Michael Lawrence enjoyed his twenties an expat English teacher in Chile and then China, experiencing life in two very different cultures. But when he hit 30, Michael reached a turning point and wanted to return to the UK.
He said: “I was looking for a new direction and knew people who had left teaching in China to become programmers and my mum often said she heard there was an industry drought so I started basic coding and looking for a course in Sheffield and EyUp was top of the list. I signed up from my home in Shanghai, joined the second cohort in March and graduated this summer.
“The curriculum was extremely well reviewed so I was expecting enthusiastic teachers, useful and comprehensive content and a solid grounding for the future. Throughout the course I was consistently satisfied with the education I received and it was absolutely what I expected.”
Michael grew up in Bristol and enjoyed gaming, progressing from Game Boy to Grand Theft Auto, skateboarding and making video edits with his friends. He studied philosophy at Oxford Brookes University and the day he handed in his final essay he started looking for work abroad. He moved to Santiago and spent 10 months in the Chilean capital teaching English, learning Spanish and living in a city of social and economic extremes.
Later, Michael moved to China on a British Council programme and spent six years teaching English at universities in three different cities and getting to grips with Mandarin. He also met his future wife.
Michael said: “After spending most of my twenties enjoy a laissez-faire life abroad, I started to feel like I was at a professional impasse with few applicable skills outside of teaching and since I had no desire to continue that career and little interest in spending one or two years gaining a masters degree, I needed an alternative.
“After beginning my exploration of coding, I became more aware of the diverse opportunities open to people in the tech industry both in the type of work and where in the world a programmer can ply their trade. I cannot think of a more attractive industry.”
Since graduating, Michael has been house hunting in Sheffield and, once settled in his new family home, will be looking for a suitably challenging role in the tech industry. He aims to become “a respected professional working with brilliant people to solve remarkable problems”.
EyUp is recruiting for the September cohort and offers a money-back pledge for any graduates who complete the course and fail to land a tech job within six months. Every graduate from of the first cohort has found work and 80 per cent of the second cohort secured jobs on graduation in June.
Technology entrepreneur David Richards said: “We founded EyUp to change lives and give talented people like Michael the opportunity to get tech jobs and bring valuable new experience to our fast-growing industry.”