Colaberry Success Spotlight: Maggie Wachira
Workforce automation and the elimination of thousands of jobs has increased the need for the IT industry and large enterprises to focus on finding data-literate employees and data scientists who are ready to “hit the ground running.” Colaberry has graduated 800+ alumni since its program inception, but we know there are many more who need these integral skills to survive the transition to Artificial Intelligence (AI).Today, we sit down with Maggie Wachira, a Colaberry alum and current Qlik Sense Developer, to discuss her experience both during and beyond Colaberry’s Data Analytics Training program.
Interesting Data Points:
Name: Maggie Wachira
Company: Fortune 100 Telecommunications Company
Title/Current Position: Qlik Sense Developer
Increase in Salary Upon Completion of Program: 240%
Alum Interview Responses:
Colaberry: How did you hear about Colaberry?
Maggie: I heard about Colaberry from a family friend.
Colaberry: What do you think people should know about you?
Maggie: I absolutely love my current job, and it’s all thanks to Colaberry.
Colaberry: Was any family member(s) or support system instrumental in helping you reach your current level of success?
Maggie: My mom — she pushed me into doing the course and paid for it herself. My dad was always supportive through my entire journey at Colaberry. And my brother — we worked on this course together and helped each other along the way.
Colaberry: Where did you grow up? Are you a member of any underrepresented classes in the tech world?
Maggie: I was born and raised in Kenya. I moved to the States when I was 14 years old.
Colaberry: Why did you decide to enroll in Colaberry School of Data Analytics?
Maggie: I was going to go to pharmacy school, and I didn’t want to end up with loans. When I learned about Colaberry from that family friend, he convinced me that Colaberry could be the way to make my way through pharmacy school with no debt. Along the way, I liked the course and changed my mind about going into pharmacy.
Colaberry: What challenges or circumstances did you have to overcome to be successful (if any) and how did Colaberry assist you through them?
Maggie: The course itself is challenging! I had to pull all-nighters sometimes to get the work done. When I began the class, I felt like I was learning a completely different language. I had to rely heavily on my team and my mentor Kodjovi to get through the class.
Colaberry: Did you have a data analytics/data science background or any associated skills prior to joining Colaberry?
Maggie: None whatsoever. The only class I had taken before was a computer class back in Kenya when I was 5. For that whole year, all we did in class was play MARIO.
Colaberry: What training courses did you complete through Colaberry?
Maggie: Data Analytics: SQL BI and Colaberry QlikView
Colaberry: How did you benefit most from Colaberry’s training?
No student loans to stress about.
A job I absolutely love.
More money than I would have made on my first job in any field I would have chosen to pursue.
Colaberry: Do you have any fond memories from your training experience that you’d like to share?
Maggie: The connections with my mentors, classmates and friendships I made during the internship. I got to work closely with a bunch of amazing people who I still keep in touch with. I loved the fact that we were assigned a mentor throughout the training. The fun Qlik class we had on Wednesday night was both very helpful and chill at the same time. Alex had this great ability to make the class fun.
The benefits of the mentors that I really enjoyed were:
- Knowledge sharing: my mentor shared so much data science knowledge with me whether it was a shortcut to solve a particular problem faster or just a second set of eyes to help me see what I might be missing in my approach. Colaberry really helps students succeed through their focus on the student.
- Career advice: my mentor and I talked about my career goals and took the time to create a road map that helped me get my start in the industry. I learned the ins and outs of the data science field from someone who's been through the process.
- Interview preparation: I got the chance to have mini-mock interviews and soft-skill practice sessions with my mentors and instructors. This part of the program is truly amazing because you get real-time feedback and a chance to interact with real industry professionals.
- Mentor inspiration: I can only say this: my mentor was key to my success throughout the course. When I had a challenge, they were there to help me overcome my self-doubt, confusion, or just to be a caring person who listens when you are overwhelmed. I used to say to myself, "if my mentor can do it, so can I." Look at where I'm at now. I suggest you join Colaberry and start your own journey. If I can do it, so can you.
Colaberry: Comparing your current salary to your previous position's, do you feel that Colaberry helped you reach your goals? In what way has this improve your life?
Maggie: Colaberry has helped me attain half of my goal. They afforded me the chance to come out here and land a job that can financially support me. When I do go back to school for my bachelor’s and eventually master's, I can pay my way without having to worry about loans.
Colaberry: Did you learn any soft skills (e.g. Critical Thinking, Communication Skills, Self-Efficacy, etc.) through Colaberry?
Maggie: YES, I did. While making the video for the class, I had to learn how to present myself in a manner that showed confidence in myself and in the knowledge of the material I was presenting.
One of the amazing benefits of the Refactored.ai platform is that it has real-time video and audio recording and analysis capabilities. The platform analyzes specific delivery of soft skills and determines where a student can improve in a specific area.
I use this platform to this day when preparing for interviews, before I present during a meeting, or just to analyze my eye contact and facial expressions when I want to prepare for an important discussion or phone call with my team.
Some of the soft skills I perfected with the Refactored platform were:
- Critical/Creative Thinking
- Communication Skills (non-verbal and verbal skills)
- Time Management
- Improved my "grit"
Colaberry: How did these skills help you in the workplace or get a job?
Maggie: These skills helped a lot when I was interviewing for positions. I am a naturally shy person, but through this course I was able to mask my nervousness while interviewing. I was able to talk fluently and present myself in a manner that I would have not been capable of before I started Colaberry.
Colaberry: Would you recommend Colaberry to others? If yes, why?
Maggie: I would recommend it to people, and I have. Colaberry changed my life for the better and I want others to have the same opportunity.
Colaberry: Would you ever consider returning to Colaberry to take more classes?
Maggie: Yes, I would. I am thinking of taking one next year.
Colaberry: What do you find most enjoyable about your current position?
Maggie: There haven’t been any surprises yet. I have been able to do the work I am given because I was taught well. In fact, Colaberry was more challenging than what they have me doing right now.
Colaberry: Do you have any final thoughts or advice to current and future students at Colaberry?
Don’t give up. I almost did, and I now realize that it would have been the worst mistake I would have ever made.
Colaberry changes your life and provides you with all the necessary skills to excel out here.
You are set up for success from the moment you walk in the door, and as long as you follow the strategy that they have in place, you are guaranteed success.
Want to read more Alumni Success Stories? Click on an image below to learn more...
Colaberry Data Science Training Is The Answer!
Colaberry School of Data Analytics has been providing groundbreaking, career-oriented training programs in Data Analytics since 2012. We run online classes that you can take from the comfort of your own home. Colaberry also offers instructor-led classes in the Dallas, Texas area. More than 4,500 people have changed their lives by participating in these bootcamp-style classes!
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Bureau of Labor Statistics
Current salary data for Information Technology and Data Science positions can be found at: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes150000.htm