Busy mom and former beautician, Draupada Poudel was ready for a career shift when she enrolled in the part-time, online Tech Sales Bootcamp at Springboard. She was sold on Springboard after her husband graduated from their data science bootcamp and got hired full-time! As someone totally new to tech sales, Draupada gets real about learning a whole new skill set through an online bootcamp. Plus, find out how Springboard’s flexible scheduling helped Draupada balance studying and parenting.
What inspired you to launch a career in tech sales this year?
I worked in the beauty industry in a customer-facing role, where I did very well and was very successful in up-selling products. Then I took a few years of a career break to raise my kids. Now both of my kids are grown up and I am ready to take on a new challenge. I like customer facing roles, enjoy selling and can talk to anyone, and I am good with rejection. My husband is in the tech industry and I am intrigued by how tech is the future of how companies do business.
As I already have some experience in customer-facing roles, I decided to invest in myself and acquire the essential skills needed for tech sales. That’s when I looked into the Springboard Tech Sales Career Track bootcamp!
Why did you choose Springboard’s Tech Sales Career Track bootcamp?
My husband attended Springboard’s Data Science bootcamp and is now working full-time in the tech industry, so Springboard was already on my radar! We started with Springboard and I honestly didn't even bother to look into other programs — I trusted that Springboard was the right choice for me.
What was the application process like to get into the tech sales bootcamp?
There was a task to complete online during the initial application, then I got a follow-up call with Springboard the next day. They asked some basic qualifying questions, like what I wanted to do, if I knew how sales work, etc. It was a quick and smooth process. Once I was in, Springboard gave us the syllabus and rubric before the course started, so we could review it and prepare.
Did you feel like you had to know basic sales skills in order to apply to Springboard?
Springboard required either one year at a client-facing role or a bachelor's degree and I had both.
What was a typical day like in Springboard’s Tech Sales Bootcamp?
The bootcamp schedule depends on every individual and your daily capacity. Springboard advertises it as a part-time bootcamp that should require 15 hours of coursework a week, but I definitely put in more than 15 hours a week.
I worked on the course a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. We had a live class every Thursday, and there were assignments to complete before attending the live class. In the live class, we would review and practice what we learned that week.
How did you juggle the online bootcamp with parenting?
I think the Springboard bootcamp would have been manageable if I was still working full-time, but since I didn't have a full-time job I would pick up hours wherever I could in between taking care of my kids. It was definitely manageable to take the part-time, online bootcamp while being a full-time parent.
What were the main sales tools and skills you learned in the bootcamp?
I had experience in client-facing roles but there was so much about the full sales process that I didn't know until I got into the Springboard! The bootcamp equipped us with the skills necessary for tech sales, like:
When I started the bootcamp, I had very small network connections on my LinkedIn. Within two months of attending Springboard, I grew my network 100 times!
Who were your instructors for the online bootcamp?
Chad Vanags was our instructor for our weekly live class. We did hands-on cold-calling in our class, which was really helpful. Springboard’s TA Arnie helped me a lot with course work in the beginning of the bootcamp.
I did not have theoretical knowledge about sales when I started this program and I was skeptical if I would even get through it! When I read the curriculum, I felt overwhelmed because none of it made sense to me at the time. But there was so much help throughout the whole course — Springboard made it so easy for us to reach out to people through email, Slack, and personal groups. In the live class, we could ask questions and practice.
Since this was an online bootcamp, were you able to connect with other tech sales bootcamp students?
Yes, I did! We had a chance to meet each other in the live class, and we started talking to each other and helping each other out if we were stuck on something. I actually ended up making a couple of good friends through this bootcamp! While we’re still in job search mode, we still chat and keep up with each other’s progress and send each other jobs.
Since you just graduated from the bootcamp, how is Springboard supporting you in your tech sales job search?
Springboard assigned us a Career Coach to meet with while we were in the bootcamp. She helped us build our LinkedIn profile, resume, and compile what we needed to start looking for a job.
Post-graduation, I get to talk to my Career Coach Jan Toor every two weeks. We talk about my job search strategy, what's working for me, what's not working for me, what would be the best approach. If I have an interview and I'm stuck with some questions, I can shoot her a text and she'll tell me how to handle those questions and how to prepare myself for the interview.
Which tech roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating?
For now, I'm entry-level, so I'm mainly focused on Sales Development Representative and Business Development Representative roles.
What kinds of companies are you hoping to work for?
I would really like to work in a mid-size company if I could choose, but since I'm trying to reenter the workforce, it's important to get into something now rather than to pick the exact company I want.
Do you anticipate using any skills from your previous career as a beautician in this new career in tech sales?
Yes! My previous experience as a beautician trained me enough to communicate with new customers, and handle their expectations, and even rejections. This made me an easy conversationalist, which is a great asset in my sales career. Also, I did a lot of cross-selling and upselling in my previous job, which is very valuable in tech sales.
At this point, has enrolling at Springboard been worth it for you?
Absolutely! I wouldn’t have known anything about Tech Sales without this bootcamp. It has been so worth it for me.
What is your advice for making the most out of the Springboard experience?
Do both the required and the non-required course material because they do expect you to do it all. Some people in my cohort didn't do the assignments that weren't graded, but I did do them and it helped by giving me more practice. This course is all about practice — you have to talk to people and be fluent in what you're doing. Practice, be present, try not to miss the classes, and do your best!
Find out more and read Springboard reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Springboard. The Springboard Tech Sales Career Track is enrolling students now!
Jess Feldman is the Content Manager at Course Report. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education — She loves learning and sharing insights about tech bootcamps and career changes with the Course Report community. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire and lives in southern Maine.
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