MinTech Life: Alexandria Powell, MinTech Recruiter

MinTech Life: Alexandria Powell, MinTech Recruiter

Alexandria Powell is our newest recruiter for MinTech Agency, handling our recruiting outreach, interview and relationship building with candidates and our clients. A native of Cleveland, OH who now calls Pennsylvania home with her husband and two beautiful children including one newborn:). Alex has a true heart for helping people and believes in the MinTech vision that following a job path in tech can truly change your life, family and community. Keep reading to learn more about Alex and make sure to connect with her on LinkedIn.

Can you tell us a little about you?

I started at the University of Akron. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations. I moved to Pennsylvania in 2014 to begin my master’s program, so I have a master’s in public administration from Penn State University. During my time at Penn State, I worked as an employment specialist for Goodwill Industries helping to find employment for individuals with barriers. This could mean helping people with criminal histories, disabilities, the elderly or veterans. I worked very closely with businesses in the Pennsylvania area to help employ those individuals. I most recently was a talent coordinator for Terra Lingua USA which is a small exchange program for high school students. My job was to find community coordinators and host families for our international exchange students. I also spent time as the career services director for the Ohio Media School working to help students interested in the media field find employment. 

I’ve had a special experience working with people who have those barriers, so I came to HR to try to make a difference.

You attended university for Communications and PR. What led you into recruiting and HR?

My goal while I was working toward my bachelors was to work in a nonprofit. I really have a passion for helping people better their lives in any way I can. Throughout my work as an employment specialist and helping those individuals find work within their communities, I figured out that I wanted to be on the other side. I have this perspective that a lot of people in HR or talent acquisition don’t necessarily have or see. I’ve had a special experience working with people who have those barriers, so I came to HR to try to make a difference.      

That is cool that your expertise in PR has aligned with your purpose of helping people through tech recruiting and connection.       

Yes! I find joy in meeting new people and hearing their stories. I think throughout all of the roles I’ve had, the theme has been consistent with me meeting new people, learning their stories and analyzing those stories to help get them into the right spaces. 

So, how did you learn about MinTech?

I originally heard about MinTech when I was looking for a new role in the recruiting field. I was looking for something more fast-paced and really wanted something that presented me with a  larger challenge. Karen reached out to me via UpWork. When I actually started to look more into MinTech, Karen’s mission of helping underrepresented individuals really spoke to me. Although it’s tech, it still serves that same purpose of helping others, and I’ve worked with that mission in my other roles. I’ve always been the kind of person who has taken a passion for helping Black and brown people. I actually have a certificate in Pan-African studies (they didn’t have a minor program in this field at my university). It’s always been a mission of mine to work in diversity in some form whether it was helping people with barriers at Goodwill or helping MinTech serve people of color. That is one thing that draws me to Karen is her passion for helping people of color. Her mission speaks to me. If I can be of service in any way, I will definitely jump at the opportunity. Funny story, I’d actually just started a new role at a different company when Karen reached out to me and realized that MinTech was where I needed to be. 

What does a day in the life look like for you as a recruiter at MinTech?

I work very closely with Karen. Every morning, Karen and I will sit and talk about our strategy for the day. Including, how we will find individuals to fill the roles that we currently have available.  Whether that means posting on social media or contacting individuals through LinkedIn or reaching out to individuals we’ve met in the past to re-engage. Also, talking with our clients to make sure we’re keeping them up to date and informed of our search efforts. 

One thing I’ve learned, even from my own job search, is that you are your best advocate.

What advice would you give to someone looking to work with a recruiter? 

One thing I’ve learned, even from my own job search, is that you are your best advocate. You know your skills and what assets you bring to a company. As a recruiter, we come across lots of resumes, so the best thing you can do is continue to be your biggest advocate. If you see a role on MinTech, reach out to me or Karen and let us know why you’d be a good fit for the role.  Also, just staying in touch and keeping your information up to date so that we can see your progress. Maybe you didn’t have a skill last year, but your update tells us that you’ve spent the past year developing that skill and that will stand out.    

To learn about the roles Alex is currently recruiting for, visit the MinTech Job Page.

MinTech Life: Walter Quarles, IT File Ops Manager

MinTech Life: Walter Quarles, IT File Ops Manager

Walter Quarles is an IT Files Ops Manager whose journey into tech was a family thing. A native of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and army kid, his road to tech was a natural fit that he has enjoyed over the last several years. Check out our interview with Walter as he shares her #MinTechLife.

Tell us how you got into tech? 

