Prior  to Thinkful, Ian spent a year driving a semi truck around the country. Although a fun adventure, he knew he needed a more stable, long-term  career.

He discovered our UX/UI Design course and was enticed by the program’s structure, which includes curricula around frontend development.

Here's what his journey felt like, in his own words.

Tell me: What were you doing before Thinkful?

Driving a semi for Schneider. I delivered groceries for Instacart part-time while taking the course.

Why did you end up enrolling?

I  knew that truck driving was not a healthy long-term career strategy or  economically viable given impending automation. I had read a book back  in 2014 called Average is Over by Tyler Cowen. It  convinced me of the immense capability of technology to replace  increasingly complex forms of human labor.

I saw Thinkful as a way to  acquire valuable skills and address this reality. I found design to be a way to get involved  in technology on the more human-centered and aesthetic side.

Thinkful was appealing in that it was more affordable and flexible given the  online format. I also appreciated that I could learn some coding while other design courses didn’t teach it at all.

How did Thinkful change your life?

Thanks  to Thinkful, I can now say I truly have a “trade” or “profession” after  majoring in liberal arts in college. I feel like I now have an outlet  for my aesthetic and creative mindset as well as analytical  sensibilities that is also practical.

While  a middle class lifestyle used to be more easily accessible, I’m  confident now I can consistently earn a living that will allow me basic  physical comfort as well as the means and freedom to travel more to  visit family and enjoy more of the cultural richness of Chicago.

I also look forward to saving more and investing for my financial future as well as donating more to causes that I value.

What advice would you give to other students who are currently looking for a job?

Have  patience and faith. Know that you may have to pay some kind of  emotional “dues” perhaps before something will come through. Reach out  to others in the Thinkful community. Treat applying for jobs as a ritual  with intrinsic value and an opportunity to learn about what other companies are up to and to receive feedback on your portfolio.

Develop  grit and faith in the face of uncertainty.

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