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Interview with HelloFresh: How we've partnered with Le Wagon to bring more Women into Tech.

HelloFresh is one of the fastest-growing startups in the Berlin tech scene. Earlier this year, they partnered with Le Wagon, the world’s #1 coding bootcamp. The Women in Technology Scholarship & Internship programme designed by HelloFresh gives 3 Le Wagon’s bootcamp graduates the opportunity to eventually land a full-time position in the tech teams!

Interview with HelloFresh: How we've partnered with Le Wagon to bring more Women into Tech.
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HelloFresh is one of the fastest-growing startups in the Berlin tech scene. Earlier this year, they partnered with Le Wagon, the world’s #1 coding bootcamp. The Women in Technology Scholarship & Internship programme designed by HelloFresh gives 3  Le Wagon’s Bootcamp graduates the opportunity to eventually land a full-time position in the tech teams! 

What is HelloFresh's Women in Technology Scholarship & Internship program? 

HelloFresh is committed to supporting the professional and personal development of Women in Technology. They’ve translated that commitment into The Women in Technology Scholarship & Internship Program, which offers up to 3 scholarships and paid internships annually.

The internship is based in their Technology team in Berlin and will provide the opportunity to have an impact on one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Europe. 

The program is focused on bringing more women into tech early in their careers, and through hands-on experience and mentorship, giving them the opportunity to land a full-time position in one of HelloFresh’s tech teams.

Why did HelloFresh decide to hire Bootcamp graduates vs. university graduates? 

Providing pathways into tech for women with non-traditional educational backgrounds and career changers is an important part of continuing to build a diverse workforce at HelloFresh. They have many other opportunities for university graduates, whether it be full-time roles or internships/working student placements. 

For this scholarship program, HelloFresh wanted to partner closely with a Berlin-based Bootcamp to continue to widen the talent pool from which they recruit. The more diversity there is in perspectives & experience of their talent, the more positive impact on their business performance and innovation.

How did HelloFresh work together with Le Wagon in order to get the right candidates for the program?

HelloFresh researched Bootcamp curriculums that were aligned with the skills they were looking for in applicants to their tech organization. Le Wagon’s Web Development course offers an intensive introduction to coding and provides opportunities for students to develop projects solo & in team environments - all of which HelloFresh was very interested in.

HelloFresh partnered with Le Wagon Berlin to review some of their top performers & recent graduates, who then entered the interview process for the program.

What is the current feedback the Engineering has on the new hires? 

At just about 2 months into the program, the Le Wagon's graduates are ramping up very quickly and already contributing meaningfully to their teams. With support from their manager, onboarding buddy, and mentor, they are learning a lot very quickly. Their teams are all really impressed with their positive attitudes, proactive approach to gaining technical skills, and overall willingness to dive in and work hard!

Discover the 3 candidates:

Suzanne Filipowska, Camilla Murgia, Sophia Sager

Suzanna Filipowska, Intern Frontend Engineering 

What’s your background and what were you doing before learning to code? 
Before I started learning how to code I mainly worked in the hospitality industry with few exceptions, and it feels like I’ve tried out most roles. Although I did enjoy working within service I always felt that something was missing, I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. 

Why did you want to learn to code?
My interest in coding sparked when I started exploring another job/educational possibilities that I would like to try out. A good friend of mine was working as a developer and I asked him if he could introduce me to the world of coding and I quickly realized that this is something I wanted to invest time in and something I could see myself doing long term - although I knew nothing, really (which is a feeling you have to get used to when learning how to code). After a year or two of trying different online courses - still working full time within the service industry - the pandemic hit and I was suddenly out of a job. I decided that this was the perfect time to fully commit to the interest I had in coding and that I would regret it if I didn’t give it a proper chance. 

How did Le Wagon help you in getting into this program?
I found Le Wagon's 9-week Web-Development Bootcamp course and decided to apply immediately. After I finished the course, Le Wagon provided great support in the next steps of my new career. I got the opportunity to gain some experience and work at the course as a teacher’s assistant for a few months which was a blast. Through Le Wagon and their partnership with HelloFresh, I got the opportunity to apply for the Women in Tech Scholarship as a front-end intern. 

