Weeks 2 & 3 at SINY

By Ijeoma Nwatu, Technical Marketing Track

The first week is in the bag, which was a milestone in my book. After viewing the schedule for the second week, I knew that my new best friends would be HTML & CSS. 

My classmates and I in the technical marketing track had limited experience with programming in general. Though I have been exposed to HTML, I have never used it in an extensive or meaningful way. I found the pre-work to be helpful in reinforcing my prior knowledge. I also discovered an interest in cascading style sheets, though I have a long way to becoming a CSS ninja. 

I am so grateful for the instructors who came prepared to get into the nitty gritty of closing tags, hypertext and resizing an image. I noticed my understanding expanded when I practiced through my problems but also learned from the mistakes and questions of my classmates. Learn to do is very much a startup philosophy, but I think a combination of self-learning and expert assistance works best for me. 

A few pointers for HTML & CSS newbies:

- Develop a project in mind to actively use your new skills (i.e. build a website)

- Use free programs like Codeacademy or Lynda to practice and access your understanding

- Learn with other students and get additional help from an experienced designer 

I loved that Ashley Granata of Fashism was our speaker at the start of the third week. She has an infectious energy and a great startup story. I really valued her advice of appreciating the small accomplishments throughout your professional career. Change is constant in the startup world, however, reflection should be a fluid process to evaluate what you have done and where you want to go.

One other lesson I gained in the third week was the art of pivoting. Startup Institute is essentially the infrastructure and catalyst to transition into this frenetic entrepreneurial, tech-obsessed world. In order to succeed, you have to be a hard worker and acutely strategic. More importantly, only you can determine your success. Three weeks in and I think my pivot is to proactively focus on the network, skills and attitude that will land me a unique marketing opportunity with a great company.  

Here’s to more weeks of learning to do and pivoting.