Alina is one of our former students, and she currently works in Silicon Valley. Like many people, Alina was hesitant early on in her job search, but she soon worked through her worries and landed herself an epic job! Read on to learn more about her journey...
Tell us a little bit about your background...
I’m originally from Russia, and when I lived there I worked as a clerk in a bank. I’ve been living in the US for 3 years now.
Before I started my career in QA I had no IT background.
I did a one-month Manual testing course with Careerist and that’s where my QA career started.
What was the one-month program like?
It was pretty easy and I’m grateful for the internship that came with the program too.
The internship definitely helps you to feel more confident about yourself and your skills. Because of it you know how to work in a team, write bug reports, create test cases, and you get some more information about test plans.
After completing the course, I managed to land myself a job at one of the biggest companies in the world.
How did you find the job search?
It took me 4 months to get a job.
At first, I wasn’t confident enough and I was so stressed out about my level of spoken English. I didn’t think my English was good enough and it sort of held me back a little.
But, I learned all the interview questions off by heart in preparation, which was really good. But, I did start to wonder what was wrong because I didn’t get a job for a long time.
When I was really low, I contacted the Careerist team and they helped me to figure out what was wrong and why my interviews were not successful. The team advised me that while it’s important to know the interview questions, you also need to sound confident when you answer the questions.
They helped me to practice my answers, and they persuaded me not to give up and to stay focused on the job search.
What was the interview process like?
It was easier than I expected.
I only had one face-to-face interview in an office, and I have to admit that it wasn’t all that complicated and it was quite straightforward.
I was surprised to hear that all the interview questions that I’d practised answering at home were asked at my interviews.
My questions were typically; “Tell me about yourself”, “Tell me about your project”, “What would you do if developers told you it’s not a bug?” and “How do you handle conflicts?”. There were also some questions on API testing and tools.
You get all the interview questions on the Careerist course, so you can start thinking and practising your answers early on.
Also, don’t ignore the internship, as it helps you the most during interviews. You can refer back and forth to it.
I didn’t have any questions on my first day in my job and this boosted my confidence a lot.
Other Careerist graduates also applied for roles at your company, tell us more...
Yes, there were 3 other people from the course at the company when I got there. I did work with one guy, but the other graduates were in a different team.
What type of offer did your current company make you?
The company offered me a salary of $70,000 a year, it’s about $35 per hour.
I have the best team ever, a nice office, I’ve got access to free food, and there’s a huge park nearby where I can have a walk after lunch.
What will you be up to next?
I’ve been working at my current company for 9 months. I never stop learning and I’m currently studying QA automation at Careerist.
I’m open to new opportunities and I’d like to start asking for a salary of $100,000 a year soon.
Do you have any recommendations for our graduates or potential students?
Be confident and listen to what the teachers tell you.
Learn everything as this will give you confidence when you go to an interview.
The top ten questions on the question database are worth learning off by heart. Get your answers prepared in advance too.
Many people don’t feel confident about their level of spoken English, but this won’t hold you back. I strongly advise you not to get stressed out about this. Yes, of course, communication skills are important, but as long as you can communicate at a good enough level with someone then you’re fine. The rest will come in time.
I’m thankful for this opportunity because it has changed my life for the better.
Many graduates feel unsure about starting a career in QA, because they worry that they won’t be able to find a job in the US. This may come as a surprise to you, but many of our graduates found jobs in the US in no time at all. Remember it’s all about your confidence and positive thinking, and of course not giving up - you can do it!