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Student testimonial: from restaurant manager to Full Stack Developer

After 12 years as a restaurant manager, Marina decided to change careers when the catering industry was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently finishing the Full Stack Developer course and here, she tells us how she has found studying with Learning People…

Published on: 19th August 2021


Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Marina, I am currently studying for a Full Stack Developer diploma with Code Institute. I am originally from Ukraine and have lived in the UK for over 20 years. I have been working in catering as a restaurant manager for the last 12 years. 

Why were you looking to learn a new skill or develop an existing skill prior to enrolling with Learning People?

When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the restaurant industry suffered and I ended up without a steady income. I realised it was time to develop new skills for me and my family’s future. 

I had a blog for about a year, where I started using WordPress, and I got to know how to create and manage content, and how to use SEO and social media marketing. But I wanted to learn more and to be able to customise my site without the limitations that occur when you use the pre-made WordPress themes.

Looking to the future, I wanted to ensure I could have a good work-life balance and that I’d be able to spend more time with my family. The web development industry was booming during the pandemic, and many people were able to work from home while earning a good salary!

How did you find your career consultation phone call with Learning People?

The phone call with Learning People was great. Connie was very knowledgeable and able to answer all my questions. She told me about the course and explained how I could do it remotely, in my own time, on a full-time or part-time basis. She did not insist on me signing up for the course straight away, she just wanted to ensure I had all the information needed to make the right choice. I also did a 5-day coding challenge, which I absolutely loved!

What led you to choose the course with Learning People? Did you look at any other types of training? 

I looked at many courses – there are so many to choose from! Connie even suggested I try a few free courses to ensure this one was really for me.

The reasons I decided to study the Full Stack Developer course with Learning People were:

  • A remote learning environment and flexible schedule
  • Tutor and mentor support available 
  • Career support 

How did you find the online learning?

I loved online learning! Coming from no coding background, I found the combination of video tutorials to be fantastic, and if I wasn’t sure about something, I could just re-watch the video. I was also able to ask my fellow students questions, and get tutor support.  

When you’re completing the course material, there are so many coding challenges, and the Milestone Projects are a fantastic way to summarise your learning. Plus, at the end of the course, you end up with a portfolio of projects to showcase your skills to potential new employers.

Weekly webinars with fellow students or career teams from Code Institute are a fantastic addition to your learning experience. Monthly Career Services workshops from Learning People helped me to shape up my CV and prepare for interviews.

Would you recommend Learning People?

I would definitely recommend Learning People. Connie went through all the financial options with me to ensure I was making the right choice and was comfortable with my outgoings each month. And Robyn de Brún from Career Services has supported me so much with my career change. She helped me shape up my CV and LinkedIn profile, and when I got my first interview, she helped me to prepare and guided me through the process. 

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting an online course?

Make sure it is really what you want to do. Complete some small free online courses before enrolling to get the feel for it. It takes a lot of hours and dedication, and it is a challenging path – but really rewarding. 

You will need a lot of patience and self-discipline. However, you have a flexible schedule, plenty of support, and career services are an amazing addition to the program. 

You get to meet many like-minded people on your journey to become a software developer. 

What has been the best part of your Learning People experience?

I think the best part of my experience has been the progress I have made in only 3 months – from not writing any code, to making my first website. I love learning new frameworks and languages, too!

And with the support that’s available at all times, from tutors, mentors and fellow students, you never feel like you are alone.

How has your career developed since enrolling on the course?

I am currently on my last Milestone Project. I’ve attended a few interviews, and have started applying for the relevant roles, but I really want to focus and finish my course first before diving into a full-on job search.

Inspired by Marina’s story and ready to take the first step towards a new career? Talk to us today. Our expert career consultants are here to offer help and support at every step of your tech career journey.