“I wanted to be open with my story. If it encourages other people to change their life, that makes this worth it. I know from my own experiences that you really can change your future, no matter what your past looks like.
I dropped out of high school because of depression. I went to a university I wasn’t happy with and studied something I wasn’t too passionate about.
I became an English teacher but was fired because of my depression, then I got a job as an interpreter but was fired so that the company could cover up sexual harassment.
I was devastated but didn’t want to give up on contributing to society, so I started working in a kitchen at a supermarket.
By that point, part of me had given up on working in a industry that values intellect. I had been depressed when everyone else seemed to have been making an effort in their careers during our early twenties.
After regaining my health, I eventually became a Pastry Chef and came to London under the Youth Mobility Scheme visa. Coming to London had been my big dream for seven years (after I visited when I was 20).
I enjoyed making cakes but always wanted to go back to an intellectual career. I met my partner who is a Computer Scientist, then met a friend who had recently gone to Makers and got a job through it.
I decided to study programming on my own while I was working full time for a year. Going to Makers was a big decision — which turned out to be one of the best I’ve made in my life.
I never wanted to give up on my own chance at happiness. You always hear the phrase “never give up” but it’s really true. Never give up on yourself or life… you always have the power to create a better life for yourself.
Now I’m working for an amazing company called Holition who hired several Makers from our cohort. They generously decided to sponsor my visa which I’m truly grateful for.
I love my quiet time in the mornings. It feels so special and I cherish it a lot. I feed my cat (priority) and then message my mum back in Japan. I write in my diary (I’ve kept it every day for over a decade!), coffee, breakfast, and then meditate if I’ve got time.
Cycle into the office — super stressful in rush hour London! Yet I love cycling so much; it’s a nice little exercise and I like the fact that it isn’t affected by tube delays or strikes.
I cycle into Holition — an interesting company like no other. It’s an AR company and also feels academic. I’ve spent my whole time learning over the past five months. I’m the only Junior in R&D. I was super keen on AI and Machine Learning and the CTO decided to mentor me, which I’ve been so grateful for.
I’m learning a lot of C++, Computer Vision, Image processing and Machine Learning. I had to study maths such as Linear Algebra including vectors which has been great fun.
When I arrive, I often begin with another coffee, catching up with colleagues, and start working on whatever project I’m working on. There’s a Powwow every Monday with the entire office, and development team standup on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Lunch time! I usually bring a homemade lunch but I get tasty food from the market nearby once a week as a little treat. When it’s warm we go to the nearby park to eat together like a picnic. There’s even a slack channel for lunch so that everyone can eat together!
The company offers us food on Fridays which is really nice. It’s called “L(a)unch Pad” where people share their ideas or whatever (according to one colleague, the company offers food so that they can shut chatty people up, which I’m not sure is true).
I start to get excited about finishing up, get my work done to a good state and wrap things up. I often ask questions to colleagues or my mentor about the thing I’m working on. Everyone is always happy to help me and enjoys explaining stuff. We don’t pair but I often have help at hand.
Holition is a collection of wonderful people. Everyone is so kind and friendly; everyone cares about each other and we celebrate everyone’s birthday with cakes! It feels like we’re all family — like how it was at Makers.
I cycle back home while trying not to be hit by cars or to run over anyone. I cook dinner and the next day’s lunch and eat with my partner. I go for a walk to the nearby park, do some yoga/exercise, have a nice shower and rewind. I often find it helpful to just be on my own after spending all day in the office. A nice cuddle and a good film can be good too!
My favourite Friday routine is going to one of the museum lates and then pub dinner, or going to the pub with colleagues. Living in London as a Software Engineer is such a blessing. You earn enough money to get the most out of what London has to offer!
I’m still on training and every day is a struggle or a massive joy — sometimes both. Holition hired me and allowed me to do work for them because they could tell that I have the ability and passion to learn, which Makers enabled me to prove in various ways.
Currently my work has nothing to do with web development but Makers taught me how to learn and how to persevere. I can’t wait to gain more skills and knowledge so that I can contribute as much as possible to the company.
My future plans include doing a postgraduate course in Machine Learning. I don’t know if I will actually do it but Makers gave me the opportunity to even dream about it.
If you want to change your life, you can. You are the person responsible for making the change. Like many others, I know from my experiences that Makers is there to help you do just that.