Community Spotlight: Caitlin from Thinkful

Switching things up a bit, our April Community Spotlight features Enterprise Coworking Community Manager Diana and our member company Thinkful's Caitlin Plaza taking to Zoom Video amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the state issued stay-at-home order. Today we learn from Caitlin about Thinkful and how they are coping with the current situation and what the future looks like for their company.

Thinkful is an online workforce accelerator and continuing education company offering online courses and mentoring in software engineering, data science, data analytics, product management, UX/UI design, and digital marketing. They offer flexible courses for the workign professional or those who are looking to build new skills!

Thinkful has announced scholarship opportunities for those impaceted by COVID-19. Learn more about this here.

Additionally, Thinkful offers resources to help you work from home durring the crisis:

Making Work from Home Work for You

Find your seat in the virtual classroom: learning how to learn remotely



Diana [00:00:00] Hey, guys. Welcome to the Enterprise Coworking Community Spotlight. This month, we're doing things a little bit differently due to COVA 19 and the Colorado Stay at home order. We will be speaking with Caitlin Plaza with Thinkful, a Chegg service over Zoom from our respective homes rather than on-site at Enterprise. Hey, Caitlin, tell us a little bit about Thinkful and what you guys do.

Caitlin [00:00:23] Thanks for having me, Diana. So I work for Thinkful, which is a Chegg service. We were acquired by Chegg in October of 2019. And so we are an online career accelerator focused on building the world's next workforce with skills-based and outcomes-based learning. We do this through one-on-one mentorship, industry experts, career coaching, and online platform, and it's all like a structured, flexible schedule as well. And so the different programs that we offer are software engineering, data science, data analytics, product management, UX/UI design and now digital marketing as well. And so for me, I've been at Thinkful for a year and a half now. I started out as a community manager and now am one of our synchronous programs operations manager, which is just a fancy way of saying that I work to make sure the operations are running smoothly for our synchronous programs, the ones that are more like a 9 to 5 program that's in front of your computer.

Diana [00:01:30] That's awesome. How did Thankful come to find Enterprise Coworking?

Caitlin [00:01:35] Yeah. So we had been running some free beginner level learning to code workshops in Denver starting in 2018. And in the fall of 2019--? No, the fall of twenty eighteen actually is when we were looking for a new space because we needed a bigger space, you know, better parking, you know, event venues. And so we came across enterprise and started out hosting some of our events there. And then from there we had, you know, a handful of staff members here in Denver that we're looking for a coworking space, too. So we got a floater memberships there because it was perfect spot for us and the right flexibility. And then we continued to grow the amount of staff that we had here in Denver and went once we were acquired by Chegg, too. They wanted to get us more like an office space here, too. So we moved into the twelve person suite.

Diana [00:02:36] And later this year when we're all back in the coworking space. You guys can enjoy your awesome garage door. I know it's going to be great. I can't wait for that. How has your team been affected by the Covid-19 virus?

Caitlin [00:02:54] Yeah. So luckily, like I mean, to say I'm lucky is an understatement in this. Thinkful has been a remote company for years at this point and all of our programs are online, too. So with the support that we've gotten from Thinkful and Chegg, you know, I'm I'm in pretty good shape. We're in pretty good shape. You know, where is still and we're our main focus is supporting our current students and recent grads, you know, and ensuring that they feel safe and supported from us as well as, you know, helping them on the job hunt, too. One of the most exciting things for us is we just announced 1.5 Million dollars of scholarships for people who've been impacted by Covid-19. And so that's to help people get back on their feet and into maybe a different career for them as well. And so we're doing it. The way it breaks down is, if you're doing one of our flexible programs, it's essentially the first 30 days are free for that program. And if you're doing one of our emerging programs or giving four thousand dollars off, and that's for really anybody who has been found unemployed from covid-19 or has experienced any impact due to that, too.

Diana [00:04:16] Wow, that's incredible. You guys are an awesome organization. My fiancé has worked with Chegg before as a customer, he got his books from you guys and he loves you guys. So. Thanks for that support. Of course. What are you personally doing to weather the storm?

Caitlin [00:04:35] So not a whole lot has changed for me. I still get to work everyday when having that structure is super helpful. But you know, I have just been trying to stay active both in exercising and, you know, practicing positive mental health to who in this and ensuring that like I am reaching out to people, too. I've done a lot of Zoom Video hangouts with friends, in the last week, too, to help do that. But besides that, it's been pretty normal, you know, hanging out with my fluffy cats and trying to socialize with people as much as possible. While social distancing and staying at home too.

Diana [00:05:17] Yeah, we're are all coming up with some pretty creative ideas. So its cool. What are some exciting projects that you're working on right now and what are you excited about most for the future of Thinkful

Caitlin [00:05:29] Yeah. So for us at Thinkful and Chegg like this is probably the most exciting time because we're all online learning and support and that's what we've been about. And with everyone moving online because of the impacts of Covid-19, like we are really set up for success in helping our current students and prospective students to achieving their goals. And so it's more important now than ever for us to be successful. And for the work that I'm doing to improve our synchronous programs, too, is only going to become more important, especially with our new announcement of helping those that have been affected. And so ensuring that we're really able to offer that flexibility and support and continue learning.

Diana [00:06:17] Awesome. What's the first thing you're gonna do when the stay at home order is lifted?

Caitlin [00:06:24] Oooh! Go to my favorite breweries and coffee shops and restaurants and see people hanging out with my friends and family here. That's going to be so exciting. Oh, and we had an office warming that we were going to do in March, but we're gonna have to reschedule that, obviously.

Diana [00:06:44] That's something awesome to look forward to.

Caitlin [00:06:47] Exactly. Yeah, we'll be able to do something fun as soon as we all get back.

Diana [00:06:51] Great! Well, how did members get in touch with you guys and how did they find Thinkful?

Caitlin [00:06:57] Absolutely. So members can, whenever we come back, you can swing by our suite whenever that is on the first floor. But when it comes to getting in touch with Thinkful, our Web site is the best place. and going there to figure out what programs we offer. We also offer a ton of free webinars, beginner level webinars, too. So it's a great place to get started in a career in tech.

Diana [00:07:25] Awesome, thank you. Well, we can not wait for the enterprise community to come back together again. Thank you so much, Caitlin. It was really great to connect with you today. And I really just can't wait to see you and your awesome team back at the office again.

Caitlin [00:07:39] And we're really excited to get back when we can.

Diana [00:07:42] Awesome. Thanks, guys.