Shortly after graduating college, Cathy Slider began a career in banking. She familiarized herself with complex software systems and the intricacies of online banking programs for businesses, but left it all behind in 2008 to enter the nonprofit sector.
During her time in nonprofit, she kept her financial and technological knowledge close at hand while learning how to write grants. It didn’t take long for Cathy to reconsider her career path — she realized that her passion still remained in tech.
Discovering the FinTech world
Cathy was always drawn to tech and its endless learning opportunities. Over the summer, she took the time to research a variety of boot camps — ultimately stumbling upon fintech, which perfectly aligned with her professional background and aspirations.
Eager to kickstart a new career, Cathy enrolled in Penn LPS FinTech Boot Camp, a 24-week program that teaches business, blockchain, and data technology skills.
Due to COVID-19, Cathy’s boot camp experience was held remotely. However, her schedule was a healthy blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. This allowed her to follow along with her programs at a manageable pace while upping the academic rigor.
While learning the building blocks of Python and exploring data technology, Cathy also began investigating Bitcoin due to its rising popularity. She sought to understand its underlying blockchain technology and how it works for mainstream business applications.
Her background in banking and finance, as well as her core understanding of financial concepts, proved useful and it helped propel her through the boot camp. Whether faced with a group project or independent homework assignment, she tackled each task with determination and curiosity.
“I learned a lot about this industry. People are very passionate about the work they do — it’s refreshing,” Cathy said.
Cathy describes herself as an analytical thinker and efficient problem solver. Because she felt naturally equipped to work strategically and logically towards optimized solutions, she particularly enjoyed the hands-on nature of the boot camp.
“It was such an intense and interesting program, and I got right into the flow of things,” she shared.
Writing the Future of Blockchain
Looking back, Cathy credits the Career Services team for assisting her throughout her job search. With their guidance, she was able to amp up her resume with rich technical experience. Her designated career counselor also helped her elevate her LinkedIn profile.
Cathy now works as a technical writer, researching and producing blockchain content material for an executive training course. Her writing helps to break down blockchain-related concepts, strategies, and regulations into digestible bits.
“We have topics to write about and it requires a lot of research, so I’m reading a lot — which I love, because there is always more to learn about blockchain.” Cathy said.