Press this button for translation

MadLab: Luisa's Success Story

  • Published: Monday, March 4, 2024

Hear from Luisa, who trained with MadLab and landed a Level 4 Apprenticeship at AutoTrader:

“I cannot stress enough how much I would appreciate and make use of this course. Coding is something I’ve always wanted to learn and work with, but I never had the chance to do it at uni. Thank you so much and I hope I can meet you all soon.”

This is an extract from Luisa’s original application to MadLab’s Shift Click programme.

Luisa took time off from her full-time job in finance to attend her interview and once enrolled on the programme, she attended both in-person and online sessions. When the Manchester Digital Level 4 Software Developer Apprenticeship applications opened, she was the first to apply.

Luisa was looking for digital opportunities, and she was later shortlisted by Manchester Digital, eventually being called to interview with AutoTrader for their highly competitive apprenticeship position.

During the three-stage interview, Luisa committed to every resource MadLab had to offer. Topics included:

  • How to research for the role
  • Reviewing pair programming tests
  • The psychology behind group interviews
  • Interview/presentation practice

Luisa was confident about the first interview but faced a set-back at the assessment stage where she struggled with the programming exercise. By drawing on tips from her mentors she successfully completed the exercise and after a final interview, AutoTrader made her an offer the same day.

Since starting her new role, Luisa has stayed in touch with MadLab and is keen to become a mentor herself:

“The barriers I faced trying to break into tech were the lack of opportunities for complete beginners. I don't have words to describe the impact MadLab had on my path to be a developer. It was a complete game changer, not only because of the knowledge I gained but especially because of the mentorship. I don't feel like I am alone on this journey anymore and feel a lot more confident.”

MadLab is a grassroots innovation organisation in Greater Manchester, working with technology and people to shape our world for the better. Find out more at

Do you want to work in the digital sector, but you're unsure on how to make your first steps? Click here to read our IT and Digital sector guide, to find out more about the sector and what your options are looking forward.

Looking for work or courses in your area? Click here to find local jobs, and click here to find local courses in Greater Manchester.