April 13, 2021
Meet Kait Matthey | A graduate of Apprenti™ Cincinnati
Meet Kait Matthey. A graduate of Apprenti™ Cincinnati, Kait is a Cincinnati native who against all odds has managed to achieve her dreams of pursuing a career in technology. Kait Matthey is a Software Engineer with Kroger Technology and Digital. She has progressed from being an apprentice in on-the-job training to “holding the keys to the kingdom.”
“I’m so proud of how far I’ve come along the way. When I started, they gave me non-impactful work. I got a taste of the code, but I couldn’t really harm anything. Now I have the keys to the kingdom. I’m responsible for release management on my team, I can solve production issues on my own, I’ve helped bring other developers on board and mentor them, I’m a subject matter expert, and I get to make decisions every day that have a large impact on the project,” says Kait.
Kait had her first taste of programming early on when she attended a summer program at the Warren County Career Center in the seventh grade. It was not until later into her high school career when she truly recognized her passion for programming and decided she wanted to become a Java Developer.
After being accepted to her dream school of Loyola University Chicago, Kait fell ill and was diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder that would take precedent over her education. She required medical attention and treatment forcing her to make a choice between her education and her health. During her final semester of college, she required emergency surgery just days before her finals, and was forced to miss her exams failing all her classes.
As a result, she was kicked out of her major, but decided this would not hold her back from her goals. Kait went on to become a licensed long-term substitute teacher and an assistant instructor for four years. This allowed her to make a living and get her life back on track, while going through a series of surgeries. Kait recognized the future in tech she had worked so hard for was starting to slip away as her time and options became increasingly limited. It was when she found Apprenti™ Cincinnati that things began looking up.
“I actually found out about Apprenti when I was interviewing for admission into a bootcamp. I got denied for a loan that they said almost everyone is approved for, and I was devastated. I was certain I had no other options, until Apprenti was presented to me,” said Kait. “After I learned about Apprenti I started looking into other options just in case I wasn’t able to get into Apprenti. I saw some options for similar programs that specifically help women in IT. The reason I chose Apprenti was because of the admission process. I felt my education was really being taken seriously, and that I would be the most prepared for my career through Apprenti.”
Apprenti™ Cincinnati is an innovative, non-traditional solution to diversify the tech talent base and drive more tech talent to the Cincinnati region through registered apprenticeships. The program is designed to recruit and train professionals based on their aptitude, not their background. Employers pay for the technical training and continue to educate their apprentices through paid on-the-job training (OJT) for one year.
Kait shared one of her greatest learning from her on-the-job training was realizing how to trust herself and her skillset. As with any new job it can be intimidating to feel confident in your own abilities. She had to learn to trust in her training and knowledge.
“I really had to rely on my ability to find the answer and know when to ask for help. There were times when I needed help and didn’t want to ask for it out of fear I’d look incompetent, only to find out that the senior developer I was working with also didn’t know the answer. We would find it together and learn something together,” said Kait.
Kait has loved working for Kroger and the variety of technologies and opportunities provided to her. She says her favorite part has been the people, crediting much of her successes to the exceptional team she works with and their support of her journey. Through the Apprenti™ Cincinnati program Kait has been able to expedite her education and training getting her future back on track. Hear the full story and learn more about Kait Matthey’s incredible journey and successes by watching her video here.
Discover how Apprenti™ Cincinnati is helping diversify the industry and filling the tech talent gap.
Are you an employer looking for tech talent like Kait? Contact Christina Misali, Apprenti™ Cincinnati Program Director