Petri learned about a QA career by chance. After losing a well-paid job back in 2014, she wondered if she would ever have another chance to get decent pay in the future. She pulled through the course and got a job without attending a single interview for it—a truly awesome job-search journey that helped her enter the tech world.
So, let’s start. What did you do before stepping into the tech world?
I'm a licensed insurance agent who worked for a call center. It was a work-from-home position. The job that I used to work at was very stressful. I dealt with people who are on Medicare. Some elderly people are pretty much set in their ways, and sometimes they can be very obnoxious. They could be mean and rude, but then, on the other hand, they could be as sweet as they wanted to be. And you're constantly getting those hang-ups, constantly getting those people using profanity because they're tired of you calling. To make money, I needed to enroll in a plan to make my bonus. At some point, I felt I needed a job that would be less stressful for me. I wanted to be behind the scenes and not out in front. I didn't want to deal with customers anymore.
What was the most crucial part for you in choosing the Manual QA course by Careerist?
I liked that it allowed me to become a QA without having a college degree. The chance just to go to a boot camp and learn what I need to know and gain the experience and the knowledge to start a QA career.
Another one is having a mentor. It's awesome to have someone who can guide and coach you through the process. I could always reach out to my mentor for any questions I had. My mentor kept me going. She lifted my spirits when I felt overwhelmed because I hadn't achieved what I wanted.
How did you learn about Careerist? Did you search for any career-shifting opportunities?
Um, no. I was playing solitaire, and a Careerist ad came over while I was playing online. My first thought was this has to be spam, and I didn't pay much attention. And then, the next time I was playing solitaire, the ad came back up, and I got curious and clicked on it. I took a screenshot and sent it to my brother, and he said it was legit.
What was the most exciting part of your QA learning?
The most exciting was doing bug triage. I liked the fact that I could go back and see if a developer had followed through with the bug reports. I'm nosy and like to be able to go back and see if they've done what they're supposed to do. And if they didn't, I can go back and comment and send it back to them to make sure they did it.
I'm one of those people who follows instructions easily. I feel like we are making a huge team impact by making personal efforts.
So it matches your personality.
Yep. Another great point was that the training was conducted by different instructors. Every instructor is different, and if you had just one instructor, that whole four-week period would've been boring.
Then the internship—it was great having two different QA leaders to lead you through the process. The first one was very detail-oriented. The next one was more about the workflow, sending emails, and making sprints. The second internship made us literally do the work and figure out things on our own.
What was your overall impression of the internship?
When I started the internship, I learned that all you had to do was be on your computer. I wasn't talking to customers or answering questions for anybody. Nobody was hounding me. The phone wasn't ringing, and I was like, “Oh my God, this really is a happy career.”
It sounds like a big relief. Do you keep in touch with your mentor?
Yes, I still talk to my mentor. Even though I got the job, we still talk from time to time. She'll be someone that I will continue to keep in touch with because my goal is to grow professionally, start learning automation, and get a higher position. I love my mentor. She's very sweet and kind. She's there to help me, and I appreciate that.
What was your biggest discovery about a Manual Quality Assurance career?
If I had known that QA positions existed, I would have applied for QA positions eight years ago. I had a six-figure job, but I lost it at the end of 2014, and after that, nobody was going to hire me at $35 or $40 an hour. I had to start all over again from the bottom.
So for the last eight years, I have been searching for a job that would put me back to where I was making six figures. And Careerist is the only one that gave me the opportunity to be able to see that again. But it wasn't even on my mind as far as me searching and googling. It just popped up on my phone as an ad, and I was curious, so I followed through.
You don't need an education. You don't need a degree. You don't have to spend two-to-four years in college. You can take a boot camp course for four weeks, then do your internship, and have someone to guide you through the process and start applying for jobs.
That's cool. And did you feel like giving up at any time?
I did. I wanted to give up when I was applying for jobs. The process is long when it comes down to getting that job. There are bumps in the road, and it might take two-to-four months, but there are always exceptions. You are constantly applying for jobs on an ongoing basis every day. You have to be able to handle the rejections, be persistent, and continue to follow through with the process. The process scenario is great because it works. Just follow the steps.
