Q&A: What Does it Take to Succeed at Lambda School?
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Lambda School’s 9-month full-time courses and 18-month part-time courses are designed to teach you the technical and interpersonal skills you’ll need to be successful as a web developer or data scientist. Our team of expert instructors, career coaches, job search trainers, and mentors are committed to helping you complete the course and land a job, but your success at Lambda School is also dependent on the amount of time and effort you commit to learning. So what’s the secret to success at Lambda and how much time will the course really take?

Today, we’ll be sharing a Q&A with Jessica Pense, Director of Student Success at Lambda School, along with insider tips for excelling in our online coding programs. 

Q: How much time should a student expect to commit to Lambda School? 

Jessica: “It really depends on the student. There are objectives and concepts that will be easier than others for a student to master, and this will ebb and flow throughout the program. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to be flexible and self aware. If there is a concept or skill that you need to dedicate more time to understand, study more outside of class, seek out help, and teach it to someone else to help solidify the concept in your mind.”

Q: How much time should a student spend studying outside of class?

Jessica: “This again comes back to ownership over your journey. Students should be continuously asking themself if they understand the concepts they learn in class, and if they feel like they need more practice, put in more time. Understand when it’s time to ask for help and when it’s time to take a break and come back later – taking a brain break can actually help your learning. Take a walk, play a game, read, exercise, or talk with a friend, and then give it another try.”

Q: We often tell Lambda School students that we expect them to be “team players.” What does that mean to you?

Jessica: “Understand that Lambda School is a community and we’re all working together to succeed. You and your classmates are working toward a common goal: breaking into the tech industry, leveling up your career or pivoting into a new career, and getting hired. This is the time to practice the professional habits you’ll need in the workplace. If you’re a chronically late person, that won’t change when you’re hired. Learn to break those habits now. Treat this as a professional environment: show up on time consistently, ask for help when you need it, give help often, meet deadlines, document your processes, and be a considerate team member.”

Q: If a student finds that they need to repeat a unit (often called “flexing”) or they need special accommodations, what's the best way for them to find help?

Jessica: “We have an amazing staff in place to help students, from our instructors all the way to our career and professional development, student leadership, student support, and student success teams. And of course, our Student Support staff is always available for students to ask questions or request assistance. Students can also reach out directly to any staff member without worrying if it is the right person – we will make sure students get to the right place in a timely manner.”

Q: What qualities do the most successful students have in common?

Jessica: “The most successful Lambda students are resilient. They understand that everyone experiences imposter syndrome, even the most successful professionals in the world experience it. Successful students take ownership for their own learning, and have the grit and determination to put in the work it takes to achieve their goals. They have a positive attitude and are eager to learn and help others.”

For more tips on how to be successful at Lambda School, Jessica recommends reading the Lambda School Student Guide.

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