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7 Steps to Be Successful at Kenzie

be successful at kenzie

By Matt Cummings, Campus Director

My role at Kenzie is to ensure that every student who enters our program is on a pathway of academic and professional success. I’ve watched folks come in with no prior coding or design experience, study and grow in our Software Engineering or UX Design (User Experience) programs, and land their first tech job that pays anywhere from $55,000-$90,000. Often during Orientation Week, students will ask what it takes to be successful as a student, so here are some insightful steps you can take to level up your tech career and succeed at Kenzie.

1. Ask Questions, Find Answers

Kenzie students are always encouraged to ask questions, but the general rule here is to start looking for an answer by yourself. When you are able to find clues and solve your own problems through research you’re more likely to remember the knowledge obtained. However, if you’re stuck for more than five to 10 minutes, your peer coaches, facilitators, and instructors will be there to help you out!

2. Learn the Kenzie Core Values

We put a strong focus on building an inclusive Kenzie Family among our students and staff. For example, we recently held a Women in Tech summit that placed a spotlight on the issues faced by members of marginalized communities in the tech industry.

3. Be On-Time

You’ll have meetings (called “stand-ups”) every morning to quickly discuss the projects you’re working on, so it’s important for you and your classmates that you’re on-time! We’ve accumulated a lot of data over our time at Kenzie and there is a strong relationship between attendance and academic performance – not to mention success as an employee in the workforce.

4. Get to Know Your Kenzie Staff

While a student at Kenzie, you’ll have the opportunity to be part of a community of tech professionals with real industry experience. Our staff have started successful companies, worked at places like Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft, and have connections all across the globe. From the day you start your program and beyond, you’ll officially become part of our community, family, and network. Take advantage of this opportunity and get to know the potential mentors and connections within the Kenzie Family!

5. Learn the Art of Networking

Okay – meeting new people can be challenging and awkward at times, but it is extremely important to learn how to make authentic connections with external industry professionals during your time at Kenzie. Our team hosts workshops on networking and creating LinkedIn profiles to give you the necessary tools to be successful. We also provide many opportunities for our online and on-campus students to participate in private networking sessions with industry-leading guest speakers.

6. Know that You Can Do This

I’m not going to lie: there will be hard moments as you complete your program. You’ll face challenges, frustrations, and at some point, every student tells us that they hate Javascript. When these moments come, know that many people have been in your shoes, faced those obstacles, and overcome them. If you put in the work and use your support systems, you can do it too!

7. Get a Headstart

We developed Kenzie Free as a way for folks to learn the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and Javascript – for free! You can also start to familiarize yourself with the tools that we will be using before you start including Slack, G-Suite, Whimsical, and Zoom. While we’ll certainly onboard you to all these platforms when you start your program, the more know beforehand, the stronger you’ll be.

As you get started on your tech journey, feel free to chat with our Admissions Team about your goals!


Matt Cummings helps people find success at Kenzie through mentoring, life-coaching, and giving structure to help people find their dreams. He graduated from Eastern University with a Masters in Urban Studies, has been married for 13+ years, has two kids, and two rescue dogs. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @mattwcummings

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