Ashton Sullivan

Software Engineer

We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.

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.