by Carol Baxter
Shortly after I started at Revature in 2016, I spoke at an orientation session for a new class of associates. As head of HR, I’ve always felt it’s part of my role to make new hires feel welcome. Looking around the room, I saw a group of bright, promising people, eager to launch their careers in tech. They had come from every part of the country and walk of life. Many were first-generation college graduates. In their attempts to land a job in tech, many had faced rejection after rejection. And yet, here they were, still persevering. Their determination, grit, and gratitude inspired me.
We had given them a chance and similarly, they took a chance on us. Sometimes taking chances means making sacrifices. Most had moved across the country to be with us that day. In a few months, they would move again to start on their project with our clients, which could be anywhere in the country. They had said goodbye to friends and family, left behind classmates and hometowns. They had taken a big, brave step into the unknown.
When a candidate declines an offer from Revature, the most common reason is an inability or unwillingness to move. And frankly, I understand the hesitancy. So, when I spoke to that class, I made a point of telling them how much we appreciated the sacrifice they had already made.
As I spoke, I became overcome with emotion, because I knew first-hand what a hard decision they had just made. Eleven years before, I had left my own home in central New York and moved 400 miles south to Northern Virginia. I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY and went to college and started my career not too far away, in Rochester, NY. So, as well as my very close friends and colleagues, I was leaving behind close family—including my grandparents, who had worked very hard for many years to build their families and keep us close. In my new home, by contrast, I would know almost no-one.
It was hard to do, no doubt about it; but that move changed my life. On a personal level, I made new friends and met my husband. Professionally, I became more focused. And I honed my networking skills, forging relationships that I still benefit from today. Specifically, I am most grateful for the relationships I’ve had with people who took a chance on me, trusting me with professional opportunities and development that not only benefitted me but also my family, making a positive impact on our lives that lasts to this day.
The same benefits accrue to our associates. By coming together in one place, they have an opportunity to knuckle down and focus on the task in hand—which is important, because Revature training is not for the faint of heart. They also enjoy camaraderie with their classmates, so that when the going gets tough, they can lean on each other. Best of all, they develop personal and professional relationships that will pay dividends throughout their careers and their lives.
In many ways, Revature training is an opportunity for our associates to reinvent themselves. They emerge from it not only more skilled in the tech of today and tomorrow, but more confident, more connected, and better able to meet the challenges of a cutting-edge tech career.
When I joined Revature, I soon realized that it’s not just our associates who make sacrifices to be a part of this family. The same is true even of our leadership team. We come from all over the country and the world. We spent our careers working for brand-name banks, premier consultancy firms, hot tech startups, and more. We left those things behind to help build something bigger and do something more important. We are building a business model that injects much-needed tech skills into the economy; but on a personal level, what really gets me excited and resonates as my “why” is the opportunity each day to show our gratitude for the chances we have been given by continuing to give them to those most deserving. We are unlocking life-changing opportunities for thousands of people, just like those who were in the class I spoke with five years ago. Especially during these pandemic times, when the future can seem uncertain, it’s important to remember our why. This is mine.