Tammy Carson combines rare qualities of ambition with a passionate desire to make an impact.
Born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Carson has steadily been rising up the ranks since graduating from the UConn School of Business. The school’s reputable program is renowned for producing exceptional leaders who have gone on to forge successful careers in business and management.
Carson’s first stint straight out of college was Deloitte. Later she spent three years at the certified B Corporation Rescue. Leveraging her consulting skills for social change, she worked on an FDA marketing campaign aimed at eliminating tobacco usage among multicultural teens. “I am very passionate about pouring into the next generation and making sure they think about how their decision making affects them, in this case, healthy lifestyles,” says 31-year-old Carson.
A personal recommendation set things in motion for Carson to stumble upon the Flatiron School Atlanta Campus Director role. Unsurprisingly, she nabbed the job.
She joined last July just in time to settle down before the school opened its doors to its very first cohort of students on October 29th. Since then it has been full-on. Her role includes everything from managing the educational programs, fostering community partnerships, and establishing the brand in a competitive new market.
So far Flatiron School Atlanta has graduated three cohorts. Graduates have landed developer and software engineering roles at reputable local firms such as ParkMobile, Cox Enterprises, and Tin Roof Software.
Now, there’s even more opportunity. Last month Flatiron School Atlanta launched its first in-person 15-week Data Science bootcamp. “We are super excited about launching the data science course. Our goal is to launch and propel the next round of data scientists in Atlanta.”
In fact, Carson sees her role as more than a nine-to-five. “Our mission is for people to change things in their lives through education. We’re creating a community for individuals looking to transform their prospects and transition their careers to the world of tech. We truly believe that Flatiron is the best way to go.”
“I like to be impactful; I like to see the needle moving. During my career, I’ve had one goal and one goal only and that’s to help people.”
Flatiron School Atlanta marks the first physical location in the Southeast and tenth location outside of Manhattan, where the flagship campus is headquartered. Situated in the heart of Midtown at WeWork’s Colony Square, the ATL campus is well-positioned to tap into the thriving tech ecosystem. This is aided by elite universities like Georgia Tech, the growth of co-working startup hubs, and the relatively low cost of living.
The location comes with a host of benefits. Students get to savor the contemporary aesthetic of the WeWork campus. And at the corner of 14th and Peachtree, the site boosts breathtaking views a stone’s throw away the newly developed 10,000-square-foot urban park dubbed The Grove.
“There’s a massive focus on tech here in the city right now and we are grateful to be a part of that trend. We want Flatiron to be synonymous with coding and Atlanta’s tech ecosystem. Our goal is to be at the forefront and a leader in the bootcamp space in Atlanta.”
Acquired by WeWork in 2017, Flatiron School’s mission is to empower people to change things — their careers, lives, and the world. The ultimate goal is to train folks with 21st-century skills such as software engineering, data science, and UX/UI Design. Since launching in 2012, the coding school has graduated thousands of students.
The school has lofty goals. It aims to be a premium coding school that is also accessible to anyone with a passion for code.
Cohorts are both highly selective and intentionally diverse. “Students come from all walks of life. Here in Atlanta, we’ve seen lawyers, bartenders, those from the service industry and people who’ve been laid off.”
Still, prospective candidates must pass a mandatory cultural interview and a technical assessment to evaluate their commitment and aptitude for coding. “It’s almost a benchmark. We want to know you’re serious and can keep up with the pace of our program and are excited by coding.”
“We want Flatiron School to be synonymous with coding and Atlanta’s tech ecosystem. Our goal is to be at the forefront and a leader in the bootcamp space in Atlanta.”
It pays off. Flatiron School’s on-campus and online courses have a proven track record of impressive job placements. Graduating students’ benefit from career coaching, job placement support, and there’s even a money-back guarantee.
The data speaks for itself. Around 97 percent of jobseeking students (according to Flatiron’s latest third-party audited jobs report) accept fulltime offers or successfully launch new careers within 6 months of graduating. Indeed, what differentiates Flatiron from some other coding schools is its dedicated career service team and robust employer network.
“Each of our students upon graduation is given a career coach,” says Carson. “They have continuous conversations and lots of one-on-one time to make sure they are doing everything they need to make themselves job-ready individuals and qualified.”
The school also prides itself on equality of access. This translates to several financing and payment options to give more choice and flexibility. Options range from paying upfront, monthly installments, or the Flatiron School Income Share Agreement (ISA).
Students on ISA pay a deposit when they enroll and only finalize tuition fees once they earn at least $40,000. “Students make an initial $2000 payment upon enrollment and then they don’t pay anything until they leave the program and are actively earning a minimum income. That in itself has provided so many people the opportunity to access our programming.”
Flatiron is deeply committed to diversity in age, demographics, and gender parity in tech. Overall there’s a strong focus on making tech education more accessible for women and underrepresented communities.
“We do everything we can to make our in-person and online courses as accessible as possible. We’re here to breakdown all of those barriers and do away with those notions that tech isn’t for everyone.”
Since its launch, Flatiron School has given out scholarships to underrepresented groups across the country. With the expansion to Atlanta, they partnered with Atlanta-based Opportunity Hub (OHUB) to offer $1 million in scholarships per year for students of color across the country.
So, what’s next for Flatiron School Atlanta. Flatiron is now part of the WeWork family that has embarked on a rapid growth model – so of course, there’s scope for more campuses across Georgia. Still, for Carson, her main focus is being at the helm of a thriving community that equips people with cutting-edge tech skills.
“Anyone who’s not thinking about the future and what tech is going to look like is already behind,” says Carson. “Everyone needs to be equipped with 21st-century skills to stay relevant in the job market.”
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti