GUEST POST: I Doubted Myself and My Skills… Until Now.

Today we have Stephanie, a Front-End Web Development student at OpenClassrooms, taking over the blog with an account of her experience learning online. The Venezuelan-born globe trotter had issues with traditional education systems and never thought she’d be able to complete – let alone afford –  a technical degree. Read about her story as she adds web developer to her list of many talents.

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Dear future student,

You have no idea how happy it makes me that now, a platform that began as just francophone, is broadening its magic to the anglophone and hispanic world. I am currently sitting in the chair you’ll find yourself in soon enough.

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Stephanie Zerpa, I am 20 years old and I am Venezuelan. I was born and raised there, up until the age of 15, when I migrated and began my globetrotting adventure. I have lived in Canada, Barbados, France and Spain ever since. My life has been a come-and-go of opportunities I am eternally thankful for. I am an artist, poet, author of the blog  For The Art of Code, polyglot, traveler, activist, psychology lover and theater enthusiast. So basically, I am the opposite of what many would stereotypically imagine a web developer to be like. Actually, I am the last person I would have imagined in this developer seat.  

Maybe at this point you are wondering, why I am talking to you? The answer is simple: because I, not so long ago, was you. I also had doubts at some point about learning platforms, I had doubt about the veracity in their words and, above all, I doubted myself and my skills. But, today I am here to tell you, from experience and from the heart, that you are putting your education in the best hands.

Up until a couple of months ago I had no interest in taking part in anything tech-related. I had always been interested in the world of art and languages. From a young age, neither science nor technology were things I could identify with. In fact, I even dropped out of my computing class halfway through high school. To sum up, my interest was never based in a bunch of codes. So, why now?

I found OpenClassrooms the same way every magical thing in life happens: by mere fate. I found the platform thanks to those unexpected and random Facebook ads; which I simply clicked on without giving it much thought. I have no idea how I ended up in this world. All I know is that I couldn’t be happier with the turn of events. Parker J Palmer once said “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am”.  In my short but well-lived life I have traveled the world looking for my “Great Perhaps”; looking for my why. I’ve considered multiple careers and studied their pros and cons and never been fully content, until I found OpenClassrooms. I think what happened was that life decided to make the path clear, and all I had to do from there was follow it.

In simple terms, through OpenClassrooms, I have the daily opportunity to discover an online learning platform that understands the individuality of their students and adapts to every single one of their needs. An atypical platform that goes way beyond any other online learning experience.

I have never been a big fan of the traditional educational system. I think it is full of errors and questions that need to be fixed, but OpenClassrooms goes beyond that system, beyond any system I have ever known.

No buts in your bank account. Benjamin Franklin once said “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” but my father also used to say that without money it is difficult to invest. I have spent the last 3 years of my life saving any kind of income, allowance or help from any family member or even strangers to pay for my education. I have always considered that learning would be the greatest gift anyone could give me, but with education today costing more than $20,000 a year it was almost impossible to believe that my dream would come true without putting my life in debt; or so it was until a couple of months ago, when I found this platform. It was crazy to finally find a career path with a stipulated time of 12 months (instead of 5 years) and knowing that I could afford it was an even bigger madness. Not having to get rid my dreams was a dream in itself.

No but nor how. Your How depends on the who! Who are you? What are you looking for? Based on these questions we can determine a how.

I give you the guarantee that OpenClassrooms will not be who puts you any kind of barriers or obstacles. We all learn differently; some of us prefer listening activities, some multimedia, some more practical exercises, and others reading. It is human nature, we are all different and we all understand the world and its way of operating in a different way. With this in mind, OpenClassrooms teaches you in all possible ways, resulting in incredible knowledge and immensely recognized accreditation. You can’t imagine how grateful I am for simply being able to learn, but when I found out about the accreditation with which the program comes my joy increased remarkably. With OpenClassrooms I can get the degree I’ve been waiting for so long.

I had never understood the importance of having someone to support me this much. I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient, and I think this is a quality that has helped me enormously along my path, but here I learned that you’re never alone. At the beginning of the trajectory you will get a personal mentor who will help you achieve your goals through a reciprocal learning process. It is important to recognize that anything related to technology can be frustrating at times. Therefore, having someone who not only demonstrates the values ​​of the company and their interest in you, but also makes a difference in your learning, is like having someone take your hand and showing you the way to go when the fears and doubts reach you. The concept of team goes beyond the mentor; every day I am more surprised at how good, helpful and friendly each staff member is.

I have never learned so much. I have never challenged my intellect in the way OpenClassrooms encourages me to. I’ve never felt more cared by, nor have I ever felt more heard. Every member of OpenClassrooms has been more than amazing with me. Each one has, without a doubt, made a difference in my life.

OpenClassrooms is more than just a simple online platform, OpenClassrooms is a world of learning and technology that focuses on its students, on their comfort and clarity above anything else. Now is your time to make a difference by their side, by our side.

Believe in yourself and in this Education Revolution. It’s our moment.

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