Interviews

Career

Getting a remote job

Michael's story

Transcript

Jennifer

All right. Hello, everyone. I'm Jennifer from EntryLevel, and EntryLevel basically helps you learn and get experience so that you can get hired.

Today, I'm joined by Michael, who is one of EntryLevel's previous students. Michael received a product management certificate with us last year and actually landed a job as a product manager for a remote company right after our program.

And now, Michael, do you want to introduce yourself?

Michael

Yeah.Thank you, Jennifer. So hi, guys. My name is Michael, and I'ma graduate of computer science students.

So shortly after graduation, so I was thinking of how to continue in the line of It, but I didn't want to code. I didn't want to do software programming, all those things.

So I went on the Internet, and I searched companies that provide training for people who are interested in IT courses. And then I found out about product management, and then I found out about entrylevel.net.

So I enrolled in the program, and the experience was so great. The fact that we have to carry out a project, we have to carry out, like, a real project.

And you also have to develop a portfolio that you could use in applying for jobs, which makes you experience. It doesn't make you look like a novice.

When you apply to job, it cannot challenge your portfolio to employers or to the interviewer, and they don't like, oh, you've actually done something.

So during my own time at EntryLevel, we did a project on Amazon car services. So I did the user stories. I did the AARR and a couple of stuff in product management.

And just right after my course at EntryLevelI got a job with D-Tech centrix. It's a company. It's a virtual company, but most of its stakeholders reside in Canada. So I'm working currently as a product manager.

So entrylevel.net, just being that company has helped me get on my feet. As a product manager, I was equipped with all of the skills that I needed to become a product manager who is not just a programmer by mouse, but someone knows the technicalities of being a product manager.

So I recommend EntryLevel to anyone who wants to break into product management or UX, because I'm looking into enrolling into the UX design course this October. So that's it for now.

Jennifer

Thank you so much for that introduction and for all the kind words. We really appreciate it. Like I said to you before, when the whole team found out, you guys, we were all celebrating in our team slack. So that's amazing.

I would love to dive more into your story, but let's start more from the beginning. So you said you studied coding, but you didn't want to do it, and then you found product management and EntryLevel.

So what was your learning journey? Did you take any other programs or volunteering experience stuff outside of EntryLevel?

Michael

Okay, yeah. So when I was taking my course at EntryLevel, I was volunteering at a company in Nigeria at the moment at that time. So I had advanced to volunteer for just a year. So I took EntryLevel’s training three months before the end of my volunteer. And it was like a plan.

So I knew I was going to finish my train with Entry-Level by September, and I knew I had like three months. So I kept working on projects because one of the things we learned at EntryLevel's course was David Wang mentioned that we should actually make sure that we work on project on our own. We should create project. We should just look at problems around us and try to work on them as support manager.

So I worked on a couple of projects on my own, and so immediately after my volunteering, new arises Nigeria.

So January I just created resume and started applying to jobs. And I was specific about jobs. I didn't want jobs that I have to commute to work every day.I was looking for remote roles, and I got a couple of interviews and I got this one at D-Tech centrix as the product manager.

Jennifer

That's amazing. I love what you said about being specific about the jobs you're applying for, because if you end up succeeding, you have to make sure you actually want to work there, that you'll be happy working there. Yeah, that's amazing.

Can you share some more insight about that job search process? Do you have any tips for our current students about their resumes or like the job application process?

Michael

Sure. So if you're taking a course at EntryLevel, you should make sure that you're building your portfolio.

Because most of the things that I want to see apart from your resume is your portfolio, the one that you've done hands on. And that is one of the advantages of taking courses at EntryLevel, because you have the opportunity to take on hands on project.

So leverage on the opportunities, leverage those projects you're doing at EntryLevel, they really count. So be your portfolio with those projects and just keep working on projects and make sure your resume is very well formatted and no jargons.

Take for example, you want to apply to a product manager. Make sure most of the experience that will be on your resume can be related to a product manager.

You don't want to have things that are unrelatable. It doesn't matter about the numbers of work. You don't what really matters is the number of projects done that are relatable to product management. You don't want to apply to product management, and then you want to be having stuff like you work at a cafe or you have to put on projects that are related to the role you're applying for.

And if you don't have any of those, just leverage on your portfolio. And that should do.

Jennifer

That's a really good point. I'm wondering how can people find these projects to work on and put in their portfolio and resume?

Michael

Yeah, great. One of the projects you could actually work on is you could just ask people around you because product management is all about knowing that this is a problem and then we want to solve it.

So in my own case, other than EntryLevel, I worked on - I knew of of a brother who owns a fashion line here in Nigeria. So it was about building his website. So I volunteered to be a product manager. So I worked with the developer as the product manager, and the website was launched. So I had it added to my portfolio.

And so my project, during my undergrad, it was the design and implementation of a Webbased system. So during my undergrad, I did the project and I stopped at that point. So after taking the course at EntryLevel I saw the opportunity to include the projects in my portfolio. So I took it up for where I stopped during my undergrad, and then I found some of my friends and I asked them to work on the project.

So I had those products that I work for them so I put them in my portfolio And it was really making sense, so I just kept applying to jobs.

Jennifer

That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your tips on the portfolio projects. I just have one more question about the job.

So if you're applying to remote companies, you mentioned you were also in Nigeria at the time, right. So how would you recommend people to apply to them, both companies, if they're in Nigeria or like they're not in US. Canada, North America?

Michael

Okay. Advice for you is you just have to be specific about the jobs you're applying because you don't want to apply to a job from Nigeria. And the job is stating that you have to be in the United States, that you have to be in Canada as a permanent resident policy.

