Ana Sofia | Mexico

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A decade of searching

Ana Sofia began university at age 17, and decided to study architecture. When she graduated, she was eager to begin her career and help her family with household expenses. But despite years of effort, she could not find work in that field.

She took odd jobs wherever she could, mostly lower paid, half-time jobs without benefits. For close to a decade, she went without sick leave and health insurance. “I was always counting money,” she shared. The work she was able to find was neither fulfilling nor enough to survive on.

When the pandemic hit, she was working as a sales person at an Italian flooring company. Her paycheck was cut in half, and she was still expected to work the same number of hours. “I started to panic.”

She was fortunate to receive an extraordinary degree of care and support from her family, but she didn’t want to rely on them. She began frantically looking for another job.

A lucky break during lockdown

One day while in lockdown at home, an old friend posted on Instagram that she had just gotten her dream job in tech. Ana Sofia hadn’t recalled this friend studying computer science in college, so she reached out to ask her how this had come about. The friend explained that she had taken a bootcamp in coding. Ana Sofia was intrigued, and began looking into training programs herself. But all the bootcamps she found online were too expensive and she simply didn’t have the cash on hand to pay the tuition.

An ad on Instagram for Generation caught her eye. She was shocked to learn that the program — including training, mentorship and support with job placement — was free.

Generation’s bootcamps in tech are rigorously designed to quickly get learners who are unfamiliar with technology ready to hit the ground running in an entry-level role. When Ana Sofia first started the course, a set of familiar insecurities surfaced. “What if I wasn’t cut out to be an architect and I’m not cut out for this either?,” the little voice in her head whispered.

Generation’s behavioral and mindset curriculum was created to help learners who have the skills and work ethic to manage the challenges of a transition, to build confidence in a new profession. Ana Sofia relied on her mentor, who taught her about growth mindset. As the course progressed a simple truth became more manifest: that no one is good at something they’re just beginning to learn, but that over time you can scaffold your knowledge and build true fluency and expertise in a new field.

“You don’t have to compare yourself to others. You just compare yourself against yourself. If I know more today than I did yesterday, then that’s progress.”

Growth mindset in action

Upon graduating, Ana Sofia received two calls from prospective employers who had received her CV from Generation. In one of the phone interviews, she was asked a number of tough technical questions. She had to answer “I don’t know” and “no, I don’t have experience with that yet” for most of them.

She began to feel some anxiety, but she remembered her mentor’s voice. “Whatever you need me to learn, I will learn. That’s what I can promise you,” she told them confidently at the end of the interview. An hour later they called her back. She got the job.

Her supervisors at the new job are elated with her progress and see a bright future for her at the company. She has already progressed faster than expected, even though she’s only been with her current employer for 2 years. She is surrounded by savvy, caring and supportive colleagues who also want to see her succeed. She continues to grow in this role and loves her work.

She finally has a savings account, plans to travel, and no more worries about making ends meet day by day. She has health insurance and paid leave. Of her salary she says, “In technology, you start at a very high base and you just keep going up and up and up.”

She has always wanted to buy a home near the sea and retire there. Today, she is on a pathway to making this dream come true some day.

“I know this is kind of cheesy because so many people have said it, but for me it’s also true. Generation changed my life. At 30 years old, I feel like I’m 20 again. I am full of possibilities.”