“Que buena vida” is a saying that Anabelle Capois Espinal holds close to her heart. Translating to “What a good life,” the quote is what her father likes to say sarcastically when he calls Anabelle after she has just woken up from a midday nap. However, the saying has come to take on a great meaning for Anabelle. She has it written down on her white board as a reminder that no matter what is going on in life, there is always something good in every situation, no matter how difficult it is to find it at the moment.
As a member of the TTS family and participant in our Data Science training, we see Anabelle embody “Que buena vida” through everything she does. Let’s get to know a little bit about her:
What were you doing before TTS?
Before joining the TTS bootcamp I was a recent MBA graduate. Close to a year into my graduate program I was seeking opportunities to gain new data analytics skills and improve on the ones I already possessed from previous schooling. By some fate of the universe I received a message from TTS via my school Handshake profile telling me about the Graduate Accelerator Program scholarship. Unfortunately I was not able to grab a spot in the first cohort after graduation, but once the applications opened again I reapplied and the rest is history!
What have you learned about yourself over the past year?
The most important thing that I have learned about myself is that I know myself best. When it comes to being in a place of transition, it can be hard for others to understand why you are doing what you are doing, especially when there is an easier path. Loved ones will come from a place of concern for our well being with their advice, and others may be coming from a place of fear because they would not do the same if they had the choice. Listening to others’ advice is an important part of the journey, but it’s up to me to decide. I think of it as running a race. My loved ones, schooling, past work experience, have helped coach me to win based on their own experiences, but only I know what’s going on with my body and mind come race day. In that moment I am the only one making the decisions that will get me to the “finish line”.
What does the world need more of?
The world needs more representation in tech! Tech is shaping our world, and it needs to be shaped like all of us. Different gender identities, skin colors, cultures, languages, religious beliefs, etc. We also need more places where people can be comfortable sharing the difficulties they are facing in life, be it personal or professional; being open about not having everything in life figured out should be less of a taboo. We need better and more affordable access to resources where we can learn new skills to help be better equipped to face challenges and grow. Too many people remain feeling stuck because they do not know where to turn.
How has what you learned at TTS impacted your life?
The main reason I wanted to go through a data science bootcamp, besides learning new skills, was to improve my confidence. As an immigrant and afro-latina woman, there are many things that make you believe you are not good enough to be where you are. I know that I have the skills and have put in the work to get to where I want to be. However, there is always that insecure voice inside that always manages to sneak up when it really matters. Going through the bootcamp was no easy feat, but I put in my best effort and made it to the end, working on challenging projects and learning complex topics. That is something to feel very confident about.
Name a woman (or women), past or present, whom you admire or look up to.
The women that I most admire have been the women in my family. I have seen them put so much heart and work into everything that they do without getting all the admiration and respect they deserve. I can thank particularly my mother for always showing me from a young age that women can do anything. From raising three children, to doing DIY construction projects around the home, to being a business owner of over 10 years, she set a great example. She was not raised in an environment that provided her the tools and resources to get to where she is today, but despite struggles and barriers, she has shown that there’s always a way to get things done.
Any advice for others looking to explore this path?
It is not about knowing everything, it is about getting started. The bootcamp will help give you a strong foundation to succeed in your chosen career path. Do not be afraid of not knowing, that is what this time is for. To connect with other people who are also trying to figure it out. It will be challenging, but effort is the most important thing to bring with you to class each day. In terms of a career in tech, it is not as intimidating as it seems coming from another industry! People are happy to help you if you are willing to put in the work.