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From Administrative Assistant to Mobile Engineer: How Skillcrush Transformed Her Career

Next up in our “How Skillcrush Transformed My Career” Series, we are thrilled to introduce to you Paola Maldonado. This series of articles introduces Skillcrush students and alumni who have leveraged their newfound digital skills to kickstart their careers in amazing ways, and illustrates how you too can accelerate, transform and ignite your own career! Get ready to be inspired.

After working for over 6 years in administrative assistant roles, Paola became frustrated with the lack of opportunity to grow and progress in her career. The people she supported were doing great things in her career, and she was… stuck.

When she found Skillcrush, she initially took a class to help understand how to update the look of her WordPress blog, a personal project she maintained on the side. Little did she know that she would soon be building websites for clients, and getting paid for it! After taking Skillcrush 101 (HTML + CSS) and Skillcrush 102 (JavaScript), Paola continued her digital skills education with a focus on iOS development, and was recently offered a full-time job in mobile engineering at a hot new company. Taking the leap of path away from being an admin (and embarking on a completely new career path) she took the job offer! Read on for Paola’s inspiring story about her career transition.

What is your job right now?

Currently I am a mobile engineering intern at Viggle Inc. (since October 2013). Previously, I was an administrative assistant for several non-profit/research organizations.

What initially motived you to seek out lessons in digital skills?

Initially I signed up for a class with Skillcrush during the winter of 2013 because I wanted to be able to have more control over the look of my WordPress blog. I took the class mostly for fun, but also because I hoped that I would be able to apply those skills at work and maybe create new opportunities for myself.

What was your life / situation like before Skillcrush?

I was an administrative assistant for six years after college. It was a career that I sort of fell into because I didn’t quite know what to do with my English degree. I was content for a few years, but eventually I felt stuck in a rut. The people I supported as an admin were accomplishing great things and progressing, but I was not. I wanted to feel more challenged and excited about my career. I dreamt of doing work that was more creative and fun, but I had no idea how to achieve it.

How has your life changed after Skillcrush?

Taking that first step and learning how to code through Skillcrush was life-changing. I feel that Skillcrush was a huge help for me when I was starting out, because, not only did it make coding accessible and fun, but I also felt that I was part of a community that genuinely wanted me to succeed and believed that I was more than capable of it. After completing the intro course and learning HTML and CSS, I felt empowered and wanted to learn more.

Over the summer, I took part in a pilot program called Access Code, where I learned iOS development. By the end of the summer, as part of a small team, I helped develop a fully functional app that is currently in the App Store. A couple of months later, I accepted a full-time internship at Viggle. This meant leaving my admin position and taking a big leap into the unknown, but I was very eager to start my new career, so I dove right in and have been learning a lot.

More recently I used the skills I learned through Skillcrush to create a website for a client as a “side hustle.” I had so much fun building this site, and I am very interested in working on similar projects in the near future. Because I enjoyed it so much, I am currently focused on learning more JavaScript and other front-end web development tools.

I am so much happier than I ever was as an admin. I have discovered a career that excites me and keeps getting better and better the more I learn and am able to create.

Don’t wait! Skillcrush classes are open for enrollment *now* – and start Monday April 14th. Get your spot in Skillcrush 101 (HTML + CSS) or try your hand at JavaScript in Skillcrush 102. You, too, can embark on an amazing career journey like Paola!

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