4 Kenzie Women Making History

Womens History month image with Kenzie Academy logo at the bottom

At Kenzie Academy, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month by shining the spotlight on two alums who left behind jobs in finance and education to break into the tech field. Through Kenzie Academy and by taking a chance to pursue something new, they discovered a love for working in UX design and software development. Check out their inspirational stories and more to see how making small moves can make a big impact, from transforming their career path to giving a female voice in the workplace and building software to help humanitarian organizations.

Nisha Haider, Visual Designer, Accenture

How did Nisha go from working on Wall Street in Manhattan to UX design? Nisha started out in finance and after getting burnt out from the industry, she pursued more meaningful work with Deaf Kids Code — an organization owned by her sister. The opportunity exposed her to technology and digital products, and she started learning CSS and HTML on the side. Then her sister met Chok Ooi, Kenzie Academy’s founder, at a tech event in Indianapolis, and after the encounter, she encouraged Nisha to learn more about the school and UX design. Interested in combining creativity with technical skills to create digital products, Nisha said goodbye to Manhattan and flew to Indianapolis to start her Kenzie journey.

Nisha graduated in 2020 and landed a job as a Visual Designer with Accenture. Admittedly, she was afraid to fail at such a big company, especially after submitting hundreds of applications throughout an entire year. Yet, she went in with confidence, sharing that asking questions and deep diving into YouTube tutorials have been key. She adds that her team is all women; it’s diverse and inclusive with people from all backgrounds and races, which she loves. For women who aspire to start a career in tech, Nisha’s story may be your inspiration. You can leave a job and field that’s not right for you. Don’t be afraid to take a chance, and you have what it takes to discover and do something you love doing despite any self-doubt.

Nikal Morgan, Associate Junior Software Developer, Project Indigo

Before Nikal embarked on her tech journey, she was a math teacher and basketball coach. With a knack for problem solving, Nikal transitioned from math to coding and pursued a new career path with Kenzie Academy. She currently works with a company where women meet on Fridays to talk about being women in tech. This employee resource group is opening and helpful for Nikal, especially in a field that’s still new to women.

Nikal also related to Chelsea’s experience as a woman tech professional. Teammates would talk over her and not listen to her. Communication issues are frustrating, but she said they’re working together to improve. Along with making changes at work, Nikal helps women who want to change their career by giving advice like be ready to fail and don’t be scared to. Also, read and analyze the documentation, know how to research, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and get project experience by joining Hack for LA, for example, an organization that connects volunteers with community partners offering opportunities to build digital products, programs and services. Lastly, always remember: you are actually more than what you think you are. Break in, speak up, show all your skills, and don’t hold anything back.

See What Others in the Kenzie Community Have to Say!

For Tiffany Hunnicutt, graduating from Kenzie Academy was a major accomplishment — but her biggest success so far in her post-Kenzie journey has been buying her first home. She also emphasizes that women are impacting the tech industry, sharing “women are now equal to men. We can do just as much, if not more, when it comes to intelligence and work ethics.” Tiffany adds that women should “not let your own insecurities hold you back. If you ever need help, find a support group in the field to reach out to, which can include other cohort students.”

Laura Hatch, a Kenzie Academy coach, reflects on her experience and shares that her biggest win as a learner was finding her crew. “We are software engineer newbies who meet every week. The ‘crew’ has evolved and shifted to just a select few now. One win is a win for everyone! We show up for each other. Currently, we are building software we hope will help humanitarian organizations and their caseworker in Ukraine and worldwide. We will be opening more places soon!” Also, to make an impact as a woman tech professional, Laura says, “Be the Jane Adams of tech!” and “Never quit! Community is just an addendum to your success. It can make or break it!”

Interested in hearing more stories like the ones above? Our learner results page has a variety of stories about learners from all different kinds of backgrounds.

Do you feel empowered to join women in tech? Do the rewards and challenges of working in this field sound exciting to you? Kenzie Academy may be where you take the next step. Apply now or contact us to learn more about our programs and the Kenzie experience. Don’t wait to start something that your future self will thank you for!

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