Holder of a Doctorate in Pharmacy in Mexico, Mónica had to change career plans in France

Published on 23 October 2019

Reading time 5 minutes

Mónica Vargas Sanchez is originally from Mexico, she had a Doctorate in Pharmacy when she arrived in France. Her diploma could not be recognised, so Monica had to study for a new career. She now works for the job of her dreams and here’s her story!

My career path?

I was born in Mexico and I am a pharmacist. I obtained the equivalent of a Doctorate in Pharmacy but it has not been recognised in France. At that time, I got a scholarship to go to any part of the world. I hesitated a lot between England, Germany and France but as I wanted to learn French, I chose France to do a master's and doctorate in chemistry. I arrived in Paris in 2003. For 4 years, I had a strong and intense experience. I never thought I would be about to have another intense experience when I reconverted as a web and mobile developer 15 years later.

What motivated my career change is….

Later, I became a mother of two children and various reasons led me to consider a career change. While I hadn't thought about programming at all, the unlikely happened! Long before that, I became a Meetups fan and it is mainly because of this activity that I got to know about programming and since then I have been hanging in there.

Pôle Emploi was unable to support me in this process, but I was supported by my small family. So we made a loan to pay for the training at the Wild Code School. A loan that we are still paying back.

Why work in the digital industry?

I found out about programming during a meeting held by the digital pre-school. I wasn't sure if programming was right for me. Thus, from the end of 2017 to May 2018, I attended various meetings to better project myself in this new profession and to better understand the various ecosystems. I enjoyed it a lot because I saw that programming was meant for me. Among the many tasks I appreciate in this new job, it is the fact that it is always necessary to stay up to date. That is why today, in addition to reading, I am part of many Meetup groups that allow me to constantly improve my skills, maintain my network and meet new people.

I am part of the JavaScript class from September 2018 to January 2019 of the Lyon campus. I visited many schools before choosing the Wild Code School. You could say I had a crush for the Wild Code School. What attracted me the most was its reverse teaching method, which allowed me to keep my autonomy acquired in the past. I like to search and I like to find solutions and the more I struggle the better I memorise information. For me, it was the ideal place to learn. Then I was attracted by the fact that we were going to work as a team on various projects and on a real project for a customer, which meant for me: adrenaline! Finally, from our first meeting, I was very well received by the campus manager of the Wild Code School in Lyon. She supported me even though I was not officially registered. We cannot neglect this point when you are in the process of a career change where you need all the support you can get.

And after the Wild Code School, what did I do? 

I did an internship after the training. After obtaining the level III certificate, I wanted to do my apprenticeship with the Wild Code School in Lyon. Following my interview with the recruitment managers at Apside, I thought I had found a host company to do my internship. However, when I met the director of Apside Lyon, he offered me the job of my dreams. He saw in me assets other than programming: the fact that I love Meetups and that I can easily meet others has earned me the job of my dreams :) . Today, I am working on two projects that I like very much. The first concerns the setting up of a lab in the company. It will be a project incubator that will help many junior developers improve their skills before they go on a mission. I think this is great, because the transition from training to a first job is not always easy. In my case, I did not have the right equipment to develop my personal projects during and after my internship. I am really pleased to be part of the team in charge of this project. My other project at Apside is to be part of this lab, to develop my own JavaScript skills. So I look forward to the lab being set up!

My Dream Job?

That's exactly the question I was asked when I first arrived at Apside! I answered frankly and I don't regret it because I got the job of my dreams. A position where I can put my transversal skills into practice. My dream is first of all to master various programming languages and then to pass on my knowledge. I love innovation and one day I want to make a contribution.

If I could talk to my pre-training self, I would tell her:

I would say to myself to live this wonderful adventure to the fullest, to take the time necessary to find "my method" to learn better, to try to explain to someone else what I am learning to master these new skills fully, and not to forget to have a physical activity that is essential for improved concentration and success. Above all, the most important thing is to find the right balance between my family and the classes.

The final word:

You have to be bold and take risks! I had a permanent contract proposal after my internship but I realised that it wasn't for me, so I left. Yes, I was afraid of it, but I had to. I took risks! Today, I do not regret it. I have found the job of my dreams and I hope that this great adventure will continue.

See Mónica’s LinkedIn profile