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From Teaching to Tech: Miranda Benfer's Journey with Bluebonnet Data

By Mare Ahmed Tuesday, July 9th 2024


Miranda made a significant career change last June after teaching for 12 years. She lived and worked in different Middle Eastern cities like Doha, Cairo, and Jeddah for 11 of those years. After more than a decade teaching, she was looking for a better work-life balance. She taught herself how to code and found a passion for using technology to make a difference. Miranda’s experience as a Bluebonnet fellow inspired her to learn more about data analysis and engineering and its application in the political tech space. After her Bluebonnet experience, she took a leap to transition careers into the progressive political tech and data space where she felt her skills could have a real impact.

Career Transition

Many teachers are transitioning out of education due to the growing demands of the field. She found a supportive community of other teachers who were looking to transition into the tech field in some way. Since Covid, teachers have become even more tech-savvy because lockdowns meant they needed to find new ways to instruct students in virtual classrooms. For anyone looking to move into data or tech, Miranda emphasizes, "You don’t need a computer science degree or even to be a recent graduate." Miranda found that teachers have a myriad of transferable skills. She was glad to discover that the tech community is supportive of newcomers. 

Bluebonnet Experience

As a Bluebonnet fellow, Miranda volunteered for the Florida Pipeline Project, creating district profiles to help candidates and nonprofits understand the voters in their district. Florida Pipeline Project focuses on down-ballot races including school board races, which aligned well with Miranda's education background. While at Bluebonnet Data, Miranda landed a job as an Email Production Coordinator at MissionWired due to Bluebonnet’s commitment to keep good candidates in the space.

Miranda’s journey shows that transitioning into tech is very attainable and doesn’t require a specific degree. Her experience underscores the value of transferable skills and finding alignment with a company’s mission. Bluebonnet Data not only provided her with valuable experience but also exposure to the space.

Miranda’s story illustrates the power of purpose-driven career shifts. It demonstrates how leveraging one’s background and skills can lead to fulfillment in unexpected roles. Her commitment to using data for positive change continues to drive her career. Her story highlights the potential for growth in pursuing a career in the political data space.

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