Meet Zhanna Kussainova, polyglot, and Solutions Manager extraordinaire. Zhanna is a graduate of the joint program between Lynn University and Wyncode Academy. She attended Wyncode as a part of her MBA program at Lynn, a partnership which you can read more about here.
We talked with Zhanna about her experience at Wyncode as an MBA candidate— read about it below!
The following is a transcript of a phone interview conducted with Zhanna Kussainova. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity.
As a Lynn MBA student, what motivated you to join Wyncode?
When I was 18 and going to college, I wanted to apply to something in tech. In my country, Kazakhstan, we don’t have good IT so I didn’t get a chance to do this then. For grad school, Wyncode was a great option for me because I could pursue my MBA but also be in tech.
How did you find out about the program?
I went to the admissions office in Lynn and asked about MBA programs I could apply to. I was given some documents to look over and I found Wyncode! I was so excited and I applied right away.
How was your experience during the program?
My journey was so tough but amazing. When I started, I thought I was prepared, but then I realized I wasn’t. It was really tough because I had no experience with the coding languages they teach. Scheduling was also tough because Lynn and Wyncode class schedules don’t align.
But besides that, I was so excited because I was the only international student. Andy, the instructor, was so nice, open-hearted, helpful, and answered all my questions. My journey in Wyncode was so great. I had never found a place where I could just come and learn everything from 0 to 100%, that I could come out and say I’m ready to build a website. It’s also amazing that they support you 24 hours a day. It was a big change from Lynn, which runs like a traditional university, to have such support. Access to the space 24 hours, snacks, coffee, etc.
What are your favorite memories of your time at Wyncode?
It has to be my final project. I still remember our teams’ spirit and great attitude. It felt like real team-building. I remember how challenging it was! When we presented, I so appreciated that we did it in the big conference hall with so many people. It felt so important, like a little baby that you spent 10 days building and present to the world. After the conference, someone even contacted me to ask if I wanted to continue to work on the project.
What were your biggest obstacles and how did you overcome them?
I had difficulties because during the program I had a family member in the ICU, so I missed like a week and my midterm. The support was amazing, though, the instructor and the TAs stayed during a weekend with me and got me back up to speed.
Why would you recommend other Lynn MBA students to attend Wyncode? Any tips or tricks to make it work?
First thing is that it’s only ten weeks. If you compare it to other South Florida schools, the process would take much longer, like six nine months. At Wyncode, ten weeks and you’re done.
The second thing is that I don’t think it’s expensive for the value. It’s so worth it. You have your portfolio ready to show to employers! You’re ready to apply for jobs after graduation.
My tips are to be on time. Never be late for class. Do your homework. Listen carefully. If you have any doubt or any question, even if it’s little, ask it. Ask everything.
Tell us about what you do now? Did the skills you learned at Wyncode help you land this role? Do you use any of your skills now?
In my previous position I was a technical project manager. My job was to manage a team with 20 programmers. When you understand what they are talking about, you know how to manage them better. They can’t tell me something will take a week to do if I know for sure they can finish it in two days.
I’m currently a senior solution manager at a company where I do Quality Assurance. We have manual and automated testing for websites and apps in Silicon Valley.
I get asked a lot of technical questions, so I use my training a lot. I can answer everything they ask me because I am able to understand their issues.
What I learned at Wyncode helps me understand the process, the client and the team better.
You are working in San Francisco, the center of all things tech. How did you get your role?
My current company found me on my LinkedIn page. They called me and sent me a job offer because of my tech background and the three languages I speak: Russian, English and Chinese.
What’s your advice for others looking to follow in your footsteps, whether Lynn MBA students or not?
Trust the process, use the resources at Wyncode, and do not waste your time after graduation.
Bottom line is apply! Wyncode is the most amazing choice I’ve made in my life. I have the confidence that I can do anything - make a website, fix any problem, helping wherever the problem is around the work. I can help my kids understand programming from childhood. Follow your dream, don’t waste your time, don’t be lazy, and never stop learning.
You can connect with Zhanna here.