My 5 years-window after College
1st experience : Learn code at Le Wagon
Why is Le Wagon the first experience of my 5 year window after college?
Last August, I finished my master’s degree in Corporate Finance and Management as an apprentice in an international bank at the Innovative department. I closed 5 years of my life at 2 different business schools, 1 startup project, 6 months in China, along with various trips within the USA and Europe.
I thought, business school was the best route to realise my future in business. I WAS TOTALLY WRONG. In fact, lately I realized that business schools weren’t perfectly shaped for me, my projects, my future and my desires. In a business school, you learn how to get a job and become a good employee. Unfortunately, I am not a perfect employee, as « Booba » said : « I don’t accept uniforms and authority ».
Also, I understood how big companies and consulting firms worked, which are not perfectly how I imagined my worklife. In these types of ventures, employees show you the prestige and the fact that the sacrifices of their time and their health for this company (which don’t trust you enough to give you a little equity) allow them to earn 10K$ / month in 10 years. HOORAY! This is the best deal ever (Just kidding)! I thought long and hard about this corporate ideology and realised that I am 24 years old, I have time to do great things… But I can’t waste it. I don’t want to live for my boss or my salary. That’s why, I want to do something that I love, I want to work for something I trust and I want that recognition. I need creativity and risk around me when I work. I fuck the sameness.
To conclude this part, I couldn’t be a member of this acute mania for meetings and vague decisions. I had the awkward feeling that I was wasting my time because everybody speaks a lot without any actions. Gary Vaynerchuk said recently that new college graduates are the luckiest people ever, because you have this 5 years window and it is exactly the moment to do what you love, travel, try hard things and take a lot of risks.
In fact, I started this period 4 months ago and I say it loud and clear : This is the best period of my life and I love what I do.
What did I do during the last 4 months ?
1- Le Wagon : The school of resourcefulness.
I started my 5 year window by studying code. I enrolled at Le Wagon Aix-Marseille, the 2nd best bootcamp in the world to learn code :
It was ambitious and really interesting to start this 5 years period by doing something totally different, new, and really useful for me. It was 9 weeks of passion, pleasure, wouah effects, disappointments, a total brainfuck (Thanks Nicolas Filzi :)). I have thought a lot about studying at Le Wagon. When I was free from school and my apprenticeship, I decided to do it because I just needed something new, something interesting that I could easily use if I want to create my own business. As I said previously, at school, you learn « how to get a job » but you do not learn « business » and what exactly business is.
I learned more about business during my bootcamp than while attending business school simply because at Le Wagon, you will learn useful and practical tools to conduct business. You won’t study the « Facebook » or « Airbnb» case, you will learn how to create an Airbnb platform with a team. What you learn is tangible and concrete.
The Bootcamp at « Le Wagon Aix-Marseille » was my favorite moment of 2016. I learned all the basics that you have to learn if you want to start a business of your own. That’s the best thing ever.
2- Outside my comfort zone : « I dreamt about my terminal and my code »
The first three weeks were really hard. I was a bit lost, because your time is spent learning new concepts every day. You also spend a lot of time learning to solve complex programming issues. At Le Wagon, you are always short of time as every day a new concept is introduced: The Ruby language, how to use GitHub, the Terminal, databases, debugging, etc. After a few weeks I was drained, both physically and mentally.
During these first three weeks, I dreamt about my terminal, my code and my failures. Sleep was stressful, but now it is funny. As it turns out I wasn’t the only one to have these kind of dreams.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
During these 9 weeks, I had a lot of failures. Every goddamn day I failed. But during this period I learned “The art of the resourcefulness” and you realize that “resourcefulness” is the most important thing in life. I learned to use various tools useful in writing code but also tools useful in life. The more competent you are and the more ideas you have the more you can create a business and generate cash easily.
Having an idea while having the tools and knowledge to give rise to it, is powerful.
Le Wagon “brings technical skills to creative people”: it is a coding bootcamp for entrepreneurs where you can learn web development in 9 weeks. During this period in Marseille, I have cumulated multiple experiences. First of all I start something totally new in my life and I am proud of myself for completing the program even though it was very difficult.
At the end of the 9-week program, I was able to:
· Clone Airbnb.
· Create and pitch a product MVP in front of the community.
· Learn startup approaches and product management techniques.
· Have conversations with experienced developers or engineers, understand their mindset and work with them.
“Code is the new alphabet.”
Am I a programming master? Of course not, however, I am now fully proficient in Ruby and know how to shape a website with the latest trends in front-end development. I am comfortable with Rails, the framework behind huge successful startups like SoundCloud, Airbnb and GitHub. Last but not least, I experienced coding as a team with Git & GitHub.
Second of all, I have discovered Marseille which is a really nice city, and from September to November, it is the perfect time to live there. It is not too hot and you can appreciate eating your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on your balcony. Life in Marseille is so different than in Paris, you can chill and proximity to the sea and mountains are wonderful.
4-The team :
The team at Le Wagon Aix-Marseille is fabulous. We all pull together and people learn from each other. I only spent 9 weeks with these guys, but it was so intense, we spent our entire week together trying to fix programming issues. We learned together. We also had fun moments.
Our dinners and happy hours were passed with talk about life, projects, businesses, and plans… We were surrounded with good vibes all the time and the staff always paid for some beers! ☺ Thanks Louis and Mathieu.
Studying at Le Wagon has been awesome. I highly recommend any creative person to apply for classes there. They’re always looking for talented people. Really don’t hesitate! It’s a really great place to learn.
Finally, I want to say a big thank you to Louis, Mathieu, Damien, Marc, Franck, 2 X Thibault, 2 X Arnaud, Edouard, Kilian, William, Nico, Gaby and everyone else on The Wagon team for your friendship, support and help during these 9 amazing weeks together.
Some pictures of these amazing 9 weeks:
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Twitter: Arnaud Renoux