Every learning environment has its own approach to teaching, interacting, and encouraging students. While some bootcamps may focus on the volume of students, international partners, and large-scale networks, others take a more intimate approach. Grand Circus is a great example of a smaller bootcamp that focuses on building a community and is able to do so with authenticity because of its size. It likes to say it’s not a “big box” bootcamp. When you attend Grand Circus, the priority is on making sure that you don’t feel like a number, but that you feel like a contributing part of a dynamic, tight-knit community. Grand Circus likes to think of itself as a family and this model can bring a lot of advantages when Grand Circus graduates are on the job hunt for an exciting role in the tech industry.
The Grand Circus Family Has Your Back
One of the core values at Grand Circus is “when you’re here, you’re family.” They take that to heart, and take that value even further by living the motto “once you’re family, you’re always family.” This life-long connection comes into play across all parties. Alumni, employers, and community partners are also a part of the Grand Circus family and that inherent trust that families have with one another puts Grand Circus students in a great position when applying for jobs in the industry.
Before making connections outside of the bootcamp, students will begin by connecting to the Grand Circus family with a built-in community through teaching assistants and code coaches. These talented and passionate instructors can help students with technical and curriculum roadblocks, allowing support and a helping hand if things ever get overwhelming on the technical side of the learning. These mentors have dedicated hours that are allotted especially for providing students with help getting through course material, ensuring that they are confident in their learning, and staying on track on their path to success. This support begins even before the boot camp starts. Prospective students have access to code coaches while completing the Unit 1 Pre-work.
It’s always a good sign when alumni of a bootcamp want to stay in touch with the bootcamp they graduated from. From their alumni network of over 1,700 people, they bring together a diverse group of passionate individuals who have succeeded in the bootcamp and afterward—individuals who know the ins and outs of the challenges that current students are going through.
These alumni mentors will help students during and after the completion of the bootcamps. They provide tips on best practices for a successful job search and help students build their network while they are still in the bootcamp through the industry connections that they have been able to make. The alumni understand what it’s like to make the transition to a career in tech. As such, they can be a helpful resource for students to learn from and connect with during an exciting phase of career transition.
The Grand Circus family isn’t only made up of instructors and alumni, but it also includes employers that have been associated with Grand Circus in a variety of ways. Grand Circus’s employer network is comprised of over 350 employers. All of these employers hire from Grand Circus. To help facilitate this, Grand Circus invites employers and tech professionals to attend orientations, where they offer career advice to students, provide training on hiring practices and technical interviews, and help students grow their professional network.
This initiative allows employers to coach students through workshops, take note of new students, and potentially hire new graduates. Companies like Ford, Quicken Loans, Amway, Meridian, and Spectrum Health are some of the employers that are a part of the Grand Circus family. Graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of positions at these companies.
Students will have an hour-long info session with companies that hire Grand Circus students where they’ll learn what each company does, what a day in the life of a developer at that company looks like, what the hiring process is like, what positions are open, and what diversity initiatives they are implementing. This will give students a great edge over other applicants and allows them to find a company that is the right fit for them.
Take It from an Employer
One great example of the employers that Grand Circus works with is Quicken Loans, a mortgage lender that has several offshoot branches like the Rocket Technology Team. Sadie McCourt, a director of talent acquisition, oversees the technology recruiting team that recruits for Quicken Loans and Rocket Loans. She also leads the vendor relations team. Sadie is very familiar with Grand Circus and often looks to its bootcamp graduates when deciding who to hire.
Wondering what recruiters like Sadie are looking for when they’re hiring? Sadie says she looks for someone with strong technical aptitude, but that soft skills are just as important.
“We want someone with a willingness to mentor others, help others, and share best practices. It’s not a headphones-on coding position. We look for passionate individuals looking to work with others, and share their accomplishments with others.”
Sadie’s recruiting team is partnered with Grand Circus, and she only has positive things to say about the school. Grand Circus has helped them with hiring bright talents that match Quicken Loans’s own company culture.
For Sadie, she can tell a lot about a graduate of Grand Circus just from the fact that they went to Grand Circus. She is looking to hire caring and passionate individuals. When people go to Grand Circus, she notes, they’re looking to level themselves up and better themselves, especially when it comes to new technologies. Taking that step to go to a bootcamp shows to her and her hiring team that the graduate is committed to learning, taking initiative, and interested in growth.
“We’re always looking for great talent, and Grand Circus is procuring that talent. They’re teaching students specifics that correlate very well to our company. They also are looking for great people from a ‘culture’ perspective, and so do we. That’s why we work so well together.”
Hiring Outlook from the Grand Circus Family
Grand Circus has developed a certain reputation as a bootcamp, and being associated with it means that you carry on that reputation as well.
From the 2019 Grand Circus Outcomes Report, it is assessed that 88 percent of job-seeking graduates from its full-time Detroit Campus landed employment. The most frequent job titles are software developer, junior developer, QA analyst, software engineer, and Grand Circus teaching assistant.
Though technical skills are highly important when seeking a job, demonstrating your soft skills, like collaboration and community building, is also important to many companies looking to hire new talent. Grand Circus puts a lot of emphasis on community building and teamwork, being mentored and learning to mentor, and achieving goals in tandem with your collaborators.
The ethos that Grand Circus lives by produces graduates who have a great hold on collaborative practices, and also benefit from the collaboration they learn to foster. Grand Circus’s family-based model is a proven ethos that helps graduates secure exciting jobs in tech that are fulfilling, all the while receiving support that can be expected of familial relationships.
If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Grand Circus family, begin your application here.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.