This article originally appeared in Built in NYC.
Last week, 37 people from all different backgrounds and age ranges formed a huddle in a small room at The New School. The collective joined hands to pass around positive energy, exchanged thankful words and reassured each other they were ready for what was about to happen.
The group, the latest cohort from New York’s Startup Institute, were executing their last daily “stand up,” or morning check-in, where they discuss their project challenges and career planning progress with each other. Yesterday’s stand up would be the group’s last, as they had concluded the Startup Institute’s eight-week program and were about to present their hard work to an audience in the room next door.
Startup Institute helps people build technical skills, interpersonal skills and a network that will prepare them to find employment in the tech industry.Within the program, there are four different tracks students can pursue—web development, web design, technical marketing or sales and account management.
With programs in New York, Boston and Chicago, Startup Institute differentiates itself from other bootcamps in that it combines learning technical skills with emotional intelligence.
“At Startup Institute we teach cultural acumen—we teach people how to understand who they are, how to articulate who they are and how to go out to get the opportunities that they want,” said Startup Institute cofounder, Shaun Johnson. “We teach people how to do that at startups, which are organizations filled with ambiguity and risk, and are vacant of policy, structure and bureaucracy. In our program, it’s that difference that makes all the difference.”
The Startup Institute’s unique method does make a difference, as job satisfaction among graduates is extremely high. Eighty percent of the program’s alumni report that their job after the program aligns well with their personal aspirations, and 88 percent said their job is significantly better than their prior jobs. Additionally, 86 percent of Startup Institute’s graduates are employed after 90 days.
Also, the Startup Institute’s diverse cohorts provide a unique network for alumni to continuously tap into.
“In terms of development I already have a little piece of the community to call my own. At most startup events I attend in New York City I know somebody or find somebody with common connections. It makes you feel like less of an island and gives you the confidence to really build a presence. Before I felt like my network was very narrow and limited—Startup Institute has given me a large starting circle from which to grow,” said Alexandra Sobhani, a participant in the Fall 2015 New York class.
As the most recent Startup Institute graduates presented their work and selves at the Talent Expo, the energy in the room was buzzing with encouragement. Most importantly, the students in the cohort were proud of each other, their connection palpable having spent the past eight weeks together in a supportive environment that fosters career success.
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