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Four Pieces of Advice to Incoming Bright Paths Students

Hear advice from five Bright Paths Program graduates, now Perficient colleagues.

Our Bright Paths Program is designed to advance STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented constituencies and communities while closing the gap in the technology industry. The program is currently accepting applications for the next two cohorts in Detroit and Minneapolis, with qualified program graduates receiving job offers from Perficient to kickstart their career in tech.

This is the second blog of a three-part series giving an inside perspective of our Bright Paths Program, told directly from recent Bright Paths graduates. Previously, the series looked at why three Bright Paths graduates applied to the program. This week, we will hear from five graduates, who are now Perficient colleagues, to understand what advice they would offer to incoming Bright Paths students.

Fully Embrace the Process

Adam Ray

The Bright Paths Program is a 16-week bootcamp where students learn the necessary skills to become entry-level software engineers – for free. Throughout the program, students learn and grow their skillsets to start a new journey in life. Recognizing the weight these 16-weeks hold, Bright Paths graduates have offered beneficial advice to incoming students to keep in mind throughout their experience.

A common theme throughout the advice focuses on the learning process itself. Attending a custom coding bootcamp is exciting, but requires “a firm dedication to learning, knowing it could be difficult, and really embracing the struggle,” said Adam Ray, Lafayette, La., Bright Paths graduate and associate technical consultant at Perficient. “Setting a consistent time management strategy is paramount to optimize your work-life balance during the program.”

Understand Mistakes Happen

Steven Epstein

When learning a new set of skills, it’s important to understand the power of failing fast and succeeding faster because of it. “Test often. Mistakes are part of the job, it happens,” said Steven Epstein, Detroit Bright Paths graduate and Perficient associate technical consultant. “The sooner mistakes are detected, the easier they are to fix.”

Many Bright Paths students are new to the field of software engineering and development, which can be intimidating and uncomfortable at times. However, challenging situations are also opportunities for growth. Pushing yourself to lean into what seems uncomfortable enhances the overall process and end results.


Be Patient with Yourself

Karam Nasser

One common piece of advice from program graduates is to understand that the entire process is a marathon and not a sprint. As one Bright Paths graduate and Perficient associate technical consultant put it, “Remember to be patient with yourself throughout the learning process.” To add to this, Detroit Bright Paths graduate and Perficient associate technical consultant, Karam Nassar recommended “Working as hard as possible and controlling your thoughts. It’s important to trust yourself and the Bright Paths process.”

Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Going into the program, students are met with a wealth of material waiting to be learned and new, unfamiliar career opportunities that lie ahead. That realization can be daunting and could lead to self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Bright Path students must realize they are in the program because of their own ambition and drive to grow. The knowledge students gain from the successes and challenges along the way is what allows them to make the most of their experience.

Daravy DeRouen

When going through the process, “Recognize the smallest progress, because at the end, it all adds to be one big finale,” said Daravy DeRouen, Lafayette Bright Paths graduate and Perficient associate technical consultant. “I went from knowing nothing, to gaining a wealth of knowledge by the end of the bootcamp. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s challenging, but you will make it!”

These graduates elaborate on the effort it took for them to complete the 16-week bootcamp, but many explain it’s important to trust the process and yourself. Going through Bright Paths and fully embracing everything that comes with it shows the value placed on investing in your own future.


Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career change, turning a hobby into a career, or looking to enhance your technical skillsets, Perficient’s Bright Paths Program could be the perfect opportunity for you. If you or someone you know aspires for a career in tech, we’re currently accepting applications for our upcoming Bright Paths Program in Detroit and Minneapolis. The application window closes May 10, and classes begin June 20.

Stay tuned for the final blog of this three-part series to see what possibilities lie within the program by learning about the custom applications students developed prior to graduation.

At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.

Visit our Careers page to see career opportunities and more!

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Hannah Elzey

Hannah is the Communications Associate Marketing Coordinator based out of St. Louis, Missouri, focusing primarily on strategizing and composing internal corporate communications. She enjoys learning more about Adobe Creative Suite, following hockey, and spending time with friends and family in her free time.

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