42 Wolfsburg: I passed! Now what?
A little over a week after the end of the remote Piscine, during the Easter holiday in Germany, I received the best news: I got in!
This was by far a better gift than any chocolate eggs. I was so excited that I started jumping in the middle of the living room, like a child. After I published the conclusion of my remote Piscine posts, I went back and re-read all of them. Looking back, I feel like I had a great evolution during the whole process, and I am very happy that this was confirmed by my acceptance into the school. I saw that a lot of people from my Piscine also passed, including moar of my closest friends, so it will be awesome to continue studying with them!
Ok, so now a little insight into the acceptance process. We received the big news by email. In the same email, there were instructions for us to subscribe to the term in which we wish to start. The very first term at 42 Wolfsburg will start on May 11th, and the school will be inaugurated on May 10th. I really wish I could be there for the inauguration, but I don’t believe it would be possible, sadly.
As there is a pandemic still going on, and it’s unlikely that it will be fully under control in May of 2021, the school is planning on a hybrid operation mode, following distance and disinfection measures for who can/wants to go to the school, but for those who can’t move or travel to Wolfsburg, they will enable a temporary remote study mode.
In my previous posts, I mentioned that I’ve been accepted into a special “trial” program, that would be fully remote. In other words, I will be part of this group of students that will attempt to do the curriculum remotely, and although I will certainly try to go to Campus a few times, I don’t have a “minimum” presencial attendance. I am curious to see how this will work out, and I really hope that we can adapt the 42 experience to the online environment.
Another interesting detail is that when you pass a Piscine, you have a “golden ticket”. This means that you can start in whenever term you wish. So if passed the March Piscine and don’t want to start in May, you can also start in November, for example.
This, of course, is valid only for the school you passed. You can’t apply for the Wolfsburg piscine and then start studying in São Paulo, for example. However, it is possible to switch to another 42 school. In order to do that, first, you have to do the curriculum until the first internship at the same campus where you did your piscine, and then after your internship, you can switch to any other 42 school around the world. There is also a minimum stay of 3 months in that school before you are allowed to switch again.
The school also strongly advises to make sure you have your affairs in order, and that administrative, health and financial situations are compatible with full-time studies. In their own words:
“42 Wolfsburg is demanding, and even though you can manage your time, a strong commitment is necessary in order to succeed.”
I mentioned before that some people managed to work part-time and do the Piscine at the same time, but people that work full-time asked for vacations, time off, or even made some deal with their employer, as it is nearly impossible to dedicate 60h a week in the Piscine and work full-time. During the Curriculum, they also advise against working and studying at the same time. However, as many people need at least a part-time job to sustain themselves, they advise a minimum study investment of 24 hours a week.
If you decide to start the Curriculum and then have some unexpected problem, it is also possible to “pause” the course. Although it is not recommended to do such a thing, you may get in touch with the educational staff and explain your situation, so instead of leaving the course, you can try to pause and then resume when you can come back.
Now, as for duration, on their website 42 Wolfsburg informs that the course takes an average of 3 years of full-time dedication, including the two mandatory internships. But speaking with members of the Wolf p.a.c.k. during the Piscine, some of them said that it would take more than that due to Corona, and also that the hybrid/remote format makes it slower. There is also the factor of part-time working, so I would say that in an “ideal world” the curriculum would take 3 years, but it is more likely to take a bit more if you are not a full-time and presencial student.
Another interesting concept is the “black hole”. This is a dynamic deadline that starts at 77 days, and you earn more days as you make progress in your projects. If you don’t show any progress and run out of days, you will automatically stop being a 42 student. Sounds very scary.
Also, there is no “vacation” at 42. You are in charge of your schedule during the whole Curriculum, and you have to manage your time, your black hole, etc. However, it is possible to freeze your black hole count for a total of 6 months during the core curriculum, and this time can be divided by a maximum of 3 different periods. The good news is that there is no black hole during the specialization part of the program.
The baseline is: if you are a full-time and on-campus student, you hardly will have any problems with the black hole count. But if you are a remote student — like me — or you will combine work with studies, then you will probably have to deal with this at some point.
This will be the first time since high school that I’ll be a “full-time student”. I did both my bachelor’s and post-graduation at night while working full-time during the day, so I feel confident that I will be able to combine my studies with a part-time job or freelancing in the future. For now, however, I’ll try to put as many hours as possible into getting started with the core curriculum and establishing a good pace.
This is all the information I have so far about the acceptance process and the course in general, and I am very excited to start the course! I will try to keep sharing my experience at 42 Wolfsburg, and I am specially curious to see how the Curriculum looks like, and which path options we have.
Thank you for following my journey so far! If you didn’t read the posts about the 42 Wolfsburg remote Piscine, here they are: