TJ Kinion leads the employment prep and search process for LearningFuze students and graduates. He is a key component in preparing students once the program is complete. Technical skills are needed to be competitive, but soft skills are equally, and for many companies, even more important. For this reason, LearningFuze brought on TJ to lead the employment search process.
TJ acquired the knowledge and skills needed to effectively run a job search after spending 4 years working for one of the largest IT staffing companies in the U.S. He began his career in Nashville where he developed and improved on the operations for the company before moving to Toronto to open its first international branch. Beyond staffing, his responsibilities include interviewing developers, talking with hiring managers and understanding the needs of companies in the tech industry. After 4 years in tech recruitment, he caught the “coding bug” and learned to code himself before returning to California and joining the LearningFuze team.
TJ’s day-to-day focus revolves around preparing students to compete for jobs once they graduate. This includes teaching students how to build a compelling resume, establishing a strong online presence and learning to execute effective job searches. In addition, students spend time practicing interview skills with mock interviews throughout the program.
TJ also provides assistance and feedback to ensure students have a polished portfolio. Needs of students vary based on background, education and work experience, so individualized approach is paramount to helping graduates land their dream job. From building relationships with potential hires, to developing partnerships, it takes some serious commitment from all parties involved. That commitment revolves around a couple of key concepts:
1. Networking, Networking and more networking. Students are strongly encouraged to interact with the different employer speakers that come to the facility to address the students as well as participate in different events both at LearningFuze and in the greater tech community. However, students are often amazed at how their own network connects them to different opportunities. Friends, family and acquaintances often have surprising opportunities.
2. In addition to preparing well for mock interviews, students are encouraged to practice on their own, with friends or fellow cohorts. Just as with the technical skills, practice is key.
3. The job search process is exponentially smoother and faster when graduates have a polished portfolio
4. LearningFuze operates as QA for graduates by reviewing code, application functionality and presentation of different applications. We want our graduates to put their best foot forward.
Choosing a program that is committed to students not only during the program, but after the program is a critical component of ultimate success, which for the majority of students is employment at the job of their dreams. What could be better than doing what you are passionate about at a great company?!