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This past month, I sat down with Christy Larsen, Director of Employer Relations at Prime Digital Academy, and asked her a series of questions to dig into the inner workings at Prime. Prime Digital Academy is an immersion program for career changers looking to transition into user experience (UX) design and software engineering.

This blog will highlight the instrumental work of Prime Digital Academy and the positive impact their organization has on our community.

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What is your role at Prime?

My role focuses on two primary areas: employer relationships and professional development with students and alumni. Working with, learning from, and contributing to our employer network is especially fun!

I enjoy getting to know what employers look for when hiring talent and matching them with Prime (pun intended) candidates. We have over 500 employers that have hired our graduates!

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What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The work I do with students and alumni is the most rewarding. If you ever wonder what intrinsic motivation looks like, talk to a Prime student or alumni! The time (70+ hours per week!), effort, and hard work our students put in on the technical side is inspiring. It is equally incredible to watch our students grow holistically.

What I am most inspired by is the low-cost tuition and scholarships in place at Prime.  These help to reduce barriers so more people can do something as daunting as a career change.

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Can you list some scholarships offered by Prime?

There is a $1500 scholarship for individuals that have been laid off as a result of COVID-19. There is also a $500 scholarship for people of color. Additionally, there is $1000 for anyone identifying as Black or African American.

We also partner with the Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to offer scholarships through MSP TechHire, which works to close the skills gaps in technology and create a path for diverse workers to access training.

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How can we help support Prime?

Prime students do pro bono work to gain experience and we are always looking for eligible clients. Please let us know if you have contacts in nonprofits, social ventures, entrepreneurs, or startups that might be interested!

Our students have done over 250,000 hours of pro bono work for organizations in our community! The second way is simply supporting our students as they transition into rewarding tech careers.

We offer many opportunities for folks to get involved, whether it is through our mentorship programguest speaking, guest critiques (UX), panel events, mock interviews, or career days. You would be helping our students and alumni, but also sharing the great work your company is doing!

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Learn More

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