Professional Advisors

Professional Advisors Overview

Professional advisors are tech industry veterans who believe in inclusive, empowered education and actively advance the Holberton mission. Their contributions to the community are as diverse as the individuals themselves, and we’re appreciative of all the varying ways they enrich the Holberton experience.

Curriculum Development

Our Advisors are at the core of curriculum development. Before any curriculum is created, Professional Advisors are interviewed to determine the industry trends and needs for a particular topic. From there, they help to create a high-level outline, guiding what foundational information is absolutely necessary for students and what languages/tools are crucial to the industry. Once the curriculum is developed, they regularly review projects to ensure that they are up to date and relevant to industry needs. Without our Professional Advisors, the Holberton curriculum would not be nearly as effective as it is.

Student Interactions

In addition to curriculum development, many Professional Advisors come to Holberton School to directly interact with students. Some of the activities that our Professional Advisors participate in include fireside chats about career advice, presentations on up and coming technologies, resume reviews, leading extracurricular projects, and mentoring portfolio projects.

Check out our website for a list of our Professional Advisors.

Networking

At Holberton School, we strive to help you succeed with both hard and soft skills. When it comes to networking, knowing how to navigate best practices is important. While Holberton School has access to industry professionals, it is important to remember that these folks are working full-time jobs. In order to cultivate genuine relationships with potential career mentors, we stress that Holberton students must follow The Framework before reaching out to these professionals.

Example of The Framework + Professional Advisors

Let's say you are writing an AI blog post, but don’t know the specific topic you want to write about; this is what using The Framework would look like . . .

  1. Google AI and read some posts
  2. Find a topic specific to AI that really piques your interest
  3. Google that topic and read up on lots of articles
  4. Try ideating a structure of your blog post that you would find interesting
  5. See if anyone in your cohort has experience with AI and ask them for feedback on your skeleton
  6. If they can’t help you, go to previous cohorts
  7. If previous cohorts can’t help you, go to TA's
  8. If TA's can’t help you, go to Alexa Orrico (SF Cohort 3, Head of Machine Learning Curriculum)
  9. If Alexa can’t help you or you have more domain-specific questions that she won’t be able to help you out on, flesh out your general concerns into specific and actionable questions (that you also tried Googling another time, but couldn’t find a satisfactory answer to)
  10. Ask staff for a professional advisor recommendation or do your own research about the professional advisors we have in our own network who you think would be qualified to answer your questions.
  11. Ask them for answers/advice to your specific and actionable questions

In the wise Tweet of Erik Torenberg

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Professional Advisors FAQ

"How can I create opportunities for myself?"

First off, be aware of what you want. This applies to any step of the journey. Maybe, you want to get better at technical writing, or perhaps your long term plan is to work in cybersecurity. Whatever the case may be; if you are aware of what you want you will have ideas as to what you need.

Once you’re aware of what you need, follow The Framework, and don’t be shy in asking for help!

Others can only help as effectively as you define what you need.

We want to see what you have to share, build, and create, but only you can take the first steps to actualize that.

"How do I gain access to professional advisors?"

Please, follow The Framework. 

"How do I build a network?"

Be yourself. It may sound cliche, but if you are busy living your best life and pursuing your dreams with integrity you will draw advocates. If you are excited about Machine Learning, for example, then follow that with every moment and any spare chance you get; along the way, you will encounter those that have the information you will need to know.

"How do I create my narrative?"

Again, know what you want. If you know what your end goal is, then you can begin to craft an authentic social media presence, self-introduction, and networking purpose that effectively shares your goals with others in an optimum way.

If you don’t know what you want, don’t worry about a narrative just yet. Instead, focus on learning about this big world of technology, and when you’ve found the job/product/technology/industry that lights you up you’ll know what to aim for. Otherwise, you’ll be asking for investment from others in roles that you may realize you no longer want to pursue.