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From DHS officer to manual QA tester in a month and a half. Success story: Rudolph

Success Story
June 18, 2022
From DHS officer to manual QA tester in a month and a half. Success story: Rudolph

An ambitious young man who felt the need for change in his life was happy with how the Careerist program helped him switch careers. Today, he is enjoying his new job and shares how he got to this point.

Thanks for finding time to share your journey with us. How are you?

A couple of months ago, I was just like my peer students, reading all these stories and dreaming of sharing mine one day. So I’m happy to talk to you about my journey in tech.

Can you share your background? 

I have no technical background. I didn’t have even the  bare minimum of computer experience, like using control-alt-delete to open the task manager. The point is, I came to QA blind as a bat. 

Do you have a degree?

Yes, I do. I have a Bachelor’s in criminal justice administration.

What did you do before tech?

I used to work at the DHS (Department of Homeland Security). I worked with the K9 bomb squad unit, which was super cool and exciting and I truly loved it a lot. The truth was, though, that my job in Miami wasn’t a well-paid one—sad but true. And I was tired because of the brutal shifts I did regularly, from 1am till 11am. I missed a lot of family time and wanted a change.

How did you find us?

I stumbled upon you on social media—it was a random ad on Instagram. 

Previously, I pumped a lot of money (around $3,000) into trying to get certifications, to grab something new and change my career. 

I was pretty exhausted and frustrated because the same thing kept happening. First, I paid  my money and did all this stuff, and in the end, I heard something like, “good luck finding a job.” I was just in fury because there was never any result. But then Careerist completely changed the game for me.

You convinced me;  I want to jump on the job search. How long did  yours take?

So that’s a little tricky because, once I finished the internship, I postponed the search  a bit due to my job at DHS and tough scheduling. 

It took around four months, and then I started doing interviews. Maybe, in total, it was roughly four  to five  months.

How did your job search go? Did you apply to a lot of companies?

I might be a unicorn, a random exception, because I honestly would do like ten applications a day, and one of them hit. I wasn’t even on Indeed or Monster or any other job search site you might think of. I think I actually got the offer on LinkedIn.

Since we value our students’  time and effort, LinkedIn and Glassdoor are the top sites we recommend, and after you’re done those two, Indeed and Monster. It’s awesome you got a job applying with this strategy. 

Can you share some more details about what you do now?

The company that hired me deals with applications similar to Uber Eats. I work with regression testing; we are focused on finding any mismatches. It’s  not about filling in a report;all I need is to mark mismatches as failed, create a bug report, and then mark the bug as fixed.

Is your team big?

There are many manual QA testers, and they have us separated into teams. My job is to go on the web to find  any mismatches. 

Do you have enough support from your team?

Absolutely. Terminology and the idea are what I learned at Careerist. It was the goal of the lessons. And now, I’m fortunate enough that my teammates are fantastic, and they help out with any other questions I might have.

I also make some short calls to get  explanations, because I might need those for further practice and to avoid repetitive questions. If I feel like making a short video recording, though, I ask for permission. Any screenshots and recordings are not always ok  at companies that value their security. 

How much do you make now?

Right now, I’m at $33 per hour. It’s $66,000 per year, and it’s a contract. They are okay if I work a bit more, and they pay well for any overtime. I came from making $17 per hour, so it’s a big improvement  for me. 

A full-time job usually includes bonuses, paid vacation, insurance, work from home options, and other extras. It’s considered better to have a full-time job, but sometimes a contract offers  a bit more money, and it's up to you to decide what works better for you. Never forget that you can get more!

Regarding the interview questions, were  they  complicated?  

Literally the only one that was different from what I learned at Careerist was, instead of how to test a toaster, how to test a pen. 

They also threw me some differently-worded questions, but I was able to  use the answers I learned from one of your questions and plug it in. (Essentially, they asked me what I didn’t like about QA.) 

Is there anything you would like to say to your peers?

Anyone at Careerist  is on the right path because companies need testers. I’m still getting invitations for interviews, so there is always room to grow. You will see me in automation when the time comes.

Good luck to you! And of course, it’s totally fine if you don’t  fit with some companies. You usually have to get a certain amount of NOs first  to get a job. We’re glad to hear you succeeded after all your hard work! 


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