Dream Job in Tech Even During COVID-19 At Apple (From Finance) - Michelle's Testimonial | Life Into Tech by Bessy Tam

Dream Job in Tech Even During COVID-19 At Apple (From Finance) – Michelle’s Testimonial

Published on 29 May 2020 by Bessy Tam | Filed in Testimonials

Have you ever had such a vague title that you never knew what role is the right fit in tech or even where to start?

Today, we have a case study from Michelle who landed a job in Apple as a part operations manager from her Goldman Sachs position.

Initially it was really, really hard for her to even identify the right role, the right company that she could actually get into because it's super overwhelming within the tech world with the various companies, roles, industries, and sizes available.

Michelle and I worked together to identify the right role for her, a Product Operations role based on her background, interest, goals, and needs

Because we were able to identify the right role, she was immediately able to get 4 different interviews from different companies and was able to land your dream job at Apple

This is super exciting because she was able to:

  1. land a dream job within a company that she loved
  2. be able to move back to her family within California
  3. take a break before she needed to start

And this is all during COVID-19; when everyone else is having trouble getting a job within the market, she was able to land her dream job. 

So without further ado, I'll let Michelle tell her own story. 

In Michelle's Own Words:

Hi guys. My name is Michelle!
I spent about 10 years in traditional finance working for finance firms and recently landed a job at Apple as a Product Operations Lead even during COVID-19

"When I was ready to pivot my career and think about leaving the finance industry, I really didn't know what to do"

When I was ready to kind of pivot my career and think about leaving the finance industry, I really didn't know what to do. 

I knew I wanted to get into tech. My family's from Silicon Valley. I knew I wanted to be back in Silicon Valley. But I didn't really know how to get myself into tech knowing that tech is so different from the finance world. 

I felt a little lost and even though there were so many resources online, so many interview tricks or resume tips and LinkedIn and all those things, it was incredibly overwhelming for me. 

Having been in my finance world for the last 10 years and really just knowing everything about finance, I felt that I only knew how to get a finance job. I only knew how to cater my resume and talk about in interviews in a finance role

"I felt completely unknown when it came to a tech related role that I wanted to get into. I didn't really know how my finance experience job titles translated to the tech world"

But I felt completely unknown when it came to a tech related role that I wanted to get into. I didn't really know how my finance experience job titles translated to the tech world. 

This means:

  • Ensuring that I'm compensated fairly 

  • finding a role that really fits and suits me 

  • understanding what those expectations were of that job description. 

So, I didn't really know where to start with everything that was thrown at me and all the different ways that I could have approached this. 

Thankfully from there I actually stumbled upon Bessy through one of the Facebook chat groups

"There are career coaches out there… they didn't focus on transitioning into tech. They focus maybe like elevating me in finance or getting me a promotion or a new role within the same industry."

I had no idea that there were online coaches out there that do this, especially in helping people get into tech related roles.

You know, I found through LinkedIn that there were some people who will help you write resumes that are career coaches, people who help you level up. But I felt that they didn't mesh as well with me.

Even when I spoke to a couple of those through the LinkedIn referrals, particularly because they didn't focus on transitioning into tech. They focus maybe like elevating me in finance or getting me a promotion or a new role within the same industry.

So that's why when I stumbled upon Bessy, I was like, “Oh, okay, this is like her niche!” I didn't know this world existed. Maybe I wasn't aware or people like Bessy never crossed my path.

"We talked about my goals, you know, my family goals as well. Personal goals, not just career goals."

I first had my intro call with Bessy to learn a little bit more about the program. I remember vividly sitting in my studio apartment in New York hopping on the call.

I believe within the first 15 minutes or first hour and I was like “Oh, I felt like I was chatting with a friend that just really understood me and I can like tell things very candidly too.”

And she understood exactly where I was coming from. I spent 10 years in finance. I wanted to focus on a different area of my life. You know, we talked about my goals, you know, my family goals as well. Personal goals, not just career goals. 

We also focused a lot on my path and why I enjoyed doing in my current role and kind of the entire timeline of my career since college and even in college. 

I thought that was a really unique approach and I really enjoyed that cause it really does pull out what I genuinely wanted versus what I think I want on paper and what society expects of me on paper. 

So I had a really good feeling out of the first call with Bessy in just really understanding her approach. 

It's not just on the surface level, “how do we get you this job that you think you want”, but really let's go at it and find a job that really fits what you want in life and your long term goals. 

"Initially I was like 'Oh, I don't even know if I should do this... People usually say, you can do it yourself'"

So after my first chat with Bessy and I remember talking to my friend, I was like, “Oh, I don't even know if I should go or do this.”.

He’s one of my best friends and his advice to me was like, “if you can afford a coach, get a coach. Why put yourself through more time and energy if you can just have somebody that has an expertise to help you? We work hard enough to be able to have these services for ourselves.”

So I decided to kind of go with it and take a leap of faith

"I worked with her on the resume help and role-fit piece because I had no idea what role to look for or what size of company to go for."

I worked with her on the resume help and role-fit piece because I had no idea what role to look for or what size of company to go for.

In tech there's the startups, there's a medium size, there's also the large giant tech companies. And so understanding the culture with every single one of them and their demands and each type of culture was really important to me.

Bessy really listened and tried to understand:

  1. what I wanted at this stage in my life
  2. the level of effort I wanted to put in based on where I am in my career
  3. how personal goals put into play as well. 

"Bessy came to me… recommending a role called Product Operations. I had no idea that this job title was out there"

I think Bessy came to me, after understanding my background and what I enjoyed doing, recommending a role called Product Operations

I didn't really know had any idea what it was; it’s not my title at my current job. 

