She Was Hired After Attending A PowerToFly Event - Here Are Her Tips
A Q&A with Rachel Cohen, A Software Engineer At Dow Jones
Rachel Cohen, a Software Engineer at Dow Jones, spent the first decade of her career in journalism and recently landed the career of her dreams after attending a PowerToFly event! If you're currently pivoting your career, in the trenches of a coding bootcamp, amidst your first technical interview, or have been rejected once or twice, don't be discouraged!
"The letdowns and rejections are experiences that will make you better in every aspect," Rachel says. Keep reading to hear more about Rachel's journey and if you're interested in learning more about careers at Dow Jones? Click here to 'Follow' them on PowerToFly!
Can you describe your journey to your current position?
Rachel Cohen: I used to be a reporter and attended a software engineering bootcamp to make a career change. After I graduated and started my job search, I was interested in potentially staying in the journalism world with an engineering job at a media company. I tried to be very deliberate in the process - before I applied, I both wanted to make sure a media company was proactively using technology and to speak directly to someone at the company because I felt my backstory was likely more compelling in person than on a resume that someone might skim. It really was incredible timing when I got the email about the PowerToFly event with Dow Jones because I had been trying to gather more information about them just then. I had previously attended PowerToFly events and enjoyed them, so I was confident this event would be valuable. It was indeed a great opportunity to get a feel for the company's culture and solidify my interest in applying there, and it was also the perfect opportunity to tell my story in person to a hiring manager there. That conversation started the process that eventually led to my hire. Pretty cool how it all worked out!
What was the most valuable thing you learned on your journey to this new role that you'd like to share with others?
RC: Job searching, especially that search for your first software engineering role, is a learning process. The letdowns and the rejections along the way - as discouraging as they feel in the moment - are experiences that will make you better at every aspect, and in turn, better-positioned to land a position that's the right fit.
How did the hiring process differ with Dow Jones over other companies?
RC: What I appreciated about the hiring process was how the engineers who ran the interviews created a supportive atmosphere. One moment that sticks out came during an onsite coding challenge. While looking something up online, I commented that it feels as though I can't remember anything when I'm nervous. One of my future colleagues good-naturedly responded she likes to joke that all she does all day is Google how to do things. That helped put me at ease.
How did PowerToFly help you get your new role?
RC: PowerToFly hosted an event with Dow Jones while I was job searching - and, in fact, at a time when I was looking to learn more about the company. It wound up being the perfect opportunity to both gain insight into Dow Jones' culture and to make a connection there. I introduced myself to an engineering manager who put me in touch with the technical recruiter, and that started the process that culminated in an accepted job offer.
What excites you about your new role at Dow Jones?
Rachel Cohen: I was a reporter for more than 16 years before making a career switch, and one of the inspirations for my move to coding was my long-standing fascination with using technology to do my job more efficiently. Now I work on a team that creates software for the newsrooms of The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones publications. It's a satisfying feeling that I can relate so well to the needs of our users and see how our apps make journalists' lives easier.
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
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If you're struggling with perfectionism:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="824ce73e30a279a266a5dd91047dd6f5"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y58Luzbv_vw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. Since her viral TED Talk, "Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection" resonated worldwide, Reshma has been on a mission to inspire women to leave socially-ingrained perfectionism behind and rewire themselves for braver, bolder lives. Reshma talked with Zeryn Sarpangal, Chief Financial and People Officer, Code For America, about how women can work to be brave, not perfect, as they look for new opportunities. </em></p>
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