Justine C. was a financial analyst — and quite successful in her field. From facilitating complex financial statement analysis to communicating with clients, she progressed through her career at a steady pace.
After almost six years, however, she felt that she’d reached her limit and was ready for a shift. She wondered if she could pursue other learning opportunities where she’d face a whole new set of challenges, and began to research other careers.
“When I looked into tech, I was intrigued because it was unlike anything I had learned before,” she said. “Most of my background was in business, accounting, and finance. Programming was completely new to me.”
Fascinated and excited, Justine decided that the career change was worth the risk. With the encouragement of her fiancé, she enrolled in University of Washington FinTech Boot Camp and began her journey into the tech world.
Always a few steps ahead
Justine’s initial courses reviewed various financial concepts, which she was familiar with thanks to her extensive finance background. From there, the curriculum delved into more complex topics like Python, SQL, machine learning, and cryptocurrency. Although these topics were unfamiliar to Justine, she made sure to stay on top of her assignments and always reviewed the material before class.
“I tried to finish my homework a week in advance, so if I had questions about harder topics, I could ask my instructor earlier on,” she explained. “It was a good way for me to always be a step ahead.”
Looking back, Justine is especially grateful for the boot camp’s structured curriculum and supportive community. “I found it very helpful to have a structured curriculum that I could follow,” she explained. “I relied heavily on the lectures, but also appreciated the teacher’s assistants that were available for additional guidance.”
Putting her skills to use
Justine completed a total of three group projects throughout her boot camp experience. Her last one was particularly memorable, as it involved building a diversification portfolio tool for investors. While some of her teammates were responsible for developing the back end aspect of the tool, she used AWS services to create the chatbot.
“After a user inputted their data, the product would go through a list of steps to collect important information such as age, annual income, and the amount of money the user was willing to invest,” Justine said. “Then, it would access their portfolio and provide their overall risk level. I had tons of fun building this product with my group members.”
Prior to the boot camp, Justine was comfortable analyzing financial data, as she had a strong foundation of knowledge in that field. Now that she has a new set of tech skills, she can analyze an even greater, more diverse range of data — and facilitate effective analyses across all industries.
Continuing her learning journey
Justine made sure to communicate clearly with her Career Coach as she perfected her resume and participated in mock interviews. Shortly after graduation, a colleague referred her to a company that fit her interests — so Justine applied without hesitation as soon as an opening was available.
After going through the interview process, Justine successfully landed her first job out of the boot camp. She now works as a business analyst for a radiology group, where she’s responsible for importing data and creating unique SQL queries.
Justine’s journey is only just beginning. “The boot camp gave me a necessary foundation to build my technical understanding, but I still believe in taking ownership of my own learning and going deeper into the details,” Justine explained. “I always strive to go in-depth when learning new scripts or languages, because it’ll help me succeed in the long run.”
Justine continues to review and learn programming languages that help her excel in her career. Looking ahead, she plans to continue working with machine learning and leveraging her business background — ultimately finding a fine balance between tech and finance.
Ready to pursue a career in tech? Explore University of Washington Boot Camps today.