BloomTech Stories

From flight attendant to data science: Demetrius Tuck’s BloomTech journey

September 19, 2022

Demetrius’s path to data science was anything but direct. At first he wanted to become a doctor—until he passed out when he saw blood during an internship. (Not a great sign for a future MD.) Then he worked as an actor. Next he tried customer service. Finally, as a flight attendant he helped thousands of passengers reach their destinations safely.  

But being a flight attendant—in the middle of a global pandemic, no less—wore on him. He never knew when he’d be working. He missed countless birthdays, holidays, and weddings. And he struggled being away from his fiancee for long stretches. Demetrius began to question his own flight plan—and whether he was happy with where he was headed. 

“I was like, ‘I can’t do this for the rest of my life,’” he remembers. He needed a career change.

When thinking about what to do next, he thought of a passion that had followed him ever since childhood. He thrived on what he calls pattern recognition. As a kid, he’d do things just to see how the grown-ups around him reacted. Later, he’d gauge an audience’s reaction when he delivered his lines differently. 

“I like to see cause and effect. I like to be able to predict what’s going to happen,” Demetrius says. “So tech makes sense, because you get to deconstruct things. You get to build or repair things. I researched bootcamps and found data science to be the best fit.”

A new itinerary: Training for tech

Demetrius knew he’d need help to make a career change to tech.

BloomTech ended up on top when Demetrius compared online tech schools. BloomTech’s career support, which begins when learners enroll and continues until they get a great job, was a big reason why. So were flexible tuition options. Demetrius signed up. 

“First class” came to take on a whole new meaning when he dove into his BloomTech course. At first, the Data Science lessons felt “really, really, really hard,” he remembers. Approaching topics piece-by-piece and leaning on a community of other learners helped, as did reaching out to his instructors when he didn’t understand. 

“My instructor for that first month was the most supportive person, always available. And although I didn't believe I could do it, he did,” Demetrius says. “He gave me the resiliency to know that I could make it through other challenges in the program.”

Along with coding fundamentals, Demetrius learned different facets of Data Science to discover what he liked best and what he was best at. He found joy in pattern recognition—the kind of cause-and-effect he loved since childhood. He also created deep connections with a supportive peer network. 

“I’ve made some of the most amazing bonds,” Demetrius says. “The group of people I was studying with, you’ll remember them for the rest of your life. Those are my people.”

Even though he’d never coded before, all the hands-on practice and opportunities to test out his newfound skills gave him the confidence he’d need on the job hunt. 

Your co-pilot for the job hunt

During the Data Science course, Demetrius focused on honing the skills he knew he’d need in a competitive job market. 

“No matter what you choose to do in tech or in data science, you're going to need foundational coding skills. You also need to know how to apply those techniques to the specific job functions,” he says. BloomTech’s Data Science course covered all that and more.

“Labs more than anything will prepare you to work at what they call agile programs or environments. It teaches you to be nimble.”

All the while, Demetrius prepared for a successful job hunt. His Career Coach and other members of the career support team helped him shape his resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio. They helped him get better at technical interviews and practice answering questions during mock interviews. In short, Demetrius never had to fly solo. He always had the support he needed. 

"I don't think I had to do anything in my career search on my own if I didn't choose to,” Demetrius says. “I had a whole team of people just waiting to help me and it's invaluable. It's the best thing about the BloomTech program."

Demetrius’s Career Coach, Shelby, encouraged him to reach out to a recruiter about a role that interested him, even though he hadn’t yet graduated. That decision led to a job offer, and today Demetrius is a Sales Engineer at Smartsheet.

Career liftoff: Starting a job in data science

Some days, Demetrius is in awe that he’s actually working in tech. “The idea of moving into tech was and continues to kind of be so foreign. I never thought I could do that. A few months ago, I couldn’t write a line of code. It’s so wild that I’m here now.” 

He now uses many of the skills learned at BloomTech to navigate his new position, including Jira, agile methods, project management, methodology, plus the ability to focus, ask for help, and learn new programming languages quickly. Still, Demetrius considers his curiosity the most valuable thing he learned in the program. 

"Data science is about looking at data, making decisions, extrapolating new features, figuring out what's going on, or predicting what's going to happen. It takes curiosity to see the intricacies of patterns,” he says. “I was kind of curious before, but now I just want to learn everything."

Today Demetrius is living what he calls a “euphoric fever dream,” working from home and earning twice what he was before BloomTech—with the potential for promotions and raises on his radar. Most importantly, Demetrius now has the ability to be more present for his fiancee, something that was near-impossible as a flight attendant. 

“Knowing that I get to be home means so much to me. I love to travel and didn't want to lose that freedom, but now I can have the best of both worlds. I could work from Portugal if I wanted,” he says.

Demetrius can barely believe how much his life has changed in just one year

“That's the best part about working in tech. I can work the hours I want, where I want. I feel free." -Demetrius Tuck

"The freedom I felt when I got that first job offer just keeps getting better,” he says. “That's the best part about working in tech. I can work the hours I want, where I want. I feel free." 

If you want the kind of training and support that could lead to a huge life change like Demetrius’s, check out our in-depth Data Science course

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