This is part two of our Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Scholarship recipient series. Did you miss part one? Read it here.
Last winter, Codess sponsored eighteen women with scholarships to take part in the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) and complete the Data Science track. As the courses have come to a close, we sat down with some of the winners to find out more about their experience with the courses and how the program will shape their future.
Meet Holly Peck
How does someone with a BA in anthropology and a career in the financial services industry make the leap to coding and tech? According to Holly Peck, an understanding of human behavior is precisely what makes her a strong programmer. When Holly was awarded a Codess scholarship for the Microsoft Professional Program's Data Science Track, the timing was perfect. The tech start-up where she worked had closed up shop, and Holly was interested in pursuing the field of data science.
While working in finance, Holly taught herself programming in order to create a CMS product for the company where she worked in order to solve some internal challenges. The hands-on experience of coding reminded Holly of her love for building and creating – and ultimately drove her to pursue a full-time coding bootcamp in New York. After becoming involved with Women Who Code in New York, Holly landed a role with a start-up back in Vancouver, BC. She co-founded the Women Who Code chapter of Vancouver, and as she considered the next steps in her career, Holly discovered the Codess community and the opportunity to pursue the MPP Data Science track.
What was the MPP Like?
The demands of the MPP's Data Science Track were challenging and time-consuming, but Holly felt lucky to have the bandwidth to dedicate to the program and the tech background to better navigate the courses. One of the best parts of the program for Holly was collaborating globally with the other women who were completing the program. It was also a lesson in staying organized and being proactive in planning and prioritizing the pace of learning the material. Despite her busy schedule, Holly found that prioritizing the program helped keep her on track, and she found herself amazed that she was able to learn so much about the field over the six-month course. The rigor of the course paid off – Holly credits it with landing her current role as an experimental scientist at a robotics start-up focused on artificial general intelligence.
An unexpected benefit from the program? "Going through this program, I've realized that if I can learn this, I can do anything. My whole mindset has changed," says Holly. The complex mathematical concepts that Holly learned also shifted her mentality and she found herself completely inspired.
Holly's vision for her future? She dreams of combining her skills in tech and AI with her passion for music and creativity. Her experience with the MPP and subsequent AI role are great steps along her journey. We can't wait to see what she does next!
More about the MPP
The Microsoft Professional Program provides an opportunity for people to gain the technical skills and get the real-world experience that employers are looking for. The program features a series of online courses in various tracks, including data science, big data, and front-end web development. The self-paced courses feature expert instructors, hands-on labs and a final capstone project.
Codess is proud to partner with the MPP to provide these opportunities, along with continued community connection to women like Holly as they pursue their careers, dreams, and futures. We hope to offer more scholarships in the future!