Jordan Wilheim had done everything right. He’d gotten his bachelor’s in biology, returned to school for a master’s degree in the promising and growing field of bioinformatics, and landed a job in a funky startup.
And yet he knew it wasn’t for him. He just didn’t fit. Then, his manager quit, and his professional life stalled. Something needed to change.
Here’s how he joined TripleTen, revitalized his career, and landed the job he really wanted.
Jordan was qualified and ambitious. He had two degrees that were relevant to biology, the field he was working in. He even had a background as a lab technician. He should have been thriving in the startup, but it was a challenge, especially after his manager quit.
I had no one to bounce ideas off of, and I felt like there was much more I needed to know.
He understood that he needed to gain more knowledge and skills to make sure his career kept developing. Initially, he thought he could master all the material on his own. After all, the internet is full of free resources. Again, he found himself stymied.
“It was quite intimidating. I mean, to try to do it on your own — there are a billion Medium articles that talk about how to improve your data science skills, and they just dump a list of things that you need to know. I mean, you can try to learn them, but that can be quite hard.”
He needed structure. Then he found out about TripleTen’s Data Science program. To him, it looked like the curated learning experience he needed. In 2020, he enrolled.
Revitalizing a career
It was the structured, community-based environment he had been looking for.
“The bootcamp starts with simple Python manipulations and then goes into more complex math and statistics. So rather than jumping from article to article and trying to piece together what you don’t know, it’s great to have that progressive structure."
If there are things that I don’t quite understand, I can bounce ideas off of the mentors within the program, which was something I really needed.
Not only that, but it gave students the hands-on experience that would help them thrive in jobs down the line.
“You have to deal with real-life situations: your code isn’t running, it’s freezing up, it’s crashing. These are things that are going to happen, and I’ve seen them happen in my industrial experience. And you can’t just tell your boss, ‘Well, you know, my code doesn’t work, and I don’t know what to do.’ You’re not going to last very long like that. TripleTen throws you into the fire a little bit, and I like that.”
Each time he came through one of these experiences, he also had another project to add to his portfolio. In fact, Jordan took these projects and compiled them into a blog that he could send to potential employers.
“Not only does that make me feel more confident, and make them feel more confident that I’m the right choice, but it also actually leaves a lot more time for more behavioral questions. So it’s almost like getting time for free when you’re doing an interview.”
Getting the job
This strategy helped him attract the attention of Invitae, a genetic testing company. Naturally, he had talked to other companies as well, but this was where he truly wanted to work. Because it was such a prestigious company, it had an in-depth, months-long interview process. But Jordan stayed motivated. “I told myself, ‘This is a game, this is something fun.’”
That playful approach served him well. “It was probably around 10:30 at night. The hiring manager wrote saying they were ready to give me an offer. I was really excited, especially given that we were in the middle of a pandemic and nothing felt really concrete. It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.”
Now, he’s been with Invitae for three years, where he’s helping develop analysis tools to separate the signal from the noise as the company sequences DNA, RNA, and proteins.
“I’m quite happy in many ways,” he says.
This job was something I really wanted.
Our pitch to you
If you, too, are looking for a part-time bootcamp that will help you reenergize your career, then TripleTen can help. Check out the programs we offer, and if you’re not sure which tech specialty to pursue, try our career quiz.