How I Came to Corso: Marguerite
The beginning of this story starts when I was a physics major in college. Entering my freshman year, I absolutely knew that I wanted to study physics. I dove right into taking the advanced classes. My sophomore year, I took an Intro to CS class and was immediately drawn into the problem-solving aspect of programming. Had I taken that my freshman year, I might have been a CS major. Alas, I am stubborn and stuck with my physics major while also completing a CS concentration (what my school calls minors).
By the end of my college career, I was getting burned out from school. While most of my fellow physics majors were preparing to go to grad school, I decided to go a completely different route and joined the Peace Corps. About a month and a half after graduation, I shipped off to Tanzania to teach secondary school physics in a rural village. (You can read about my adventures here)
Life After The Peace Corps
I came out of the Peace Corps hard on the job hunt. Having been an educator in Tanzania, my early focus was on the education sector, but I was open to anything. I sent out several applications per day and updated my LinkedIn account in the hopes of landing a job, but nothing really came to fruition.
About a month after returning, I attended a career conference for returned Peace Corps volunteers. It was a week-long event featuring workshops on transitioning into life back in the US, resume and interview tips, and job-searching methods. All of the presentations were incredibly informative and had me thinking hard about my next step.
On the last day was a career fair attended by hundreds of potential employers and even more job seekers like me. I had spent some time before the fair researching the list of employers that were supposed to be there. I steered clear of the vast majority of the federal agencies (which is looking like a very smart idea at this point in time with the shutdown), despite having non-competitive eligibility. A few world organizations and NGOs caught my eye, but Corso Systems stood out to me as one of the few tech-oriented companies there. Having had a science background, Corso looked like the type of place where I could best use my skillset.
Planning to Succeed
I entered the fair in my most professional clothing and wandered around a bit. First, I talked to the organizations that interested me a little before moving on those that held my interest more. When I approached the Corso desk, I noticed the job listing for a system engineer. When Olivia turned towards me, I introduced myself with the fact that I had programming experience. We discussed what the job entailed, and she encouraged me in saying that they were looking for someone at any skill level. I walked out of the career fair knowing I would be in touch with her. I followed up with the most interesting employers the next week. Olivia was one of the few who quickly responded. After a few exchanges, I agreed to meet for an interview.
In the days leading up to the interview, I browsed through the blog posts and YouTube videos. Everything was incredibly informative. I made note of all the “Acronyms are hard” posts, which were useful in teaching me the basics of the industry. I most enjoyed the War Bag series of videos. These showed me the type of people with whom I could be working; they all seemed cool and friendly. The interview itself was one of the easiest interviews I’ve had. It felt more like a conversation. After that, I had a trial run using Ignition. I had to create something to solve a few problems. It was the type of stuff I enjoyed doing in my programming courses back in college. That’s what I thought about before accepting a position in the Corso Systems family.
Want to learn more about Marguerite? Check out her page.
Want to learn more about the rest of us? Check out the Key People Page!