When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York City in March 2020 causing bars and restaurants to close, Anas Nahil – a bartender in midtown – knew it was time to leap into a new career. He started learning software development on his own and heard about the Pursuit fellowship in NYC, which helps people launch and advance careers in tech.
Anas is one of three employees recently hired at Peloton after completing the Pursuit program, which aims to create economic opportunity by empowering adults with the skills, network, and opportunity to land jobs in the tech industry.
The fellowship is an intense, year-long program for people 18 and older making less than $45k a year in the New York Metro area. They look for people with grit, a growth mindset, and a passion for making a difference through their work – many of the same qualities that we look for at Peloton.
Since 2019, Peloton has hired eight Pursuit graduates. Hiring participants helps Peloton look beyond resumes to find qualified candidates with diverse experiences, all passionate about creating a great user experience and building community through technology.
"To build the world's leading fitness platform we need the best ideas and creativity driving the conversation. We have learned that talent doesn't fit neatly into bullets on a resume. Partnering with Pursuit allows us to draw from the immense multi-disciplinary talent pool right here in our backyard and our product and culture is better for it" said Francis Shanahan, Peloton’s VP of Connected Fitness Software.
Passion & Preparation Leads to Success
While the Pursuit program was challenging, Anas was fueled by a desire to find a job he was passionate about.
He found it at Peloton.
“I have always been interested in Peloton as it is one of the leading tech companies in the industry and always inventing new features for the best user experience,” Anas said. “When I heard of the opportunity to apply to Peloton, I jumped at it and started preparing to make sure I'd stand out during those three interviews by showcasing a project I built that I was passionate about as well as passing the technical and behavioral interview.”
All the hard work and preparation paid off. Anas is now a FullStack engineer on the cloud side of the Device Services team.
“Working with my team has been a great experience. Being surrounded by engineers with so much knowledge I can learn from, always ready to answer questions I have about our product, while allowing me to learn from my mistakes and pushing me for the best and being part of the team,” he said. “It’s the best example of ‘Together we go far’ by making sure we all succeed in our jobs.”
Advice from Anas Nahil:
“My advice for someone who’s interested in working at Peloton is to keep pushing to be good at your craft. Learn everything technical that can help you nail those interviews and create great features as well as the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Do not be afraid to ask questions and always aim for the best work you can do.”
A Foot in the Door
Shawn Faber, a software engineer on the Leaderboard Team at Peloton, said Pursuit was crucial to helping him get a foot in the door.
“Being a new engineer with 0 years of experience, it was very hard to get potential employers to notice you,” he said. “Luckily, Pursuit works very hard to get it’s fellows in the door and that’s how I got the chance to interview with Peloton.”
Now at Peloton for three months, Shawn is getting up to speed on the technology and systems, and adjusting to working in the supportive, passionate team environment.
“It’s fascinating to me how complex the inner workings of our platform actually are,” he said. “Coming from 20 years of punching a clock and having a manager on your back all the time, it is quite a different experience to be on your own and trusted to be responsible for your work and get things done.”
Advice from Shawn Faber:
“Use a Peloton before your interview if you can, so you know something about the product and brand.”
Committed to Community
Hupaul Camacho found Pursuit while working an overnight job and exploring potential long-term career opportunities that incorporated his interest in art and technology.
After completing the program, he set his sights on finding a company that creates a sense of community.
“When looking for potential tech companies to work with, the criteria that takes precedence over all others for me are companies that have products that promote a strong sense of community,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in building apps that enhance social interaction and discovery among its users.”
Now settled in his job on the Content Cloud team – which manages the internal platform that powers experiences across the entire Peloton product portfolio – Hupaul is focused on learning from tenured coworkers.
“Managers are committed to ensuring that I am comfortable working as well as catering work to my current skill level in order to make sure I can grow in my position and advance my career,” he said.
So far, he loves the focus on clear communication and collaboration between employees and teams.
“At Peloton, every individual’s contribution is important, and requires a good amount of discussion and collaboration between team members as well as different departments,” he said. “It can get fast-paced at times, but the emphasis on communication keeps us one step ahead of any potential setbacks when developing.
Advice from Hupaul Camacho:
“Being able to articulate yourself when talking about code is one of the skills I believe helped me land this position, as well as having a robust project that shows my experience building complete applications.
Putting your best self forward is advice that I, myself, take to heart. It is something that requires a great deal of effort, but this is what hiring managers will notice and take into consideration when reviewing your application.”