How This Boot Camp Grad Tripled Xir Salary & Transformed Xir Career

Before San Francisco resident Faith Garlington started Berkeley Technology Project Management Boot Camp, xe had a strong skill set and many years of professional experience under xir belt. 

Most recently, xe had worked in business development for a SaaS insurance company, where xe updated executive leadership on the status of TMQuotes — a new B2B fintech product — and took joint ownership of product development and customer success. Before that, xe had received an MBA from Oklahoma State University in 2012, and even worked as a freelance language coach training non-native English speakers.

When COVID-19 hit, Faith quit xir business development job to help xir son navigate remote schooling. During this time, xe worked part-time as a partnerships manager at a nonprofit that did consulting and self-care work, 1-on-1 coaching, small group seminars, webinars and workshops for social justice and healthcare workers. While the role was interesting, Faith found xirself eager to do more, make more and have a better work-life balance — so, xe started researching potential avenues for advancement. 

From business development to project management

While working in business development, Faith recognized that many of xir most enjoyable responsibilities were extremely similar to those of a project manager — and xe wasn’t the only one to pick up on that parallel. “When I was in grad school, my MBA career counselor looked at my resume and thought I was a professional project manager,” recalled Faith. “Since then, I’ve had this seed planted in my head that I would enjoy project management work.” 

Although xe had worked in sales and business development for a variety of SaaS products, Faith didn’t have the credentials needed to compete for project management roles in tech. Xe saw the tech project management boot camp as a way to confirm whether or not xe would actually thrive in this type of work, as well as an opportunity to expand xir growing skill set. 

Back to the virtual drawing board

From day one, the boot camp’s curriculum made for an extremely interactive and engaging learning environment. Faith had finished xir MBA program online, so this wasn’t xir first encounter with virtual learning. However, xe found this experience to be more positive due to the dedicated class time and help from xir tutor and coach. Xe enjoyed working with xir classmates to complete projects as the boot camp progressed, finding xir role on each team and seeing what xe could bring to the table. 

“There were definitely people with a lot more experience in building websites and Google sites,” xe said. “But there was a different level of engagement that I hadn’t witnessed in my undergrad or postgrad years. People were more interested, more committed and eager to share their knowledge.”

Over the course of the boot camp, Faith was able to steadily strengthen xir leadership and self-awareness skills. Before long, xe found xirself confidently discussing project management with people of all skill levels. 

“After honing my abilities, I was finally able to talk to the super technical people in the project management world,” Faith said. “I now know what I can contribute to a team and how to play to my strengths.” 

Landing a new role

After submitting many applications and interviewing at over 20 companies, Faith landed a job as a project management consultant at the communications agency Blu Pagoda. Xe applies the skills xe learned in the boot camp in xir day-to-day work and has enjoyed transitioning into xir new role. 

Looking back, Faith is especially grateful for one person in particular. “My Career Services counselor really helped me focus on where I was, and where I wanted to be,” xe explained. “She was really helpful in reminding me why I enrolled in the boot camp, and what I wanted to get out of it.” 

Faith had worked with resume coaches in the past, but found xir experience with xir boot camp’s Career Services team to be entirely different. “There are a thousand different ways to describe my work experience, and I wasn’t sure what exactly would catch an interviewer’s eye,” xe said. “My counselor was knowledgeable, motivational and so helpful.”

Lending advice

All in all, Faith thoroughly enjoyed xir time in the boot camp and can happily say xe achieved everything xe had set out to do: strike a good work-life balance, work in a role xe truly enjoys and receive a pay raise. 

“If you can’t dream it, it’ll never happen,” xe said. “I know that phrase is cheesy, but my friend said it once and it stuck with me.” 

So, what words of wisdom does Faith have to share with others considering a career change? Xir best advice for prospective boot camp students is this: take advantage of all the resources made available to you. “You get what you put into the program,” said Faith. “So if you don’t put a lot into it, you won’t get a lot out of it.” 

Interested in exploring other tech careers? Take a moment to visit Berkeley Boot Camps and make your tech dreams a reality!

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