How is your experience of the current mentorship program at HelloFresh?
I was hired by HelloFresh in April and the experience has been nothing but amazing - fantastic colleagues, smooth onboarding, great supporting mentor and manager but most important of all - all the new knowledge I’m acquiring. I’m deepening my coding skills but also learning how to work in a bigger organization across multiple teams. 

What piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to change their career and learn to code? 
Some advice I’d give anyone wanting to switch their career and start learning how to code is to not let yourself be discouraged when it gets difficult, though commitment you will get there - it’s just a matter of time. Be patient with yourself and respect your own learning curve.

Camilla Murgia, Intern Frontend Engineering 

What’s your background and what were you doing before learning to code?
I come from Sardinia, Italy. I graduated in Linguistic and Intercultural mediation and I took a master’s degree in Global Marketing, Communication, and Made in Italy. Before moving to Berlin and learning how to code I worked in the hospitality field in Sardinia.

Why did you want to learn to code?
I have always been fascinated by the power of programming and I thought that coding was the best way to stimulate both my logical and creative side. 

How did Le Wagon help you in getting you into this program?
In addition to professional training you how to code, Le Wagon helps you in your job search by offering weekly career events after the Bootcamp. In our slack channel dedicated to the career service, I saw this partnership between Le Wagon and HelloFresh and I applied.

How is your experience of the current mentorship program at HelloFresh?
The internship is going very well. Since the beginning, I have had a lot of support from my manager, my mentor, and my onboarding buddy, and everything is geared towards the success of my internship. I feel that I am also learning a lot thanks to the work environment and the people who work at HelloFresh.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to change their career and learn to code? 
Just go for it!! Don’t be afraid of change and follow your instinct. Trust the learning process and don’t give up when you feel frustrated. I swear, coding is rewarding!

Sophia Sager, Intern Frontend Engineering 

What’s your background and what were you doing before learning to code?
Before deciding to code, I worked as an event manager for a large online fashion retailer in Berlin.  I have a background in Media management (Music & Eventmanagement) and having done multiple internships and jobs in different areas (Music, Journalism, Events, etc.), I ended up working in the event sector for two and a half years before the internship.

Why did you want to learn to code?
When the pandemic hit it was especially difficult to find a new job in the event as well as many other sectors. I pretty much decided to start over and try something completely new. By learning how to code I wanted to challenge myself with a lasting experience that was (and at times still is) way out of my comfort zone. I wanted to find an occupation that wasn’t dependent on any outer circumstances, that would be sustainable, and where I could keep on learning and growing continuously.

How did Le Wagon help you in getting into this program?
Throughout the Bootcamp at Le Wagon, one does not only gain insights into the fundamentals of programming (basic tech knowledge, different programming languages, and frameworks, databases, etc.) but also into the tech industry itself and its recruitment processes. During the last week of the Bootcamp, the focus lay on the preparation for tech interviews and applications in the field. We gained overall knowledge into what is important when looking for a job in this industry and were encouraged and supported throughout our application process. The career manager at Le Wagon then reached out with the application for the internship program at HelloFresh and I applied to it equipped with the knowledge I had gained throughout the Bootcamp.

How is your experience of the current mentorship program at HelloFresh?
Since day one it has been an incredibly pleasant and valuable experience working at HelloFresh. Everyone I have met so far has been kind and welcoming. The main focus of the internship is learning and elevating your skills to become a well-rounded developer. My team and manager have been nothing but supportive and helpful. The communication and work are very transparent and you are encouraged to ask questions and openly contribute to conversations and discussions. I am given the time and guidance to get to know the tech stack and tools that are being used within the team and throughout the company and have now started working on my first collaborative project. Furthermore, I am being involved as a full-blown and equal member of the team.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to change their career and learn to code? 
It is definitely worth it.  It will be difficult at times and foremost a struggle with yourself, as learning how to code, for most, is the process of completely rewiring your brain.  Everyone started from nothing at one point. The main importance is that you keep at it, practice, work hard, and it will be so rewarding. And believe in yourself, you can do it!!


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