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The habit of constantly learning new things and improving as a key to success: about the transition from medicine to tech

Oleksii graduated in pharmacy and worked as a medical representative for almost seven years, then as a clinical specialist, teaching doctors how to work with medical equipment. Why did you start looking at courses? Because he was always interested in something and studied outside of work to develop himself. Previously, Oleksii had already paid attention to project management: it seemed to be a driving job that required constant development and involved a lot of communication. Now, it's his new career.

Practical approach – effective learning

When I started the course, I did not want to change my job immediately. I decided to gain knowledge and skills for my general development and understand whether Project Management was what I had imagined. I looked at the program, took a test, and talked to the coordinator. Everything was very clearly organized. I like it when everything is structured, and you see well-established processes.

In my opinion, a big advantage was that our teacher, Nastia Yudina, was a practitioner who decided to share her experience with newcomers. We were her first group. Nastia has a very cool methodology, so the course was full of practical things. 

You ask, and the Academy helps you

I want to note the teacher's credo and, probably, the entire Beetroot Academy, which is helping with employment. I sent Nastia some test assignments three times, and she checked them and told me how to improve them and what to do. She also looked at my CV several times and helped me improve it. 

I am sure that this is not only the culture of the teacher, but also the school culture, that they will help you at any time. And even now, we call up our group and Nastia every six months or four months. We communicate, exchange news, and tell each other who works where and what they do. 

This is the atmosphere created at Beetroot Academy; it's very cool and fun. And now, having already worked in two companies, I realize that the materials and knowledge taught in the course correspond to what companies need from project managers.

Advice to those who want to move to tech

You should understand why you are doing this, i.e., weigh the pros and cons and not expect rapid success. You will have to work more than a few hours, and no one is waiting for you with a bag of money. 

You have to understand that you will work more than 8 hours a day at the beginning, and you may earn even less than before. When I came to tech, I lost half of my income. However, I understand that this is the learning curve. But it will get easier, just like in any profession. 

I think those who are thinking about tech should try it. There are a lot of free lectures. And if you are interested, try to take courses because, without courses and experience, you will not be hired anywhere. 

As for age, for example, in the last company where I worked, there was a junior developer aged 42 on the team. In general, it is important for an employer, regardless of age, to have a transparent motivation, i.e., why did you decide to change your profession? The main thing is that you should be able to explain to your employer your desire to work and develop here, and when you are hired, you should show that you really want to and are capable of it.

If you're a senior manager, you must prove that you deserve this position. I think that in any field and any position, and especially in project management, it is crucial that you develop, that you learn something, and that you can do more today than you did yesterday. And you don't just know; you take it and do it.

As for the financial component, I have not yet reached the level of income I had when I worked in pharmacy. But I think it will take about a year of my official employment, and my income will be at the same level, or maybe even higher.

Where to look for a job after graduation? What should you be prepared for?

Firstly, you must look for a job while still studying, because it is a very long process. I was looking for my first job for three months. 

Secondly, I looked at vacancies everywhere: on various job boards and received a newsletter from Beetroot Academy. Several times, I just opened the websites of tech companies from the top 10 or 15 and just looked at their vacancies. 

What should you be prepared for? There will be a lot of rejections and a lot of ignoring. They will give you test tasks that you will do, and you will not be given feedback. And this will be 90%.

And this is normal because, for example, when you apply for a junior position from a job board, you need to understand that there are already 200 responses, and yours will be the 201st. It's unlikely that you will be selected. But you must still respond and write a cover letter to attract attention. 

In one of the companies I got into, I first sent my resume with a cover letter through a job board, and I was rejected. A week later, I sent a CV through the same company's website, and as a result, I got a job there. 

I would like to talk separately about test tasks. They all aim to see that a person already has some experience and understands what they can do. Such tasks usually take an hour or two. There are more complex ones that take up to four hours. Once, I saw a test task that would have taken me several days to finish. I didn't even try to complete it. 

As for the feedback on the test, they usually give it, but some ignore it - that's 10%. Sometimes, you must ping: "Can you give me some feedback?". They answer: "Oh, I'm sorry, you're not suitable for us." 

In any case, each test gives you some understanding; you learn something. And doing tests, in my opinion, when you are a junior, is normal. You get experience, and you'll feel more confident on future tests. 

In addition, during the interview, they may also give you a test task to solve right there and then tell you about your thoughts. Therefore, it is helpful to prepare, do a few tests, and discuss them with your teacher so that you can be confident in your abilities at the interview. 

I have never had an offline interview, even with companies in my town. The preliminary screening takes place online with a recruiter; it takes half an hour and is quite quick. Now, I work at Sigma remotely. There is an office, but I am comfortable working from home.

Veronika Yakubova
Content creator at Beetroot Academy
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