Participant Spotlight: Gunjan Bhatia

Company: Red Ventures Position: Software Engineer Gunjan Bhatia took a six-year break from her software engineering career to support a family move to the US and to care for her son. Gunjan completed a software engineering returnship at Red Ventures, where she now works full-time. She talks about her remote returnship experience, how Red Ventures and her team supported her return to work during the uncertainty of the pandemic, and…

Participant Spotlight: Vanessa Barker

Company: Wells Fargo Position: Software Engineer Vanessa Barker enjoyed a 13-year career in financial services before taking a break to spend time with her daughter and care for her mother. Just as Vanessa was ready to return to work, the COVID pandemic hit, making her job search more difficult among hiring freezes and layoffs. After learning about Path Forward and the concept of returnships, she applied for and was accepted…

Participant Spotlight: Alex Karjeker

Company: Facebook Role: Data Scientist Like many Returners, Alex Karjeker’s career story-line has many twists and turns and includes employment in a wide array of careers. He worked for over a year as an investment banker, two years as a data scientist, and a year as a lobbyist. In 2017, Alex stepped away from the corporate world to run for public office, and when that was unsuccessful, he traveled to…

Participant Spotlight: VMware’s 2020 Cohort

One of the things that makes a returnship program a great way to restart your career is the support you get during your transition – from your company, from Path Forward and from your cohort – a group of fellow returners who are on the same journey that you are. We talked about the experience with six returners who completed returnships at VMware at the same time. This cohort –…

Participant Spotlight: Zandra Otubamowo

Company: Facebook Position: Technical Program Manager “Taking a break to focus on raising my kids was a decision that was well worth it over the sacrifice of my quitting my professional job,” states Zandra O, a Technical Program Manager at Facebook. However, after 3 years away from her professional career,  Zandra experienced feeling “like I was not maximizing my potential to its fullest – I had a feeling I needed…

Returner Spotlight: Aarthi Karnawat

Company: Allstate Position: Software Engineer Aarthi Karnawat took a break from her software engineering career to care for her newborn daughter and her own health. After 5 years, she felt ready to return to work. While completing a Master’s degree, she returned to work at Allstate, where she now works as a software engineer. Aarthi talks about how Allstate’s work-life balance and supportive, learning-oriented culture helped her transition more easily…

Returner Spotlight: Heidi McAllister

Company: Amazon Position: Software Development Engineer Heidi McAllister took a break from her 20-year career in software development to spend more time with her young children. After seven years, she was ready to return to her career, and had just begun a returnship at Amazon when her team went virtual due to the pandemic. She completed her returnship remotely, and now works at Amazon full-time as a software development engineer.…

Participant Spotlight: Melissa Evans

Company: Uber Position: Customer Success After over a decade working in sales, Melissa Evans took a 10 year break to raise her daughter. When she was ready to return to full-time work, she completed a returnship in Customer Success at Uber. Melissa talks about her returnship experience, how she kept her business skills sharp during her break, and offers advice on what truly makes a returnship successful.  Tell me a…

Participant Spotlight: Swati Sapar

Company: Netflix Role: Senior Back-End Software Engineer Swati Sapar took a two-year break from her software engineering career to take care of her kids. She always planned to return to work, and felt ready when her youngest child started elementary school. Swati completed a returnship at Netflix, and now works there full-time as a Senior Back-End Software Engineer. She talks about her return-to-work experience at Netflix, how she slowly ramped…

Participant Spotlight: Neema Bollampally

Neema Bollampally had a varied career that took her from finance to non-profit management and corporate philanthropy. After taking a break to take care of her twins, Neema wanted to restart her career in tech. She talks about her returnship experience at LendingClub, how the skills she gained in multiple fields and her break have translated into her role as a technical program manager, and the importance of building a…