In this interview, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jerome Pritchett, an alum of our September 2021 cohort.
You came into School16 with a chip on your shoulder.
I’m a former teacher. I was working in sales but was furloughed for quite a bit because of COVID. I was trying to figure out my next step, and I'm always down for a challenge. But I wasn’t sure what tech entailed. When people say they work in tech they use the term broadly.
Can you connect the dots between the School16 mentor session you attended and getting a job offer?
What helped me get in the door was a 15-20 minute conversation during a School16 mentor session. I was on the call with a mentor and another student. After the call, that student ended up thinking of me for a role that I wouldn’t have come across alone. I went through the application process and six weeks into the program, received an offer from that company.
Actually, as the application process went on I had two interviews: one was the customer support role at Karat Financial, a small fintech company. The other was a sales role at Uber. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue going the sales route, even though I know base and commission are a beautiful thing. I decided I wanted to do something different and went with the customer support role.
How fast was the turnaround when you applied for these roles?
For the fintech startup it was pretty quick, about three weeks. I had two interviews a day apart from each other, where I met with the hiring manager and then the team manager. I got an offer the next week, but I’ve learned that’s not always the case.
Uber took around a month, give or take.
What advice do you have for people looking to find their right fit?
I urge people to do their research on what they’re comfortable with, whether that’s working with 50 people or 200; being a W2 or contract employee. If you’re desperate to get a job, you may overlook some things when you need the money.
I'm happy I have the foundation of being an educator because it’s allowed me to be uncomfortable. If I wasn't, I don't think I would’ve taken on the investment of School16 like I did.
I had a chip on my shoulder to get a role within the 8 weeks of School16 and I was able to do it. Not everyone’s gonna be able to, but regardless, you can really set yourself up for success with a program like this one.