So the jobs you want to be shooting your shots at will be mainly remote jobs and jobs that are open to non American and non Canadians. You should always check on LinkedIn. Most jobs would always put it that they want people, they want their staff to be within this state or within this country or within this region. So you don't want to apply to those ones. You just be wasting your time.

So you should be specific about the jobs, making sure that they are remote jobs, and they would accept you from wherever you're coming from. So that was one idea.I got a couple of rejections, and then I learned from that reason because I got most of my rejections would always come with, we cannot apply people out of the United States, we can apply people out of Canada. So when I got to know about that, so I stopped applying to jobs that wouldn't take me because I am in another continent.

So I started applying jobs that would take me regardless of where I'm working from. The company, I made sure I checked their website, and I saw that they had staff from all over the world, so I just kept on, and then I got, like, two.

Jennifer

That's amazing. Are you finding these jobs on LinkedIn or is there another website you're looking for them?

Michael

Yeah, I use LinkedIn. Indeed. Did I use Glassdoor? No, I used LinkedIn.

Jennifer

Okay, awesome. I'll note that down. Hopefully some of you listening can make use of those platforms as well, if you haven't already.

Okay, so I just have one more question for you. You already shared a lot of advice for our students, and I was just wondering, is there any other advice that you think could benefit our students right now?

Michael

My advice I'll give you that you should just put your time into your project at EntryLevel, because there are timelines and deadlines for summation of projects and all of those things.

So don't take that for granted. It's about six weeks, so just dedicate your time to your assignment and make sure you attend live classes and ask questions when you're in doubt or when you don't know how to group our stuff. And in your discord group, make sure that you're participating. Because during my own time, I think I got three badges on my certificate. I got a critical thinker. I got the independent.

Those things really count because you were able to brag when you finally get into the interview stage, able to brag. And that is one thing that you can actually use in convincing the interviewer that, I got this badge. I got this because I know how to do this, because I'm dependable, and this isn't coming cheaply. I worked for this, so I will be a good fit for your job.

So just put your time into it, and it will pay off at the end.

Jennifer

So you brag about the badges in your interview.

Michael

It's called the bragging. You have to tell them because they might not see it, because most of the time they wouldn't have to see the certificate. So you have to just include it.

And even if you don't have the space included on your resume, you could say it when they say, okay, why should we employ you?

Then you could just do stuff like that. I got this badge because I did this.

Jennifer

That's a really good tip. Thank you for sharing.

I think that's all the questions for today, but I know for the people listening, everybody might have a lot of questions for you. So is it okay if they reach out to you on Twitter, LinkedIn, to ask you this question?

Michael

Yeah, no problem.

Jennifer

Awesome. Or if you send them to me, I will include it when we publish this interview. So it will all be in the show notes.

Michael

All right, awesome. Thank you.

I want to ask them to keep following from EntryLevel.

And I'm happy that more people are beginning to get to know about the entrylevel.net courses and it's actually something I'm looking forward to because EntryLevel is getting recognition and if you're out there and you're doubting just shoot your shot and enroll into one of these courses, maybe EntryLevel is just going to be one of those.

So now I'm looking to enroll into the UX design course and I'll be doing that this October.

Jennifer

Wow, that's amazing. I also really like UX Design, so maybe I'll enroll too and then we can be classmates again.

Michael

Yeah.

Jennifer

Thanks so much for all the kind words. I actually run all of our social media, so it was so nice to hear. I really hope one day EntryLevel will grow and help more people.

Michael

Yeah, so I can say, oh man, I took a course in the very beginning.

Jennifer

You were. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sure it will inspire a lot of people in our audience.

I will be sure to link your contact in the show notes so people can visit that and reach out to you and tell you how you've inspired them or help them. So for everyone listening, I just want to promote EntryLevel a bit more like Michael, you already kind of did the job for me, so thank you.

But our website is entrylevel.net and then you can check out all of our programs there, including the product management one that Michael took.

But I do have to say all of our programs include a portfolio component like the data program has dashboards.I'm taking the data program right now, actually. I got to work on Excel and clean data and I'm so excited for the Tableau data visualization.

Michael

Yeah, I already got on Tableau some time ago because at the point in time you actually made it as a product manager to make some decisions when you also have to make presentations to stay good at. Those guys wouldn't understand most of the technical time.

So the best way to just shoot out to them is just to visualization of data.

Jennifer

Yeah, that actually surprised me because I'm in marketing, right?

So I was surprised how much I still had to work with data and analyze all the marketing data. So that's why I'm taking the data course because even if you don't want to be a data analyst, it's still important and can help you stand out.

Awesome. Well, thank you so much to everyone listening and I hope you're got inspired by Michael and are more motivated to learn and grow.

So good luck in your job search and in your learning, everyone.‍

More career tips on our YouTube

Ever wondered what to do after EntryLevel's programs? Michael has some tips for you.

Michael took EntryLevel's Product Management program a few months ago, and got a remote job. He shares his learning journey in Product Management, what he did after EntryLevel, and advice for students.

Listen to get insights for:

  • Portfolio tips
  • Where to find projects to work on
  • How to find remote jobs

Resources mentioned

Resources

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/

Indeed: https://indeed.com/

Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/

Other remote job boards:

https://angel.co/

https://nodesk.co/

https://remoteok.com/

https://www.remotetechjobs.com/

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Connect with Michael

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-ogundipe-0bb77a171/

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EntryLevel helps you learn and get experience so you can get hired in tech. Beginner-friendly 6 week programs guide you to create a portfolio you can show off to employers.
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