Gabe has two prominent figures in his life that have made him who he is today: his grandfather and his mother. His grandfather helped him to decide which direction he would focus his studies. He helped Gabe understand the world we live in today as well as the growth and impact that technology has had and will have in the world. It was because of his grandfather that Gabe found his interest and passion in Computer Science.
His mother also had a hand in making him who he is today. “Without her, I would not be able to do half the things I do today. She always wanted me to do things I loved and would sacrifice time and money to help me pursue them,” shared Gabe.
Gabe is representative of the type of students who have shaped the Code2College program into what it is today. The assortment of student experiences, genuine motivations and ambitious goals have made Code2College a unique and special program.
Real-world experience is one of Gabe’s favorite parts of the Code2College program experience. “I loved going to see what a real Tech company looked like, and how it operated,” explained Gabe. “The energy of the offices and how everyone treated you there is what really amazed me during workshops.”
On Saturdays during the program year, Code2College corporate partners host professional skills workshops for our students. Gabe’s favorite workshop was the Design Thinking workshop at IBM. “I thought it was great to learn the workflow of making an application or a service,” he explained. “The best part was the example problem statement we all ran through towards identifying viable options for high school graduates. We got a real, in-depth lesson on how companies approach user-centered product and service design.”
Code2College volunteers and mentors are a critical component to the success of the program. They volunteer their time and skills to teach and mentor underserved student populations.
“I think that the most impactful part of the Code2College program for me was definitely the instructors who taught me during the year,” shared Gabe. “They really took the time every class to make sure we understood the material they delivered. I remember one time I was having trouble with some code and couldn’t figure out. One of the instructors, Ian from Cirrus Logic, actually developed an example case for me during his free time to help me learn how to solve the problem.”
In addition to programming skills, Gabe learned a variety of professional development skills like behavioral interview frameworks, elevator pitch delivery and more. These skills were put to the test when he was invited to interview for a summer internship with Code2College corporate partner, Favor Delivery.
“The interview was very welcoming. It was like they wanted me to feel welcomed and was already a part of the team,” shared Gabe. “This surprised me because going into the interview I was expecting to have to solve test problems to see if I was adequate enough to work with them. Half the interview it seemed like they were trying to see if I was going to be aligned with their culture.”
The experience that Gabe had during his interview taught how critical culture is to a company. “The best advice I could give to other interviewees, especially those going through the Code2College program, is to be your most authentic self. Most people don’t like the facade people think they have to put on to score the job.”
Gabe secured a summer internship with Favor Delivery and has been enjoying having the opportunity to work with smart, diverse professionals on actual technical projects. “I’ve already learned more about the real Tech world in my first 5 weeks than in any other experience including school and other work environments. I can’t wait to see how much more I’m going to learn in my next 5 weeks here.”
Our philosophy at Code2College is “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it” and the exposure that we offer our students is critical to their development – Gabe agrees. “I think Code2College is so important to the Austin tech landscape because it gives students, who might have never thought that a Tech job was a job for them, an opportunity to show them how great it can be and, most importantly, that they can do it,” shared Gabe.
Gabe is looking forward to pursuing a Computer Science degree and working towards a career in software development or engineering.
For students thinking about joining the Code2College program, Gabe says, “Do it!” He continued, “The insight you gain from workshops and the after-school instruction is nothing like what you learn in school, and if you gain an internship, you’ll learn even more. In short, extremely valuable would be the words to describe my experience through Code2College and my internship at Favor.”