It was then that one of her coworkers suggested Kenzie Academy and shortly after she was enrolled. Now, Katrine returns as an IT professional at Finish Line to tell us more about her journey into the tech industry.
First Steps at Kenzie
Well, I went to the information session. That was really helpful. I was like, “Well I’ve designed a whole two websites before and that was fun … I can go ahead and do this.”
The Online Experience
I started, I think it was March or April of 2020, right before COVID hit and the classes were online. So it was perfect for me. It was convenient … I could do it at home.
Diversity at Kenzie
First, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to be in here with a bunch of guys.” Because that’s usually what tech is. But I wasn’t in there with a bunch of guys. It was nice to see young ladies, older ladies, older men, younger men of different nationalities.
A Sense of Community
As we were getting ready for our final, our group became so close. We started joking with each other and that’s what it was about. To me, it was all about just getting close enough that even if we were just squares on the monitor, we felt comfortable enough to be a family at the end.
When I got stuck on my own work, well, because I got behind too, [my instructor] came in and tutored me and helped me and brought me right back up to speed.
[My instructor] was teaching us things that you probably wouldn’t learn in a regular web class, or web designing, and all of that. He was teaching us things, and I was like, “OK, it clicked.” He’s been all over the world, and it seems like he’s done everything related to IT. He’s this super nerd that we all aspire to be.
Life After Graduation
When we graduated, I felt comfortable with coding. I did interviews for coding. But then I talked to my counselor and I felt more comfortable with non-coding jobs. She helped me see what I wanted to do.
Advice for Anyone Considering Kenzie
If you’re deciding to do this and you are asking me this question, it’s because you’re ready to advance your life. Go ahead because Kenzie is about the best program out there.