Education with Purpose.

Meet Afreen Shareef!

Afreen Shareef

One of our graduates who secured a successful placement after completing the course with Stride

Where are you currently employed?

Dearborn Group

Can you describe your overall experience with the BA course at Stride Academy?

I had a great experience with the BA course at Stride Academy. It met and even exceeded my expectations from when I first began the course. It provided me so much growth as an individual and career wise. It took a ton of hard work and patience but the reward is definitely worth it!

What were the most valuable aspects of the program for you?

I believe the most valuable aspects of this program for me was how it showed me a different perspective and allowed me to tap into different sides of me to exercise new skills that I wasn’t able to do in college. The course is more personal by having an instructor/mentor who picks up on everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and then pushes you where you need it individually to get you where you need to be. The mentorship was super helpful by being able to schedule calls to discuss anything and having that support throughout the whole course and after. Stride truly showed that they cared which was very valuable to me after being in college classes where I felt like I was on my own.

How did the course content and structure meet your expectations?

The course content and structure met my expectations by it being very dynamic. I came into this course without having any knowledge about the industry and being a visual learner. The course content and structure was really nice because you have a variety of ways to learn through lectures, group activities, individual assignments, presentations and workshops. The structure of it being in phases was very helpful because you’re not overwhelmed with all the information at once and you’re taking small steps to understand and develop every skill.

Which skills or knowledge areas from the course have been most beneficial in your new job?

The skills and knowledge areas that have been the most beneficial for me for my new job are definitely the fundamentals and organizational skills. I use my knowledge of the fundamentals of being a business analyst everyday at my job, knowing the methodologies to having good documentation skills. The vocabulary I learned in the course was very beneficial because it’s something that made me prepared for my job, almost all of the terms I learned are used by my team members and it was easy for me to follow along with them. The skills of note taking, asking questions, and communicating was so emphasized in the course that it becomes second nature and during my job those are the main skills needed it everyday so it was a lot easier for me to keep that habit.

Can you provide an example of how you applied something you learned in the course to your job?

An example of something I learned in the course that I applied during my job was the scrum ceremonies. In the course I learned all the different scrum ceremonies and what the purpose of each one of them is. My team at my current job is consistent with every scrum ceremony and I’m able to follow along really easily. However they weren’t as familiar with a retrospective, it was new to some of my team members and I was able to help my scrum master explain the purpose of the meeting and show how as a team we’re going to discuss what went well with the sprint, what didn’t go well, and what we can improve on.

Were the learning materials and resources provided by the academy helpful and relevant?

Yes, you’re provided guides and tracking documents for your progress which was super helpful to look back at.

How well did the BA course prepare you for the job market?

It prepared me very well, during phase 4 you’re doing a ton if interview prep through round tables and mirror questions with your instructor. As well as going over common questions that pop up in interviews and practicing those everyday.

How did completing the BA course influence your job search and hiring process?

Completing the BA course made me much more confident in my job search and hiring process because I knew that I was prepared by everything I learned throughout the course.

What position did you secure after completing the course, and how does it align with your career goals?

I secured a Business Analyst position and it aligns with my career goals by giving me a stepping stone to start on to see where I want to go next!

Would you recommend the BA course at Stride Academy to others? Why?

I would recommend it to others who aren’t sure what path they want to take career wise and those who don’t like going to traditional college! I think it’s a great opportunity that’s very hard to find and will guarantee you a career.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the course, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge I faced during this course was not having a ton of confidence. This course does require a lot of time and hard work if you truly want to be successful and sometimes it gets overwhelming. I didn’t think I could do it once it came time to applying and being in the job market and I was honestly scared. I actually had made my mind to quit the course altogether in phase 4, however after speaking to my instructor, my classmates, and my family they gave me insight and advice that made me go through with it. It was honestly a big mental battle but the reward felt so much more worth it after!

What are you up to now? Where has your professional journey taken you?

I’m currently still working at Dearborn Group! I’m honestly really happy and content with my professional journey so far. I’m constantly learning and growing at my current position and it feels good to be still advancing after getting the job.

How long did it take you to find a job after completing the program with Stride?

About 2 months!

Can you think of any career highlights? What are you proud of accomplishing or how have you made your team/workplace better?

I was able to pick up some projects that the team had forgotten about and turn it around which my manager really appreciated! I started this position as a contract to hire and my manager one month in expressed how she truly loves having me on the team and wants to hire me full time early!

All the best Afreen for your future!

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