When my mentor gave me the green light to start applying to positions, I felt I could start applying to 50 jobs a day and get a job before the end of the month. I submitted between 30 and 50 job applications every day. I applied for almost 1,000 jobs within three weeks and burned myself out. I didn't take time off, like they said, “Don't apply on Fridays and Saturdays.” I applied to the ones that were posted the same day. So I took about four days off to rebuild and gather myself together. Then I continued applying, but the rejections kept coming in.
Sounds like an intensive application. You should have had a lot of feedback, shouldn't you?
All I saw were rejections. I didn't see any invites for an interview, but then I had one recruiter reach out to me, and he set up the interview. After the meeting, I didn't get a phone call back. Everybody kept saying if you send a thank-you note, you are likely to be on their mind. So I sent one to a recruiter and the interviewer, but I never heard back from them.
As the days kept going, I kept applying. But the more I applied, the more rejections I got. So I was starting to get really down and I wanted to give up, but I had to see the bigger picture. And the bigger picture was me getting a job that was going to be over $70,000. So even though I was getting knocked down, I kept getting back up and continued to push myself forward, and I didn't give up even though I wanted to.
And so you are now working as a QA Engineer, right?
I just got hired by Samsung a week ago as a Software Tester. I didn't apply for that job. In fact, I applied for two other two open positions at Samsung. A recruiter called me the next day and said I was already in their system. He offered me a Software Tester position that had yet to even go on the job board. It just came across his desk. So he thought that I would be a good candidate for it.
Sounds fantastic, but what happened next? How much time passed before you signed an offer?
He said I didn't have to do anything because he would be my recruiter. Then he asked me about my pay-rate expectations. We negotiated a bit, but I didn't insist much on a certain rate because it was a nice company to start with. About two weeks later, I decided to follow up with him, and he said he was still working on it. He had no updates, but he was still working on it. And last Friday I got a call from his manager, who told me I've got an offer. I had no interviews at all and was hired. So I took that as a blessing. It felt like God was working behind the scenes.
Yeah, that's a great story, a dream for many. Is it a remote or an on-site position?
It's an on-site job, and it's five days a week, which I'm okay with now. The office is just 15 minutes from my house, so there’s no traffic at all. However, I do want to continue my search for remote opportunities in the future. The financial part is another motivation to push the job search in the future because I don't get much now.
How would you describe this course to your friends, colleagues, or family?
I've told all my friends and family that if they wanted to have a job where they could be happy and do things without having to deal with outside people, check out Careerist.
And I have a friend who's going to apply for Careerist because he wants to get involved in tech, too, and because he has sons and he wants to work from home. I just told him that he has to trust the process. They'll give you the tools and the resources to become a QA. All you have to do is apply yourself, follow the guidelines, and trust the process, and you'll get the job.
How do you visualize your career two years from now?
Two years from now, I plan to have a higher-paying job. I see myself as a little more experienced as a QA and more likely as a QA lead and having automation under my belt.
Are you going to take more courses to learn automation?
I am seriously considering it. If the job does not train me in automation, I will take a course in automation. Still, I'm hoping that the job that I apply for will be able to train me in automation. I won't have to take education for automation.
Have you already tried learning some automation?
I've taken the SQL and started the API courses, but I need someone to walk me through them.
Did you have a mantra that helped you to press on, apply for more jobs, and keep searching for that dream?
I want that house. I had one and a car, too, but I lost everything when I lost my job eight years ago. So I want to get that house for my dogs to play in the backyard. We live in an apartment, and I know one of my babies likes to be outside. So I kept saying, “Mama’s going to get that job. She's going to get you that house with that backyard. A good job will help pay all my bills, and we'll just be set for life.”
A lovely dream. We hope it will come true soon. Any final words to your peers?
Everybody deserves a chance for a quality life, decent work, and balance. Just because you have a resume doesn't mean that your resume can tell everything you can do. Only you can do that. So the process of applying to jobs and hoping that someone will get your resume and give you the opportunity—it's a long process, but one that is totally worth it.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey to the tech world. We appreciate it a lot. Your story is a true inspiration. We hope to hear back from you in the future as an experienced tester or maybe even a lead!
If this success story has inspired you and you're eager to embark on a promising career in tech, don't wait any longer! Join our QA Manual training now and start making your own success story. Click here to enroll today.