Jahara Clark is a Web Services Engineering Intern for MetaRouter while attending Turing full-time. We talked to her about her experience at MetaRouter—and what made her leave a decade-long tenure in the finance industry to pursue computer programming.
What’s your role at MetaRouter?
My biggest “job” is learning while I attend Turing full time. This is a small company and a dream scenario in terms of listening to peers. The culture is “doors wide open” which means I can ask customer relations how things work and talk to engineers who are meeting with clients. I can schedule time with the CEO. There’s nothing I can’t ask.
Why did you decide to switch careers and work for MetaRouter?
I’m a military spouse with a ten-year career in finance. My role was traveling and delivering death benefits in tiny towns across the U.S., including Alaska. My husband is deployed 4-6 times a year, but they aren’t predictable missions and sometimes happen on short notice. I needed a position that allowed me to contribute and be part of a stable team while also handling life at home with our infant twins.
There was no way our current lifestyle was sustainable. I needed far more flexibility.
If you know me, you know I like knowledge. I’m the person who goes to a museum and reads every single placard. I like logic and order. So I decided to look for a flexible, well-paying career that would align with my strengths. Even though I knew nothing about development, I took Turing’s introductory 10-hour course and was immediately hooked.
When I enrolled in Turing, I got a diversity scholarship sponsored by MetaRouter. They hired me as an intern once I completed enough of the program to contribute.
What is your favorite part about working at MetaRouter?
By far, the learning. Curiosity is a core value and the culture is to be inquisitive, which fits perfectly with what I love. Our VP of Engineering spearheads initiatives like Innovation Week, where we think creatively and focus on “out of the box” projects. I think at a larger company, the learning would be less diverse and I’d be siloed into one or two areas. Here, I’m getting a well-rounded experience.
What’s surprised you most about the team?
That everyone’s great! In the workplace, you bring so many different people together with separate ideologies and expectations. I’ve noticed that at MetaRouter, when there’s a clear disagreement, there’s no hostility or hard feelings afterwards. People work through conflict well. The health of the team culture is also highly valued. Leadership has been intentional to bring on good-fits, who collaborate well with others.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m an avid country line dancer. Almost nothing makes me happier! That and Bingo. It’s quiet—nobody’s on their phone. It’s the final frontier. Many games donate 50% of the proceeds to great organizations, too. I used to go every Friday night.
If you could tell yourself one thing two years ago, what would it be?
I’d say, “It’s worth it to change your habits.”
Me two years ago wouldn’t have gotten up at 3:30am to pair with a colleague at 4am. Me two years ago didn’t put this much emphasis on having a financial plan for myself and my family. I wasn’t making plans today with results 20 years down the road in mind.
I changed because I started reading about people like Jeff Besos, Steve Jobs, and Kevin Hart. I asked myself what successful people do with their time. Turns out, they get up early. They have a plan, a routine. I had none. Changing my habits was hard at first. But it’s been worth it.