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Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be challenging. Learning something new, moving, changing your career - it can be difficult to make a change even when you know it’s best for you in the long term. Our part-time alumni Mirian jumped head-first into a new life in Canada with a whole new set of skills to help her along the way.

Mirian came to Canada in 2016 when her partner enrolled in a master’s program at UBC. In Peru, she had a rewarding career in marketing and communications for eight years. She loved the creativity, teamwork, and organization it required.

Shortly before arriving in Canada, Mirian and her husband discovered they would be welcoming a baby to the family. Mirian thought, at first she would return to work right away. Here’s what she says happened next:

“When I arrived I started my job search, but I didn’t have all the knowledge that I have now so it was hard. My belly kept growing so I decided to take that time for myself, take it easy and enjoy my pregnancy. I knew I wanted at least the first year to take care of my daughter by myself so that’s what I did.”

After two years at home with her daughter Clara, Mirian decided it was time to focus her professional life again. Without access to childcare, though, it was difficult for Mirian to find a reskilling program that worked for her. A friend recommended she check out ISSofBC, an organization that supports immigrants as they become more established in British Columbia. That’s when Mirian discovered the TechWomen program. With its unique childminding benefit, the program was a perfect fit for Mirian.

Lighthouse Labs works in partnership with the TechWomen program, offering our Intro to Web and Intro to Front-End classes to their clients. Mirian decided to enrol because “it seemed like a really good fit for me, especially because I had zero experience in coding and the part-time course description really appealed to me.”

When classes first began, Mirian experienced a lot of those feelings we all associate with being a beginner - she was afraid and really doubted herself. But, in the end, she knew it was the first step towards her next career. Mirian is now working towards becoming a UI/UX designer. She’s confident her new programming skills will help her out, and “having some knowledge about coding will for sure enrich my career.”

Walking away, Mirian says what sticks with her is that “finishing the course was a huge accomplishment for me. It gave me the confidence that I needed, and helped me prove to myself that I can achieve any goal that I want if I work for it…I’m glad to know that it’s never too late to learn a new skill. I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom that learned how to code; that’s cool”.

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