If there is anything you should know about us at Nexton, it is that we’re passionate about helping professionals find their place in the tech industry. Whether a senior developer is looking to land that dream job or aiding tech professionals in their career path, we strive to provide knowledge and encouragement to those who may want to enter the IT world. And that's why Nexton Academy was created.
For today's article, we sat down with Camila Triñanes, our Training Program Coordinator, to discuss what we’ve achieved during the first Academy edition.
Why the Academy Came to Be
Camila first addressed what Nexton Academy is and how this program got started. We’re a company that looks to empower people interested in a career in IT. Although there are many programs out there, such as coding bootcamps and the like, we wanted to create a free program where those who may not have the technical skills but are interested in an IT career can see what it's like to work in a tech environment and learn all the necessary skills to develop their career in the industry.
"Our program is designed to give young people the tools, skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the tech industry." - Camila says - "We want to attract an enthusiastic, proactive audience with an entrepreneurial mindset to explore technologies that are not only in the present but also the future."
Young professionals can often overlook training programs to explore what job opportunities are available. It’s a way to test out if the field of work they are considering is right for them or as a means to learn what tools, skills, and education are needed to be successful in said industry.
Not to mention the networking opportunities it can bring for the participants. The Academy was created to aid in internal growth by recruiting those who show exceptional talent and passion during the program to receive a full-time paid internship.
"Nexton Academy is all about making our mission bigger. We want as a company to impact as many people as possible, and Nexton Academy was a great way to do that! We are creating opportunities for others while also adding value to Nexton."
What's great about the Nexton Academy is that it was free and open to anyone in the LATAM region who had two years of experience in any industry.
"No prior coding knowledge was needed. What mattered most was commitment, a great attitude, and the desire to work as a team."
For us, our goal is to open the door for those interested in making a career in the tech industry. It's an industry that anyone with determination and passion for problem-solving can be a part of and be successful in with a little bit of encouragement, guidance, and support.
Because at Nexton we work with leading US tech companies and startups, it was important that the participants were fluent in English. We have a multicultural team that values inclusiveness and diversity even in language.
As the focus was on LATAM and many companies operating in English, the participants had to have a strong command of both Spanish and English.
With the Academy open to such a large geographical area, we were curious to know how many people signed up for the program and the process of selecting participants.
"We received more applications than we expected. We actually had to scale the program in every stage, and we adapted it quickly. 108 applications were received from all over LATAM. 60 participants were selected to participate in the first training session."
Each candidate who wanted to participate in the Academy had to apply through the Nexton website. They had to provide information about themselves, goals, and aspirations, along with a short video explaining how they overcame a particular challenge. Those selected continued to the first training session.
When building a training program, it's important to understand the reason you are creating it and what you would like to achieve in the end. So, we asked Camila about the subjects that were covered and why they were chosen.
"The main topics were Digital Transformation, the IT Industry, essential tools for work, soft skills, and tech & non-tech roles. We also had content on all the topics available in the Nexton Academy virtual campus".
"We chose these topics as we felt they would give our participants what they needed to thrive within the industry. However, there is always room to talk about more!"
These topics were covered during Zoom meetings once a week, along with the available content on the virtual campus. The meetings were split into Training 1 and 2, which included guest speakers from various teams at Nexton.
"After Training 1, we selected 30 outstanding participants to continue to Training 2. In the final steps of Nexton Academy, we let participants choose what area they would like to join".
"We then sent them a specific challenge that the hiring managers from all the areas designed. Finally, all the hiring managers interviewed every candidate to make a final decision about who would join us as an intern".
The Future of Nexton Academy
Camila goes on to say that the process of selecting the interns was no easy feat. The selections were a collective decision, and the candidates each had to display skill, enthusiasm, and desire to be a team worker.
Though there were few intern spots available, those not selected still came away with valuable insight and knowledge to help them in their professional transition.
In the end, Nexton chose 12 participants for full-time paid internships. The first edition of Nexton Academy turned out to be a success, and Camila and the rest of us at Nexton hope to host more in the future! For those who are interested, you can head to our website to find the application form and check out social media for updates on future Academy editions!