Can a financial analyst and a busy mom of three kids find her place in tech? The answer is yes. Farsana is an example of a woman who will stop at nothing on her way to her goal.
It’s good to talk to you today. So when did your Careerist journey start?
I was a student in the group that started on November 2, 2021. I completed the entire program in December and January, including the internship and the interview with my career coach.
Did you start your job search straight away?
Actually, no, because I was very busy with personal stuff in February, so I didn’t do any job searching. I started looking for a job in the middle of March 2022, but not that actively. I submitted around 30–40 applications per day. I had five interviews and three offers in three weeks, and it was done.
Were there more video or phone interviews?
In those three weeks, I literally experienced all kinds of interviews, which started very shortly after I began applying, and I have to admit I was ready, because I had a maximum of two rounds with each company.
Wow, that’s fast! It sounds like you’ve got a Ph.D. in computer science. Do you have some kind of tech background?
No, I’m a financial analyst and a busy mom of three kids.
Can you tell us a bit more about your offers?
I’ve got three offers, but I could have had four if I hadn’t dropped an extra line in the end, but that’s a different story.
I’m in Florida, and the job offer was in Boston. First, they said it was hybrid; then they said it was remote. They offered me $85K, but I declined it because I had already accepted my current job offer by that time.
I also had a $55K offer from a very well-known company, but the schedule didn’t match my family life, and I declined straight away.
I’ve accepted the job that is a 25-minute drive. It’s full time with benefits, with a salary of $65K plus a signing bonus of $10K. I had an in-person interview with this company. There were two rounds: the first one on the phone with a CTO and QA manager, and the second one with the director. We met on Friday, and they offered the second round within two hours. On Monday, after the meeting with a director, they made an offer within the same afternoon.
I’m confused why you didn’t accept the $85K offer?
It was because they told me that it was remote at first, but then they insisted on relocation so that I could do a hybrid work schedule. But school, kids, and my husband persuaded me to stay. I also liked the people in the company I had an in-person interview with a lot. The salary depends on the area, and an $85,000 offer in California might be less in Florida where I am.
How did you impress them? What was your secret?
It was all about the list of questions and answers, and you know, some of them I frankly learned by heart so that I sounded confident and natural. My three-and-a-half-year-old probably also knows all the answers now . I listened to the recording all the time while doing housework, I read the document carefully, and I followed all the links so I could learn everything from the file.
Have you already started your job?
Yes, I have. Honestly, I was a bit scared before the start because I didn’t have any computer background. My sons were also very worried about me, wondering how I could do a tech job, because I have struggled on and off with my laptop.
And how did it turn out?
My QA lead gave me some features to test, and yesterday by 11 o'clock, I was done with all of them. She was impressed, and the rest of the day was so dull. I asked the team if they needed me, but they had no tasks for me. I was just messaging with my husband and friends for most of the day.
The other thing is they don’t use Jira; they have their own tool, which my lead is helping me to learn. Anyway, I’m trying to focus and not relax.
Do you do web or mobile testing?
Basically, they test both, but I’m just learning. At the moment, I’m busy with web testing. There isn’t much work for me right now, but it may change soon.
My QA lead is helpful and teaches me a lot, which makes things easy for me. Sometimes I see people asking complicated questions in the team chat on Slack. Honestly, I have no idea what they are talking about and just focus on tasks assigned to me.
Could you remember some frequently asked questions from your interviews?
It depends. Sometimes I was asked “tell me about yourself” questions. Then I got asked behavioral questions, too, things like if I had a challenging situation, how would I handle it, or if I had any negative feedback, how I would take it. I tried to answer, never told them I didn’t know, and just said what I felt.
I also made a mistake once. I could have had an offer with that company too. I answered all the API questions, which were not complicated. (By the way, I had API questions in two out of four interviews.) I told them my company doesn’t use API, and that was the final line. I shouldn’t have said what I wasn’t asked about.
Do you have any final messages to your fellow graduates?
Watch the last video and read everything from our pack, including the helpful links. You don’t necessarily need to watch the last video we have on the list hundreds of times like I did. Just find your way to prepare.
We are happy you got multiple offers in such a short time. You were able to choose the best one for you—one that was not far from your home and has an incredible team. We hope to hear from you again in a couple of months!