Ashton Sullivan

All things considered, college life at The Ohio State University was pretty great. I had any number of classes to choose from, a city-sized campus to explore, and fellow students from all walks of life to befriend. The university served as an opportunity to satisfy my ever-present curiosity for anything and everything I could think of, most especially in the hands-on exploration of my cultural interests (via a baguette-filled semester in France).

Yet no matter how many fascinating classes I took or interesting people I met, I felt that college was lacking the intensive pace and challenges that I craved - simply put, I was bored. I knew that I needed to change directions if I was to achieve the goals I set for myself.

Growing up, I had furiously avoided any idea of pursuing a career in the tech field. This was purely driven by my constant battle against the world of mathematics, and my confidence in the assumption that I had to be a mathmetician or hard-core engineer if I wanted to be in tech. However, in my quest for a change of direction, my stubborn belief in such an assumption was shaken by a program looking to prove me wrong.

Tech Elevator is advertised as a 14-week intensive software development bootcamp geared towards individuals with atypical backgrounds who want to make major career changes. They don’t ask for applicants to be mathematicians or to confess to a life-long love of all things technology; they only ask for a strong sense of curiosity, determination in your own success, and a willingness to face the ups and downs of a challenge.

Brene Brown once said, "We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time." Faced with my need for a change in direction, I chose courage. I chose to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I made the choice to drop-out of college, throw myself headfirst into 14 weeks of life-changing madness, and trust that I would come out okay on the other side. And I chose right.

While in the Tech Elevator program, I not only found a place to develop both my technical and professional skills, but I also found a place full of people who pushed me to challenge myself, and supported me when I stumbled. I found the confidence in myself to be courageous, to be okay with failing hard and failing often, but only if I learned from each failure. Because of Tech Elevator, I found a community of people just as passionate and curious as I am, people who never want to stop learning and growing - a community of people found right at the heart of Drive Capital.