Mission Accomplished

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It’s been an incredible journey to acquiring my first full-time Software Engineering role! So raise your glass in toast, Mission Accomplished!

Liberty Mutual offered me a full-time position through their TechStart Full-Time program. But now a new mission begins, actually doing the work of a full-time Software Engineer. But before I do that, I’d like to pause and reflect. In this blog, I’ll share what the TechStart program is, how I discovered it, and details about my interviewing process. After I start the program, I’ll give an insider’s view of what the program is like in a later blog.

The Liberty Mutual TechStart program is an immersive year long entry level program for new technologists. It’s exactly what I was searching for, a program that would strengthen my technical foundation and have opportunities for future growth. The program is divided into 3 stages. The first stage, is a month of foundational technical training that includes lectures and lessons. You’re introduced to the company structure and the technology utilized throughout the company. The second stage is a six-month assignment to a team of your fellow TechStart peers to work on a real company project led by seasoned Liberty Mutual engineers. The third and final stage is a five-month assignment to an actual technology team within Liberty Mutual.

Flatiron School’s Career Services team notified graduates of an information meeting in which Liberty Mutual representatives would give a presentation on their TechStart program and answer related questions afterwards. I attended the meeting and was impressed by the representatives and their presentation.

The qualifications included:

- 2 years of technical experience or a technical bachelor’s degree or equivalent training and certification

- fluent in a software development language (with a preference for Java)

I’m fluent in JavaScript, not Java. But I applied anyway through the link on their website at the end of October. The application was standard, asking about my technical education and work experience in addition to some personality assessment questions. Afterwards, they contacted me and scheduled a cultural interview with me and a recruiter in November.

During my cultural interview, the recruiter asked about my Software Engineering education at Flatiron and the 6-month SE contract I’d recently wrapped up. She asked me questions related to working on technical projects and working on a team. Then she asked if I had any questions for her. I asked about her experience at Liberty Mutual and some clarifying questions about the TechStart program.

About a week later, they scheduled my technical interview with a Principal Software Engineer and an Engineering Manager. They didn’t give me any pre-work to prepare before the interview (ex. some companies required me to build an app and the interview was an assessment of the app I’d built). So I continued working through Hackerrank’s 30 Days of Code tutorials (https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/tutorials/30-days-of-code).

During my technical interview, I used JavaScript to code solutions to challenges involving arrays, objects, and classes. I did my best, but I knew there were other technical interviews in which I’d done better but still didn’t get an offer. So I was surprised when later that same day, my recruiter called and made a formal offer to me.

Overall, their recruiting and interviewing process was very streamlined and time efficient. The representatives were kind, very knowledgeable, and responsive to my questions. So this was a great experience and I anticipate the TechStart program will be incredible as well.

I’m excited to start my career at Liberty Mutual and look forward to working, learning, and growing as a Software Engineer.

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Wendy Raven McNair

Wendy Raven McNair

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