As I write this, I have only been a part of the Revature family for around two months; but I have long admired the company’s business model for its ability to serve the needs of businesses and aspiring tech workers simultaneously. Since joining, my appreciation has only grown, because I have seen for myself how Revature not only teaches people crucial skills but boosts their confidence at the same time.
From my own experience in marketing, I know the importance of keeping your skills sharp. Like many other industries, marketing has been transformed by technology: in particular, the rise of digital tools like social media and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Marketing professionals who fail to make the leap into the digital world soon find themselves left behind.
In this respect, I was fortunate, because I was able to take time off and put myself through a master’s program in digital marketing at Johns Hopkins. Not everybody gets that opportunity. But this is where Revature’s business model really shines. Associates know for sure that the skills they learn are in demand right now, because Revature offers training designed to meet the needs of specific, real-life businesses. Students don’t have to pay out of pocket, and employers get talent that is highly skilled, hard-working, and confident in their abilities.
Confidence is something I myself have had to work to develop. Those who know me as an adult might find this hard to believe, but growing up I was extremely shy. Over the years, I have come out of my shell with the support of several great mentors. I remember one of them, a business professor, giving my class an assignment: go to a regular store and find an item you want to buy. Take it to the manager and ask to negotiate on price. Try to get a 20 percent discount.
To most of us, this sounded kind of weird. But what was the worst that could happen? They could say no, that was all. And as another mentor of mine once told me, “the business of business is business”—in other words, don’t take it personally! So, I took a deep breath and gave it a shot. It didn’t work 100 percent of the time, but quite often the store manager did indeed negotiate! That was an important lesson in the value of taking calculated risks.
Later, during the Great Recession, I took another calculated risk when I started my own marketing business. It was a pivotal moment for me, and my confidence paid off: I landed several amazing accounts, including developing a brand strategy for a political party based in the Netherlands Antilles (not a bad place for business meetings) and another project helping to rebuild Liberia’s infrastructure following a 14-year civil war.
Again, not everybody gets the same opportunities, particularly when it comes to the tech world. But Revature goes out of its way to offer associates the chance to prove their abilities early on, by tackling real-world problems for real-life clients. Through teamwork, communication, and hands-on success, their confidence builds and builds.
It takes real commitment to get through a Revature program, but those with the determination to work hard and the courage to put themselves out there reap big rewards, both in their careers and in life in general. I am pleased to count myself among the members of the Revature family, and I look forward to helping even more people unlock opportunities to prove their skills and their confidence.