For Shay Rosner, a typical day on the job doesn’t exist.
“I like to think of my role as a Choose Your Own Adventure, where no two days are the same and every week is a brand new experience,” she said.
But one aspect of her role remains consistent on a daily basis: her commitment to Hack Reactor Software Engineering Bootcamp students.
Shay joined our team four months ago as the Software Engineering DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Student Support Manager. In that role, she manages Telegraph Track, a program that runs alongside each bootcamp and was specifically designed to address the challenges faced by underrepresented students in tech and engineering.
“My role significantly entails emotional and technical mentorship for students struggling with concepts or searching for a sounding board to listen to them," said Shay. "They often feel waves of imposter syndrome as they take on new, challenging problems. I let them know that nearly all software engineers experience it throughout their careers. It's constructive to get out those feelings of insecurity and discover that they are not alone."
And Shay would know. She’s a graduate of our Software Engineering bootcamp, as well as Telegraph Track. She's experienced first-hand all that Telegraph Track has to offer, including networking events, career panels, mentorship pairing, community-building, and both technical and non-technical office hours.
Working with Telegraph Track students is "incredibly gratifying”
For Shay, the decision to join us on the other side, to move from student to employee, was an easy decision after her own positive experience with Telegraph Track mentors.
"The time they poured into me was incredibly impactful, giving me pep talks when I needed them or technical advice when I was struggling with challenging concepts," she said. "All of it led to me wanting to give back to the students that come through the program, especially supporting those from underrepresented backgrounds. The work is incredibly gratifying.”
In addition to being an active mentor to students, Shay creates and hosts Telegraph Track events and networks with employers to help those in the program find jobs once they graduate. Additionally, she works with our wide network of Galvanize/Hack Reactor alumni, encouraging them to volunteer as mentors or to speak on panels about their career searches and jobs in the field.
“The thing I like most about my position is, by far, the human connection,” she said, noting the importance of these connections, specifically as they’re related to equal representation in tech spaces. “Seeing yourself in others who have gone through such a rigorous program is why I feel like representation truly matters.”
How and why representation matters
Before her own time in the bootcamp, when Shay was considering a professional shift away from marketing and web design toward software engineering, she was encouraged by seeing some of her peers find success through the bootcamp. That representation made a real difference in her life and career.
“Many of my friends who identify as women of color expressed how Hack Reactor's bootcamp had changed them, and how it built up their confidence as software engineers and ultimately led to them working at top tech companies,” she said.
Shay decided to go for it, too, and her time in the full-time bootcamp helped her sharpen her ability to learn quickly and efficiently, and helped her gain confidence to pursue a new career.
“The full-time immersive moves at a staggering pace. It’s all about allowing yourself patience and grace when you've made a mistake, as well as achieving that satisfying feeling when you figure something out that you thought you'd never accomplish,” she said.
She brings this same mindset to her current role, where she’s innovating and creating an even stronger Telegraph Track program, capable of guiding underrepresented students through their bootcamp experiences and into their software engineering careers.
“I love coming up with new ideas,” said Shay. “I'm given a fair amount of freedom to test things out and change things. It's really wonderful to have that trust so early on and to be able to take ownership of the projects that I'm working on.”
As if she’s not doing enough, Shay also volunteers as a member of the Galvanize/Hack Reactor Alumni Advisory Committee, where she further advocates for students and alumni by contributing her voice and awareness of their needs to the group.
Want to connect with Shay? Add her on LinkedIn here! And if you’re a Hack Reactor alum or a Software Engineer in the industry and you're interested in volunteering and/or becoming a Telegraph Track mentor, fill out this form or reach out to Shay at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.