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Helping students succeed in owning their career change

Claire worked for five years in Japan as a translator and interpreter for municipal government and Amazon Japan before joining Le Wagon web development program in Montreal in order to be on the front line building new ideas instead of just translating them. She is now working as a US-based web dev freelancer.

Helping students succeed in owning their career change
Featuring graduate Claire Froelich Freelance Developer More about Claire
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What attracted you to the tech world ? 


I’ve always been “tech-adjacent”, teaching myself a bit of coding here, making little tools to automate tasks for my coworkers there. Working as a translator and interpreter inside a major tech company gave me the unique position of being a fly on the wall at all levels of big tech business. I loved the days where I was interpreting for software teams’ internal feedback meetings. Translation has its thrills, but I really wanted a taste on the front line building products we were talking about. Also, translators already spend tons of time on a keyboard searching the bowels of Google for niche info, so coding was a natural transition ;)

What brought you to Montreal ? 


Honestly? A failed romance and a stolen passport led me here, but I stayed for the vibe. With an international community, many universities, and a dual-language profile Montreal is a prime place to be a student and network - especially in the tech sector as the start-up scene is active and accelerating. Plus, on my first meeting with Aline (Head of Community at Le Wagon Montréal) I could sense this organization had a strong personal touch and was invested in helping students succeed in owning their career change. Half a year later, I confirm my hunch was spot on.

How did you find your first contract as a freelancer ?  


Le Wagon connections are magical! My first gig actually found me, as the Le Wagon grapevine led a teaching assistant from my batch to ask me on as a partner on a large project he was working on. This project ended up paying for my Le Wagon tuition and more. The greatest value of Le Wagon to me is the lifetime global community and support. It’s always there and has helped me stay curious, motivated, aware of new opportunities and connected, especially on the occasional day I feel like throwing my hands up.

Any tips for students ready to go job hunting ? 


So far I’ve been taking my time to figure out what kind of job I want by pursuing projects, and let me tell you the best way to teach yourself new things is to get paid for it! Invite yourself to step out of your comfort zone. A flame to your rear is a great motivator as you feel the pressure to deliver and challenge yourself to meet the needs of the project. You’ll also walk away with some deliverables to showcase. Or maybe you’ll fall in love with freelancing!

You can follow Claire on Medium where she posts about her freelance projects. If you are looking to go into a career as a freelancer, you can apply for our Summer batch, starting on July 6, 2020 in Montreal

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