Careers in Code Student Success Stories: La’Tonia Mertica

La’Tonia Mertica

Background

La’Tonia Mertica revealed that her background involves an impressive amount of paper pushing and people work. Still, it is the art of communication that she has always tried to excel at. So much so that a few years ago she started a small business offering B2B communication services — exceptional communication services through graphic design, photography, videography, consultation, and storytelling for internal and external use. Her communication services are often confused with — or worse, oversimplified into marketing or public relations. But essentially they are more about authentic presence and leveraging it for ideal outcomes beyond bottom-line figures.

Careers in Code

What interested her in Careers in Code was the opportunity to create opportunities rather than just take or seek opportunities. She says that she never really entertained the possibility she could be a software engineer. It became clear to her that with proper support and follow-through, she could actually realize a life for herself that only seemed like a dream not many years ago. Simple things ranging from safe housing to escaping inclusion in the statistic of those one paycheck away from homelessness — these are things she says the Careers in Code bootcamp has helped her materialize. Careers in Code also provided a career coach, a life coach, and a sense of heightened responsibility to herself and her future outcomes.

Post Graduation

After graduating from Careers in Code, La’Tonia Mertica was hired for a job to help build the technology ecosystem in the City of Syracuse — which is trying to achieve Smart City status. She says that it’s ambitious work grounded in an ambitious vision. Ultimately, she plans to re-invigorate her small business for sustainable viability while working as a full-stack javascript code/web developer who specializes in Python and design.

Advice for Students

La’Tonia Mertica says the advice that she would give future Careers in Code students is to show up — early, eager, and prepped for success. Seek help zealously. Waste no one’s time — including your own. Take nothing for granted. Enjoy the journey. Make it yours.

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Hack Upstate

Advancing Upstate New York's tech community through events and education. http://hackupstate.com/ && https://careersincode.org/