Become a Fellow, start here:

How to make your application stand out


At Pursuit, you will learn to become a software developer, secure a family-sustaining tech career, and change the face of the tech industry. On average, our Fellows raise their annual salaries from $18,000 when they enter the program to $90,000 at their first job out of the program. These wages are not only not only transformational for you but also for your family and community.

Creating this transformation isn’t easy: it takes grit, perseverance, and a commitment to owning every step of your Pursuit journey. Our Fellowship is rigorous, so we designed our application process in the same way. Completing every step of the process is an important way of demonstrating that you are prepared to tackle the Fellowship.

While you need to complete all portions of the application, your resume and short essays are most important. These materials are your opportunity to showcase yourself and your background to our reviewers. Our reviewers are software engineers from partner companies, Pursuit staff members, and volunteers from our community.

Short Essays

This is your opportunity to tell your story. Tell us why you want to join Pursuit and how it will impact your life.

Share your academic history and professional background in more detail, including the context for your successes and struggles. Tell us more about your background, identity, interests, talents, or any other unique aspects of yourself. Help us understand who you are and what you're passionate about. With all your responses, be as specific and detailed as you can.

For Pursuit, you should have a passion for technology and a high level of grit to complete our program and launch your career in the tech industry. Before you write your essay responses, think about the following questions and information, or try talking them out with a friend or family member. Knowing what you want to say ahead of time can make writing your responses easier.

  • Why are you excited about a career in software engineering? Do you enjoy problem-solving and understanding how things work? To help you answer those questions, check out the following articles:
  • What is your favorite website or mobile app? Why do you like it? What would you change about it?
  • Have you previously worked in or tried to enter the tech industry? What was the experience like?
  • Have you always been interested in computers and tech? Do you help your friends and family fix their computers, tablets, and cell phones?
  • Are you interested in coding? (The Pursuit Fellowship doesn’t require a background in coding; however, if you’ve never coded before, it might be helpful to try out some online introductory courses to see if you’re interested in it. Keep in mind that if you apply and are accepted to Pursuit, you will do a lot of coding. Codecademy’s free online introduction to JavaScript offers a good overview of programming basics.)
  • Have you ever experienced a significant challenge in your academic, work, or personal life? How did it impact you and how did you overcome it?
  • Are you or have you been involved in an activity or club, e.g. music, sports, or academics? How often do you practice or meet? How much time do you devote to it each week?
  • Have you ever taught yourself a new skill, e.g. a new language, IT or web development, a musical instrument, and/or graphic design?
  • Have you ever taken on a leadership role in your academic, work, or personal life? What prompted you to seize that opportunity? What kind of responsibilities did you have and how did you balance them with other responsibilities?

Good luck completing your application!


Photo by Daniel Thomas

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