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Success Story: Ivan

July 20, 2021

Over the past few months we’ve been catching up with some of our graduates. While we’ve been talking to them all, we’ve noticed a pattern forming... It took all the graduates that we spoke to less than four months to find a job in QA. 

Ivan was one of the graduates we spoke to back in October 2020, who only took a couple of months to find his current job. He’s been working in QA for quite some time now, but he wanted to share his success story with you, so you can see how quickly you can turn your life around by taking a QA course. 

When did you graduate and where are you now?

I was actually a student on the very first Careerist course, and I graduated in spring 2019. Just a few months after graduating I managed to find a job at Apple in Cupertino, CA. I’m pleased to say that one and a half years later I’m still working at Apple! 

What pushed you to sign up to the QA course?

I saw an ad for the course somewhere online in early spring 2019, and I thought it would be interesting to try. 

The ad convinced me that doing the course could potentially change my life, and I thought that was too good to miss out on. 

My main concern was, if I paid money for the course what would I actually get back from it? But, I guess the thing I loved most was that you didn’t have to pay for your course fee unless you actually found a job*. There was also no registration fee, so I said to myself, ‘Okay I’ve got nothing to lose’ and I took up the course. 

I signed an income share agreement, but now I’m actually regretting the fact that I didn’t pay upfront for the course, because the course itself is definitely worth the money.

*This offer is no longer available. The offer above was a special offer, offered only to those who signed up to Careerist's first course. The policies have now been changed and you can read more about them on our website.

What did you do after graduating? 

Well, to be honest, I was a little lazy in my initial job search after graduating. And to be honest with you again, I didn’t take the job searching seriously enough. 

I invested very little time in practising for my interviews, and I knew very little about the interview questions. This sort of held me back when it came to getting a job. And it’s the reason why I didn’t get a job sooner.

Were the interviews difficult for you?

Had I paid more attention, and learnt more about the interview questions, then I’m sure my first lot of interviews would not have seemed as difficult as they had been. 

I mean at the start of my job search, I would only look through the interview questions on the list twice (the list was created by Careerist to help students when it came to interviews), and I would rush to the interviews. Very unprofessional of me. Not really knowing the interview questions meant that I couldn’t answer the questions as well as I could've done. 

It didn’t take long for me to realise that I was failing my interviews because of a lack of preparation and interest on my part. 

A few months passed before I came to the conclusion that I had to learn the interview questions thoroughly, and prepare myself for job interviews, or I’d always be getting negative responses. I had to get myself into the zone!

When I did learn the questions properly I actually became more confident in my interviews, and I started having more success!  

Literally every single question you could be asked in an interview was on the list created by Careerist. There are no funny, curveball questions to look out for. You can literally study the list, revise your answers, and ace the interviews. 

So guys, learn the interview questions.

Did you find a job immediately?

It took me about three months to find a job. I started searching in late May and I got my job in September. 

After the first month of job searching I started to give up, I didn’t believe in success. I began to get some peculiar thoughts like, ‘Maybe it’s not for me’, ‘Maybe the market is down’, and one of the most frequent ones was, ‘Why am I failing?’. 

In fact, there was no need for me to feel so down about it all. All I needed to do was study the interview questions and prepare answers. I would’ve had more success early on had I done so.

Tell us about the best job offers you had. 

I successfully completed two interviews at a very big IT company, and they offered me a salary of $40 an hour. Another successful interview was at a San Francisco company, but they paid a little bit less money, $38 an hour. It was a super chilled job, and they offered some perks like free food.

How many interviews did you have?

For the first two months I didn’t take the job searching seriously. I was sending about five applications a day to different companies, which wasn’t enough. My focus wasn’t there, so obviously this was reflected in the number of interviews I got invited to. There were very few interviews at this point.

When I did get my first interview it was with a company specializing in streaming, but I wasn’t well prepared for the interview and I failed it. 

Then I had some screening interviews a few weeks later with various HR departments in different companies. They were more successful, and I had multiple offers. But, I was taking the process more seriously by this stage.

Honestly, when I actually upped my game, a few months in, and took the job searching seriously, I was sending out 15-20 applications a day. I’d send them all through various platforms such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor. This then resulted in me getting invites to more interviews, as expected. 

I believe I could’ve had a lot more interviews and got a job sooner had I not been lazy, and if I’d taken things more seriously at the beginning.

Do you find your current job difficult?

Absolutely not. There’s nothing too complicated about it. 

I have access to my Careerist notes too and if ever I’m unsure of something at work I refer back to them. I usually find the answer right there on the page! 

Having my course notes also helps me to keep my stress level low. 

Anyone can do QA. It's not difficult. You just need to focus.

What did you do before QA? Do you have a degree?

I was working as a waiter serving food in a restaurant in the summer of 2019.

I also have a degree in Political Science, which is very much related to QA… not. 

Have you got any advice for our future students/graduates?

Don’t hesitate about signing up for the course, it really is life changing.

The course is easy to follow and the instructors are amazing. The instructors have all worked at industry giants too!! 

The interview questions document is your best friend. You have to read it and understand it. There’s no need to learn it off by heart but you need to know it. Also, prepare some answers beforehand so you know what you want to say to the interviewer when in an interview.

Finally, it doesn’t matter how hard you find the job searching process, keep pushing yourself forward. Don’t give up, even if it takes two, three, or four months to find a job… you will get there!  

The best of luck to you all, and once again, never give up.

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