I got into tech through my father. He was an Information Technology Specialist in the army. That is pretty much how I got into tech. If it wasn’t for him, I am not sure technology would have been on my mind as a future career. I obtained my degree in Information Technology and Mobile App Development. 

“If it wasn’t for him (my Dad), I am not sure technology would have been on my mind as a future career.” 

Why did you trust MinTech to help you obtain your current tech role?

I was working for another company out of Dubuque, IA and my cousin, who is also with MinTech, gave me the alley-oop. He shared there was an opportunity with a firm that helped black and brown people get into tech. I decided, why not just throw my hat in the ring for this opportunity. And, the rest was history. 

What does a typical day look like, if we can really say typical at this point?

My day normally consists of a stand-up meeting with my team, what’s on everyone’s agenda and my own. From post-deployment meetings to gathering data for company reports. Centauri is a very data-driven healthcare company, so my responsibility includes a lot of management of key reports that are directed to upper management and core departments.

Plus, it has been great for me being able to currently work from home due to COVID-19. I enjoy getting to be with the family during the day. Working from home has allowed me to feel like I can get more done. 

What would be that one piece of advice for people seeking to break into the tech space?

Don’t get discouraged. I remember first telling my family that I was looking to go to school for tech. My parents of course were supported but my brothers were thinking it would be a little too hard and complicated. Then, I remember taking my first SQL course and it was such a natural thing for me to learn. I really had a knack for it, yet if I would have listened to some people in my family I could have been discouraged not to even move forward with pursuing my dreams.

Interested in breaking into the tech space? Take our quiz to see which Top 2020 Tech Job fits you.

MinTech Life: Paris Cornett, Jr. Developer

MinTech Life: Paris Cornett, Jr. Developer

Paris Cornett is a healthcare professional turned Jr. Developer at Centauri. She is a current MinTech employee that landed her first tech role within 6 months of her completing a sought after bootcamp. Her journey to tech is one of betting on yourself and believing you can do it, so she did. Check out our interview with Paris as she shares her #MinTechLife.

You landed your first tech job in 6 months, that’s kind of a big deal! Can you share how? 

I made the leap last year after working in the healthcare industry. I was using EHR systems in my healthcare role but they were getting on my nerves, lol. The features never made sense and I was always wondering why it had to be like this. So I thought, why not learn how these systems actually worked in order for me to help in changing up some things. During this time, I was also seeing a lot of ads for coding bootcamps so I decided to bet on myself and apply. I decided, if I got in, that would be my sign to push forward and then I was accepted to a bootcamp at Vanderbilt. Fast forward, 6 months later, I was in my first tech job.

Why did you trust MinTech to help you obtain your first tech job?

I actually met Karen (MinTech’s CEO) at the demo day for my bootcamp. As a biracial woman, hearing that her company had a focus on diversity and inclusion, it just made sense for me as I wanted to continue to work in a diverse company culture. “Karen really rode hard for me to get this position and I do not think I could have obtained this role without her and MinTech.” 

“Karen really rode hard for me to get this position and I do not think I could have obtained this role without her and MinTech.” 

What does a typical day look like, if we can really say typical at this point?

First, I login and check all of my emails. Next, I go to our board as my company is super agile. Then, I am able to schedule out my day based on tasks that I am working on. Most of my tasks include debugging and working on existing code prior to sending over to quality. What is really cool, is that my team members are always online and I can message them in order to work through problems and tasks. Collaboration has been really important, especially now that our team is currently working from home.

How has your job in tech impacted your career journey and personal life?

All across the board, I feel so much more empowered. When you work in healthcare and you are not a doctor or nurse, there is not a whole lot of space for growth. I want to be financially independent and grow generational wealth, so having this role has opened me up to obtain that. It is amazing to know that once you have a job in tech for a year, you can truly go anywhere you want to go because there is always a need for tech and support of apps. Even now, during this pandemic tech is still hiring. Taking on this role really allowed me to see that I am even stronger and smarter than I realized. Providing me the confidence needed in the work that I do.

What would be that one piece of advice for people seeking to break into the tech space?

If you are scared and nervous, just do it. Betting on yourself will always pay off, because once you are in it, then you can’t turn back. Start giving yourself that same support that you provide to others, as you take this journey. 

Betting on yourself will always pay off, because once you are in it, then you can’t turn back.

There are also so many resources out there for you to take advantage of. I would highly suggest checking out Brad Traversy. He is a self-taught tech guru that touches on a lot of the popular topics from HTML, CSS to Javascript on his YouTube and brand page. I think I learned more from him than my bootcamp. 

Interested in breaking into the tech space? Take our quiz to see which Top 2020 Tech Job fits you.