I had no idea that this job title was out there. And even when I started browsing through LinkedIn or a couple of job descriptions. 

As I was reading through it, I was like, Oh, this is exactly what I do at my current finance job! It was an exact fit of the sets that I have, what I enjoyed doing, and what I saw myself doing long-term in tech. So it was a great fit

"I found that once I had that direction, I knew where I wanted to go"

I found that once I had that direction, I knew where I wanted to go

And then from there, Bessy recommended that I reach out to people, do the informal chats to learn more about the cultures of the different companies and the roles itself within the companies.

Bessy helped me target specific companies and size of companies that I should reach out to. And initially it was Airbnb and Stripe.

I was able to informally connect with several individuals at Airbnb and Stripe in the roles and department that I wanted to be in, not knowing how many people would actually talk to a stranger through LinkedIn.

But those were actually really fruitful conversations.

I had really great conversations with the people that did respond to me and wanted to chat. A lot of them actually had similar transitions in the past that when I was doing so a lot of that context that I got from those informal chat were really great cause it really solidified my idea of what I wanted to be doing in these types of companies

Through the informal chats, I got to learn a lot about:

  1. the company cultures themselves
  2. the size of the companies
  3. the demands of that role
  4. And how this tech world that I want to go into in this role isn't as scary or as unknown as I thought it'd be. It's essentially similar skillsets that I can transfer from my existing role in finance 

"I was able to land an internal referral at Stripe and got onsite [interviews] at Stripe to go through the full interview process."

These informal chats were helpful even when I went through interviews.

I was able to land an internal referral at Stripe and got onsite [interviews] at Stripe to go through the full interview process.

This was great cause it definitely helped me understand what those informal chats actually did for the entire job search process and how there was less pressure in the informal chats so that I felt more comfortable at the onsite interviews.

"Through that process I've been through a number of interviews, with Stripe, with Robinhood (the fintech company), with Trulio... And finally even during the COVID times I landed an interview with Apple. I started working with Bessy probably 4 months ago before I got my final offer and signed the final for with Apple. "

Through that process I've been through a number of interviews, with Stripe, with Robinhood (the fintech company), with Trulio, and finally even during the COVID times I landed an interview with Apple.

I went through the interviews in my living room during COVID and actually accepted an offer for Apple in the Product Operations Lead role. I started working with Bessy probably 4 months ago before I got my final offer and signed the final for with Apple.

I genuinely think like Apple, and this role as Product Operations Lead and this product is 100%, like stars aligned!

I'm also in a company that I can see myself longterm, which was one of my initial goals with Bessy. This is somewhere I can see my future here for a number of years, which is what I wanted.

This is because Apple is a large company but I also have the support of that younger tech startup field [because of the product/department I’m in].

I really thank Bessy for this and I'm very excited and very thankful to have this. It’s truly the best results of this entire process

I definitely say I was not a hundred percent sure if I even needed a career coach or anybody to help me in the beginning. Of course there's so many free resources online. 

People are gonna say, “Oh, you can do it yourself. Just put in more work.” But there's just too much information out there and too many different viewpoints.

People are gonna say, “Oh, you can do it yourself. Just put in more work.”

But there's just too much information out there and too many different viewpoints.

I think having that coach and having that guidance by your side to make you feel a little bit more secure about the decisions you're making is really great. I felt that having Bessy by my side with like a coach the whole time, you know, if something happened, I was like, “Hey Bessy, what should I do here? Can I ask this?”

And it was great having that coach on the sidelines kind of just bounce ideas off of, having that independent party that is an advocate for you and want you to push for yourself.

I think that was a really great resource because it gave me a lot more encouragement and comfort [instead of] feeling like you have to do it by yourself.

So I definitely recommend this for those out there who are looking to explore another industry out there, especially within tech from a traditional background who may need a little bit more guidance if you're looking to have somebody be a coach and an advocate for you.

And also somebody that's like a friend and really casual to connect with. There's no barriers in place. 

The minute I spoke with Bessy on our initial call, I just felt like I was talking to a friend that I've known for years… It was definitely fruitful work … and I would say that my future self would thank me for going through this process.

So the minute I spoke with Bessy on our initial call, I just felt like I was talking to a friend that I've known for years and I think that she genuinely understood what I wanted [because she’s been through what I’ve been through].

Even if there were moments during the resume [revamp] process where I felt like I wanted to pull my hair out because I didn't want to give the content or think that deeply about my path and what I wanted to do, but it was definitely fruitful work.

[This is driven by the] focus and intention in thinking through what you really want to do, how you want to approach it, how you resumes should be written.

I think that was a huge help for me in terms of [even] just making me feel good about my resume that I'm putting out there and sending out to these companies and showing people.

And I don't think that I could have done it as swiftly as I could.

I would say that my future self would thank me for going through this process. 

Feeling Discouraged? Not Knowing What You can Bring to the

Table or What You Can Really Do in Tech as a Non-Tech Person?

Download the Free Resume Revamp Guide To Learn:

  • The 17 Resume Secrets that Get my Clients Interviews Immediately in 2 Weeks
  • How to Fit the Exact Criteria of the Tech Industry
  • How to Show Impact and Results (With Real Client Examples)

About the Author

Bessy Tam is a career coach who helps busy professionals get into their dream non-tech job in tech. She’s helped dozens of clients get interviews and offers from companies such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, Amazon, Babbel, & More. She currently works at Google in Chicago.

>

Get my Free 7-Day Email Course + Example Resume
that got my students their first tech interviews in 2 weeks!