For 24 years, Jennifer Doyle worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car on site with an account. As an onsite supervisor, she grew her one-woman team to seven people during her time with the account.
When the pandemic hit, Jennifer was demoted and moved to another department. The new circumstances she found herself in didn’t seem like the right fit for her, so she decided to move on in hopes of finding a better fit.
During her subsequent job search, Jennifer’s resume was reviewed by a recruiter at Intel who noted that her decades of management experience made her a strong candidate. The recruiter recommended that Jennifer develop a technical background to make her a viable candidate for roles at like-minded companies.
“I’m a tech person now, but I definitely wasn’t when I started out,” Jennifer said. ”My goal was to find a job in tech, but my background is in marketing and management.”
Finding her way to the boot camp
Jennifer began researching a program that could smoothly onboard her into the vast world of technology — without overwhelming her. That’s what led her to the remote Northwestern Coding Boot Camp for web development.
“Anytime you start something new, whether you have a background or not, it’s like a puzzle made up of a thousand pieces that are scattered all around the table,” Jennifer said. “But I wanted to prove to myself that I could step out of my comfort zone.”
Jennifer picked up a new full-time job as a career transition coach at Challenger, Gray & Christmas and attended Northwestern Coding Boot Camp part-time, during evenings and on Saturdays. “I think I was especially driven to just keep trying. I tried hard on the homework assignments and the activities to really learn it all,” she said.
Staying motivated through any challenge
Jennifer felt so motivated to succeed that she would find herself spending upwards of twenty hours a week outside of class mastering homework assignments. Whether reading blogs and books or watching YouTube videos, she was apt to use any and all resources available to her.
“My boyfriend is a web developer, so I would also pick his brain so I could learn as much information as possible,” she said. “Hearing the material several different ways sometimes helps to make it click for me.”
Jennifer also made ample use of her instructors’ expertise to get a leg up on the often dense, challenging subject matter. “The tutors, in particular, were really helpful for me,” she said.
Building connections to last a lifetime
Throughout her time in Northwestern Coding Boot Camp, Jennifer worked on three group projects. For the second and third projects, she was a part of a group made up entirely of women. Over the course of many Zoom calls, texts, and Slack messages, the group began to really click with each other. They’ve even remained friends, making sure to stay in touch after their boot camp experience concluded.
“I was at the same job for 24 years, so I didn’t get to meet a lot of people,” Jennifer said. “At that time, the account I managed was my world. But I’ve met more people virtually online in the last year through my temporary job at CG&C and the boot camp than I did in those 24 years. Now, we’re all like, ‘Hey, we should all get together!’”
Her first project with this group was an application called Keep On Gifting, which helps track events for friends and family members such as birthdays, anniversaries, retirement parties, or any occasion fed into the program. It would then remind the user when their scheduled event was near.
“We were pretty proud of ourselves. Anytime you do something for the first time and it works, it’s the best feeling,” said Jennifer.
For their final project, Jennifer’s group collaborated on an application called Safety Squad. It was a security app using Twilio’s web services for people going on dates. With it, the user can store five immediate connections to communicate with about their current whereabouts for safety reasons.
“I heard somebody say they went on a blind date and never texted any of their friends when they got home. I kind of thought, ‘Don’t you think they might have wanted to know how you were doing in that situation?’ That’s what inspired the application,” Jennifer said.
The app uses five standard messages that can be instantly sent to a group of friends with the tap of a button, meaning the user wouldn’t have to type in a situation where they might be compromised. “There’s a couple things we’d like to add to it if we ever get the chance to do so,” she said.
Transitioning into the big leagues
On March 23, 2021, Jennifer completed Northwestern Coding Boot Camp. On that same day, she got a job offer.
“The people at the boot camp actually announced it to everyone during program completion. I was blushing,” she recalled.
Having made use of the services like her career counselor and recruiting events, Jennifer felt that the boot camp uniquely equipped her to succeed in the job market.
“I’m really happy with where I’m at. It was really through the Trilogy boot camp that I was able to network with all these different people and get a job in the industry,” she said.
Interested in building a new career, or bolstering an existing one? Explore Northwestern Boot Camps in coding, data science, cybersecurity, financial technology, and UX/UI today.