How CNM’s Internet of Things Bootcamp Helped this Veteran Land a Job at Sandia National Laboratories

Olivia “Liv” Bouligny was an avionics mechanic in the Air Force and wanted to upskill after she retired. Thanks to the 10-week bootcamp, she now oversees a team of Electromechanical Technologists at Sandia National Laboratories
February 21, 2023

After 21 years of service in the Air Force, Liv Bouligny wanted to take the next step in her career.  With the help of The Department of Defense SkillBridge program, which provides service members  with the opportunity to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service, Liv learned about Deep Dive bootcamps. By chance the Internet of Things (IoT) bootcamp was the only one she could join, and it worked out better than she could have ever imagined. 

“It was the fate of the dice that landed me in IoT, but I’m so glad that’s where I ended up,” Liv says. 

During the IoT bootcamp Liv learned everything from coding to manufacturing and design. She also gained essential hands-on experience at the FUSE Makerspace where the IoT classes are held.

“Having access to FUSE was my favorite part of IoT,” Liv says. “We had access to so many tools and I was able to make my projects come to life.” 

The professional connections she made during the bootcamp also played a critical role in landing the job she has today. 

Shortly after Liv graduated last August, recruiters from Sandia National Laboratories reached out to IoT’s lead instructor, Dr. Brian Rashap, for recommendations to fill an open Electromechanical Technologist spot. He quickly recommended Liv. 

“I didn’t even know a job like this existed,” Liv says. “With my skills and the help of Dr. Rashap, I applied and got the job in January.”

As an Electromechanical Technologist, Liv and her team produce 3D models that are used to help other teams throughout the laboratories.

Two months into her new job, Liv is grateful not only for the technical skills that she learned in IoT, but also for the emphasis the bootcamp put on soft skills. 

“I was in the military for 21 years, and in those 21 years I never had to interview for a job,” she says. “CNM and IoT helped me with everything from writing a resume to interview prep. It was enormously helpful.”

Looking forward, Liv is excited to have a whole new career in front of her. 

“I’m about to be 40, and I still don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up,” she jokes. “But I want to keep learning and see how much I can grow in my new career.”