Liliya Burlakova graduated from Telerik Academy Alpha Java in May 2020, during the first COVID-19 wave. Less than 2 months later, she started working as a Junior Software Developer. This is her exciting journey.
“Be proactive. Prepare yourself for each interview - soft and tech skill - and get to know the companies you apply to. Keep helping each other. I’ve learned so much from our trainers!“, shared Liliya when we asked her about some of the most important lessons that helped her start her first IT job.
It happened less than two months after she graduated from the 6-month Telerik Academy Alpha Java program.
And despite that every career path is different, they all have one thing in common - achieving your dream is always a result of almost equal parts motivation, determination, and all the great people who meet on your way. At Telerik Academy, those are your fellow learners with whom you work as a team and the trainers - your mentors who are on your side throughout the whole journey.
And Liliya’s success story is proof of that. An exciting one, if we may add!
Liliya, we are happy for the opportunity to take you a little back and talk about the beginning of your IT career. Can you share with us what happened last year?
I went on an exciting journey that led me to my first IT job. It happened around 8 months ago, and since then, I’m a Junior Software Developer at Americaneagle.com. The result of my training in the Telerik Academy Alpha Java program.
What happened after your graduation?
From the first day after graduating from the Academy, I started actively applying for a job. First, I went through the list with the Academy partners, and based on my personal preferences - I sent my CV to some of them. Then I did the same with the job board at Dev.bg.
In the end, I had applied to a solid number of companies that I thought were a perfect fit for me. I was happy to start the interview process with Americaneagle.com, VMware, Codix, Sirma, and Hitachi. When I received offers from Hitachi and Americaneagle.com, I halted the process with the rest.
How did you make the decision?
I took the advice from Nadya, our soft skill trainer in the Alpha program: “Think about how you’ve made all the right decisions in your life - gut feeling, sixth sense, logic, assessment.“
This is how I chose Americaneagle.com.
As they were often telling us in the Academy, the job application is a two-sided process. It’s important to choose the best company for you, but also to keep programming and learning. The Academy gives you substantial momentum, and it is crucial not to lose it. That’s why during that time, I set aside time for job applications and time for studying.
Can you share more about the hiring process - how did the interview go?
I had the opportunity to meet with Americaneagle.com during the Alpha program, as they were partners for our cohort. On the day of my graduation, I sent them my CV.
They contacted me later that day for an interview. It was around an hour and a half. The first part was focused on soft skills, and the second part consisted of technical questions.
The Academy has prepared me for this moment. During the Alpha program and as part of our soft skills training, I went through a mock interview. It helped me during the real thing, but most importantly, it gave me confidence.
A couple of days after the interview, I received a task. It was interesting that I had to use C# and not Java. But again - I was up to the challenge.
Our trainers were always saying to us: “You are learning to code, and Java is a tool. At some point in your career, you’ll need to use another tool - you must not be scared by that“.
Thanks to everything I had learned in Telerik Academy Alpha, I wasn’t scared. I submitted my task, and a couple of days later, I received great news.
And one last thing I want to add. During the whole process, I could rely on the Telerik Academy forum for advice, and the Academy team was always ready to help me - just as they were during the whole training.
Let’s take you even further back - what did you find most valuable in the Telerik Academy Alpha Java program? Which were the key lessons that helped you land your first IT job?
Oh, everything we’ve learned is valuable. The trainers gave us so much knowledge!
I really liked that we got to team up with other students. We were able to learn together, grow together, sharing our knowledge, and helping each other. We were working together on our assignments just as we were going to do at our future employees a compile of months later.
Is there a moment from your education at Telerik Academy that you’ll always remember with a smile?
This is a hard one because there were so many moments that made me smile! Maybe the first thing that comes to my mind is my buddy group. The discussions we had, the defense of our first team project.
What were you doing before Telerik Academy? How did you decide that it was time for a change?
Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to become a pilot. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out the way I wanted.
So, while still in the university, I started working at a travel agency. My main responsibility was the company’s website, and with the help of Google, I was able to learn a little HTML. That’s when I’ve decided that if for some reason, I wasn’t able to become a pilot, I will become a developer.
And that’s how it turned out.
What made you choose Telerik Academy? How did you know that this was the right place for you?
I’ve heard a lot about Telerik Academy. A friend of mine, who knew a person from the team, shared a lot about the Academy with me. At first, I was skeptical about the idea because it is time-consuming, but after further research, I was convinced.
And this was one of the best decisions in my life!
The admission to Telerik Academy Alpha Java closes at 11:59 pm tonight (March 29). Hurry up and write your exciting journey!