In December 2016, we had the opportunity to connect with Liz Lowe and the inspiring Sustainability and Social Impact team at Adobe. They had been building the Adobe Digital Academy since 2016 and wanted Galvanize to get involved – an absolute honor and no brainer!
The Adobe Digital Academy offers nontraditional candidates the education and experience they need to launch successful careers in web development. Adobe has successfully partnered with other web development programs creating these pathways for nontraditional candidates to enter the tech industry. We were thrilled to create similar opportunities for Galvanize applicants alongside Adobe.
The Adobe Digital Academy is the most robust sponsorship of students going through coding bootcamps that we have participated in. They truly invest in the full development of talent in their pipeline, from the moment they start their coding bootcamp journey, to when they graduate.
The students selected for the program have a significant portion of their tuition covered and receive a living stipend, the opportunity to meet other Digital Academy students and have an Adobe Employee mentor them for the duration of their program. Most impressive of all, Adobe gives candidates who perform well during their coding program the opportunity to be considered for an Internship at Adobe upon graduation.
Galvanize San Francisco was fortunate to have three exceptional candidates be chosen by Adobe into the inaugural Digital Academy cohort. Melisa Im and Ana Luz Acevedo-Cabrera began their Digital Academy experience in July of 2017 and graduated in December, 2017. Randy Carlisle will begin his Digital Academy journey in a January 2017 Web Development cohort.
“Adobe is showing they care about the impact they are making in the industry by [helping] people from non-traditional backgrounds to enter tech,” says Melisa Im. Melisa was struggling to find a rewarding job in Policy without a Masters Degree. So she decided to try coding. “Coding was something I’d been thinking about even since college. Sometimes life kicks you in the butt and you think ‘I need to do something bigger and get a career’ and with coding in the periphery it seemed like the right next move.”
Learning that she’d been accepted into the Adobe Digital Academy was a huge relief for Melisa. She chose Galvanize because of the length and intensity of the program, but was concerned about cost. With financial support, “the possibility of internship and the fact that they would pair me up with a mentor….the overall tone of everyone I spoke with at Adobe really made me feel like everything was going to be OK.” Melisa’s mentor, Vanessa Farias who was also part of Digital Academy and is now a full-time employee in the San Jose Adobe office, was a “pillar of support.” She provided Melisa with emotional and professional advice during her time at Galvanize and the two have become close friends.
Ana Luz was drawn to coding, Galvanize and the Adobe Digital Academy because “it gives you the ability to build products you’re interested in. [Coding] turns a mission into a reality.” Ana Luz is driven to give back to society through the skills she has been able to develop while at Galvanize. She has stayed motivated to continue working hard because “[the Adobe Digital Academy] is a reminder to seize opportunity. If I’m given the opportunity to learn, I should build the best products to give back to the world.”
Additionally, Ana Luz has benefited significantly from her Adobe Mentor. “She also went through Digital Academy, was an intern and is now full-time. She’s a role model to look up to and gives me the feeling that someone is looking out for me. She checks in with me every now and then to make sure I’m surviving. She has a lot of empathy for the work we’re putting in.”
The third Galvanize Adobe Digital Academy candidate – Randy Carlisle – is gearing up to start his journey in Web Development this coming January, 2018. “It’s a dream come true! I’m looking forward to building my skills and developing my confidence in problem solving.” Randy also has his eyes on the internship, so he’s going to work with his mentor to familiarize himself with the Adobe culture.
Adobe makes this type of culture-familiarization easy. They’ve hosted regular lunches for all candidates in the Academy. They’ve made sure to connect with mentors and previous Digital Academy graduates, especially those who are currently working at Adobe. This has even inspired Ana Luz, who is looking forward to being a mentor to future aspiring Web Developers. “I’ve been fortunate to have good mentors in my life, so if there’s ever an opportunity where I can mentor or support in any other way, I’m here and happy to help make that happen.”
Melisa and Ana Luz graduated in December. As for the next step in their journey…they’ve both accepted positions as Adobe Interns!
Stay tuned, as we’ll follow Melisa, Ana Luz and Randy through their Adobe Digital Academy adventures!