Natasha Anderson '16
Seattle, WA / Bay Area, CA
Campus Involvement/Special Programs:
UN Program, Study Abroad, Peer Health Exchange, Rugby, founder of "Learning about the United Nations Through Culture and Cuisine"
Favorite MP/Cooler Food:
The pasta bar will always have my heart <3
Best Oxy Class:
Pre Modern Korea by Professor Nam
Groups I Identify With:
Women in STEM, Black, Any!
My trajectory between graduating college as a DWA major, and where I am now, working as a Software Engineer, was a wildly zig-zagged line. After graduating from college, I spent the first year working in retail, traveling Europe, working on the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, and interning at a human rights for refugees NGO. I decided to then move to New York where I worked as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of an NGO focused on girls' education and empowerment before becoming a Program Officer at the headquarters of a national refugee resettlement agency.
After reflecting on my interests and the skills that I wanted to develop, I decided to change my career and attend a software engineering bootcamp. After the bootcamp, I received an offer for an apprenticeship (think of a 6 month version of an intensified internship) and converted to a full time employee at the end of the apprenticeship.
I attribute the success of my time in the nonprofit sector and my switch up into software engineering to the support I have received from a wide variety of people. Working toward your career aspirations can be a daunting and demoralizing experience at times. There are a lot of unwritten best practices. It can also be incredibly exciting and thrilling. I want to be a mentor so that I can help contribute to the success of someone else and celebrate their achievements.
In my experience, people are willing and happy to help you. That help may take the form of a sustained mentorship relationship, or an application referral. It may be sending an email to make an introduction or a one-off phone call to answer your questions. They may even just validate how you are feeling. I think my biggest advice is to look for opportunities to connect with people and don't be afraid to make them an ask. Express your gratitude and keep them informed of milestones you reach.