My name is Matthieu, I grew up in France and at the age of 18 years old, I decided to pack my bag and travel the world. After graduating from a culinary school in the management part, I worked at several restaurants in France and Australia. I later had the opportunity to work at Epcot Center in Florida at the french pavilion as a server. This year and a half experience made me grow so much in terms of opening up to new cultures as I was living and working with people from all over the world. I fell in love with the United States and saved up as much money as possible in order to buy a Harley Davidson and ride across country for 3 month. I especially liked California, so when I went back to France, I looked for opportunity to work there. I found an internship as an Assistant Restaurant Manager for Trader Vic’s, well known for creating the Mai Tai cocktail. While I was working there, I met my wife who later followed me to Doha (Qatar) since Trader Vic’s gave me the opportunity to work there. After a few months, we decided that what was best for us was to move back to the United States and start our life there. What we didn’t know is that I was not allowed in the United States and my wife had to wait for me while I was in France. It was a long journey with the immigration process and after 16 months of living apart, I finally received my green card and was able to meet my wife in California. This long distance relationship made our couple even stronger and eager to make it up for the time that we wasted…
Once I got here, I found an opportunity to work as a Restaurant Manager in Sausalito, in a touristic area with breathtaking view of San Francisco. My career was all planed and my dream was to one day open a restaurant of my own. Unfortunately, Covid surprised us and things were about to change…
My journey with Flatiron School
In the fall of 2020, when I realized that my restaurant wasn’t to rehire me, I decided to make a career switch move and enrolled with Flatiron School in their software engineering program after exploring and discovering the coding world for a few months with applications like codecademy or Grasshoper. I liked the problem solving part, realized what coding actually was and the things that we used on a daily basis require developers working hard to make it work.
During this 5 month program, I learned coding from scratch by working on labs first, then creating my own projects. I tried to stay close to the restaurant industry by creating apps using Sinatra, Ruby on Rails, React, React-redux where users can either document their favorite restaurants, wineries or wines as detailed in one of my previous blog.
My job search
With the help of my career coach, I built up my resume, my social network, practiced my interviews, how to introduce myself and how to reach out to the community. So far, I’ve added around 8 Linkedin member to my contacts per week with only a few replying to me. I’ve gotten a few good advice and recommendations from software engineers, one of them being to apply directly on companies websites. I also kept working on what I learnt at Flatiron School by building small projects, learning new technologies like Typescript and publishing weekly blogs. In the near future, I am planning to try to apply directly on the company websites to follow the advice I got and also build bigger projects to build up my portfolio.
I am really hopeful to find a job before the end of the summer, considering an apprenticeship to get a first step in this industry.