A Parent’s Perspective with Carolyn Wilson

“Mom, how would you feel if I went back to school?”

A simple enough question on its face, that’s exactly what Kate Wilson asked her mom Carolyn when she was considering enrolling in Charleston’s October 15th Front-End Engineering Course. Carolyn remembers the rest of the conversation quite clearly as well. She remembers Kate saying “It would be all day, from 9 to 5. It’d be full-time, every day, Monday through Friday.”

Kate Wilson
Kate Wilson

Carolyn remembers the research Kate had done in preparation for their conversation.  “We discussed the logistics, how she was going to pay for it, those kind of things. She was very excited, and she had me convinced that she had it all in hand and she had figured it out,” Carolyn continued. “She was very excited. Of course, I was very concerned because she had a career in marketing at the time.”

Despite her concerns, Carolyn knew this would be great opportunity for Kate. “She likes creating and designing and she’s so good at it. She told me that if she could add this to her skillset it would open this whole new window of opportunity.”

Like most students at The Iron Yard, Kate struggled during her courses. Carolyn remembers one of her first phone calls with Kate after the class had started.  “It was a week to ten days into the course, Kate called and said, ‘Mom, it really is hard. It’s harder than I expected, but I’m also accomplishing a lot more than I expected.”  

Despite her initial apprehension, Carolyn also remembers when she knew that Kate was going to be alright. “It was some time toward the end of November of December, just before she came home for the holiday. I knew she was good. I could tell just by talking to her, her tone of voice. She was more confident about what she was doing,”

Kate and Carolyn

Carolyn continued “There was a turning point about mid way where I could tell everything was clicking into place and she felt comfortable and excited. She was showing me what they were doing in class, what her team was going to pitch to the group. I thought, This is good. She’s going to be all right.”

Kate is now loving her job as an engineer at Benefitfocus, and Carolyn’s is rightfully proud of her accomplishments and happiness. “My initial concern was that she already had a degree and she was still choosing to spend money and go back to school.” Carolyn continued “It’s just such a relief and an affirmation that joining The Iron Yard was the right choice, they were so helpful in the whole job search process, and now she’s doing something she loves.”


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