Why we started the Thrive Program at Masai School

It doesn’t require any extra financial commitment, nor any adjustments in the payments towards the Income-Share Agreement (ISA).

But when the world entered into lockdowns in March 2020, Masai School had its third cohort just graduated. The students were trying to find job placements at a time when the jobs market was not entirely in the favour of fresh graduates. There were mass layoffs, job offers being put on hold or even revoked in some cases.

Throughout the duration of a typical Full Stack Development course, the curriculum is entirely organised and structured. But soon after the course, these students are exposed to an entirely unstructured environment, and definitely an uncertain one at that. 

Barring the successful placements, there would still be some students who needed the extra support and mentorship. While there are always those who could figure out the next steps on their own, some of the students would need a little push in terms of emotional support and confidence. 

Their confidence is shaken, they start doubting their own capabilities, and in some cases family pressure mounts and students are ready to compromise and take the first opportunity that comes through the door. With numerous tech companies already interviewing them, the mindset tends to be a little fragile and vulnerable. Upon rejection at any of these interviews, it is only natural that the students lose focus and confidence. 

This was when the senior team members had gotten together to point out that they should proactively try and avoid such scenarios where the students find themselves unemployable despite all the efforts.

Shweta Khanna, Masai School’s AVP for Strategic Partnerships says that a key part of getting them to their break-through opportunity is to listen to them, to boost their confidence, and make them feel that someone believes in them.

“We always tell the students, as long as you keep the efforts up, we will keep sharing your profiles and keep supporting you. We won’t give up – as long as you don’t give up!”

This was how the Thrive Program at Masai School found its shape in August 2020.

What is Thrive?

The concept of Thrive found its inception in Masai School while the team was working with students in job placements. The curriculum team would finish the coursework that includes overall technical training and hand the students over to the Placements team. Essentially, this is where the students are deemed job-ready.

To define it, Thrive is a structured program to help students fill the gaps within their journey and help them surpass even the last leg. When it is identified that the students are not able to find jobs after graduation, Masai School inducts them back into the course and introduces a structure to their learning process.

The CTO Nrupul involves himself and trains these students on a higher level of technical knowledge in Frontend and Backend development, Data Structures and Algorithms. Furthermore, the Placements team would help students hone their skills in behavioral and attitudinal aspects. This is followed by continuously setting up placement opportunities, monitoring their progress and establishing a closer feedback loop mechanism.

The Thrive Program is all the more relevant when it comes to layoffs, especially in a COVID-induced world. When people are laid off, it is only natural that they are not as sharp as they could be, while applying for job interviews again. The program structure is carefully designed to ensure that the students are developed holistically, with their confidence levels fully boosted.

How does Thrive work?

Ashok Kumar Jammu had joined Masai School in January 2020 to take the Full-Stack Web Development course. He graduated in August 2020, and started applying to various tech companies to find a job. He applied for as many as 200 job interviews but only in vain. The reason being, Ashok had his own share of problems with his confidence levels.

Another Masai graduate Mamta Nayak, who struggled for 2.5 years to find a tech job after having completed her MCA, joined Masai School the same time as Ashok did. Upon graduation, she faced many challenges while finding a tech job and faced many rejections at interviews.

But Ashok and Mamta did not give up. They continued their learning process and got inducted back into the program, to start revising various concepts in Data Structures and Algorithms, MERN Stack and solved all kinds of problems in the subjects.

“We have already been taught everything during the course, but the execution during the interview, which was from our own end, wasn’t really going in the right direction. We used to have weekly sets of DSA questions and mock interviews. The mentors used to explain everything from the basics, to each student and that too from low level to subsequently higher level,” said Mamta.

Within 2 weeks of being inducted back into Masai, Mamta cracked a job with K12 Techno Services and is currently employed with the company as a software developer. Ashok on the other hand, who had been rejected at more than 200 companies, had three job offers in hand by January 2021.

Senior Vice President Ankur Kayesth, who works closely with students at Masai School, says that there were also instances where some students would reach out to the Masai team for extra help even after they graduated.

They would take up extra technical projects to add to their portfolio and with guided mentorship and support, they would get job offers within a matter of weeks.”

Noticing this pattern, and with an objective to ensure maximum placement percentages, Masai School has introduced Thrive, to help students surpass the final stages of getting a job in a tech company. 

Ankur adds that the past performance and accountability in technical projects is looked at, how they were executed, and then the Masai team would fix the loopholes in them.

“It is one way of letting our students know that we will continue to invest in them holistically, as long as they are willing to stay with us and are committed to finding a tech job in the process.”

The fundamental belief was to enable a life-long connection with our students because of which they have the leverage and opportunity to come back to Masai School at any given point in their careers. Whether it is to find their first jobs or career-related tips and advice or guidance to grow further in their careers or technical expertise, they always have our support and mentorship. 

For the same reason, the Thrive Program has no financial commitment whether it is with or without our Income-Share Agreement (ISA).

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