Young Tech Professionals Tech Bootcamp Portal

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The Young Tech Professionals (YTP) program develops the next generation technology workforce by educating undergraduate and graduate students on business and technical skills that are necessary to succeed in the real world.  Students engage in a 6-week hands-on bootcamp augmenting their academic curriculum with digital using the Google Design Thinking framework and core, professional skills, such as diversity and inclusion, project management, and communications.   Students learn how to collaborate and work in diverse teams led by industry coaches who guide them through the process of ideating, validating and refining their solutions, to a final Minimal Viable Product (MVP), and finally present their solutions to industry judges during a pitch competition.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, the bi-annual YTP Tech Bootcamps are designed to accelerate this growth in the areas of:

Digital Skills: UI/UX, cloud, AI/ML, blockchain

Business Skills: project/product management, agile framework, how to pitch

Human Skills: problem solving, social impact, emotional intelligence

Students are provided real-world problems to solve through student teams. In our Fall 2019 program, we partnered with the Los Angeles County Office of the CIO to address three real-world challenges, including homelessness, food inspection safety, and wildfires. Students are connected with industry coaches (including Alums) who mentor and guide them weekly through the process of developing an MVP.  Students are further supported by exposure to industry leaders in both the public and private sector to learn about roles in technology and potential internships or full-time employment opportunities. Students are exposed to various employment opportunities in technology including those students who don’t have STEM backgrounds but are eager to be part of the tech workforce.  Students accepted into this program come from a variety of backgrounds, mainly, STEM, and are selected using a blind resume review process in order to help remove bias and diversify participants.

Application deadlines for Fall and Spring Quarters are approximately 4 weeks prior to the start of the quarter. The time commitment is about 5-7 hours/week including the 2-hour weekly workshops.

2022 Spring Quarter Application

The 2022 Spring Quarter application is now closed. We will reopen the Fall Quarter applications 8 weeks before the start of the quarter.

Email Raffi Simonian at for information on upcoming YTP Tech Bootcamps, workshops, events and to apply to be a member of the Innovate@UCLA community.

Sponsorship Benefits

If your organization is interested in sponsoring a tech bootcamp, below is a list of the sponsorship benefits. Please contact Raffi Simonian at for more information:

  • Talent Recruitment: The general benefit is to recruit UCLA talent from all majors (undergrad and graduate). We have students participating from social sciences as well as hard sciences in addition to MBA students from Anderson School of Management
  • Deeper Evaluation of Skills: You will get to know the accepted students at a deeper level than just few hours of interviewing. You will be able to attend their team meetings with their coaches during the 6-week sessions and get to evaluate both their soft and hard skills (e.g. communication style, critical thinking, teamwork, product dev,  etc.). it is like a 6-week long interview!!!
  • Resume Book: You will have access to all their resumes and portfolios (including students who applied but did not get accepted, if so desired)
  • Vetting Process: All candidates are vetted before sending them over to your organization.  Just another level of checking if the student is a fit
  • Employee Involvement: Your employees can optionally participate as coaches (6 week long with 2-5 hours/week commitment and may increase as it gets closer to Demo Day). This would be perfect for UCLA Alums who work at your organization
  • Speaker Engagement: Your employees can optionally participate as speakers during any of the 6-week sessions for 30 min. Topics range from: UI/UX, Data Analytics, Intro to Dev Tools, How to Pitch, etc. It is expected to engage the students in exercises/activities/break out rooms etc during that time. They learn better if the presentation is experiential instead of just a one way lecture. Again, perfect for UCLA Alums.

EDUCAUSE 2020 Conference Presentation & Recording

How to Get Involved

You can get involved by accepting any of the roles below. Please contact Raffi Simonian at if you are interested:

  • Team Coach:
    • Guides students through the program and provides support based on expertise attending the 2-hour sessions for 6 weeks on Wednesdays from 6:30PM-8:30PM
    • Requires familiarity of Google Design Thinking, high emotional intelligence working with students plus technical skills
    • Time commitment: 2-5hrs/week including the weekly sessions, team meetings and Slack communication
    • After week 6 and until Demo Day (3 weeks total), the team coach works with the student teams to refine their pitch and final deliverables. The time commitment during this period will be 5-7 hrs/week.
  • Session Expert:
    • Be in a position to provide pointed support based on expertise for the team’s initial solution ideas
    • Be in a position to be interviewed by each team on their prototype
    • Provides development / implementation support to teams based on expertise
    • No need to prepare or present any material
    • Be in a position to navigate/visit all teams (in person or virtually) to provide your expertise
    • Be available to attend one or more evening sessions on a Wednesday from 6:30PM-8:30PM
  • Session Speaker:
    • Provides a review of soft and hard skills that are necessary to success in the business world
    • Needs to attend one session on a Wednesday from 6:30PM-8:30PM to present to the students in an engaging, interactive and experiential presentation format (with use cases and exercises)

Student Testimonials

 Here is one of Raffi's former UCLA mentees who sent a video during a long adventurous trip in Central & South America appreciative of the mentorship experience.

  1. I apologize for not being able to attend the last YTP Meeting, but I wanted to sincerely thank you for a great bootcamp. I have learned a lot and I was able to make use of some of the advice given by the professionals, so I am super grateful. Thank you also for sending out job opportunities and more, I appreciate it.
  2. Without the YTP Program, I would've never heard of this event so I want to thank you for that one as well. In general, I think it was a unique experience for many students so I hope the program will be continued and expanded this upcoming year.
  3. Just wanted to say thank you for an amazing experience at YTP Bootcamp. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would love to contribute in any way possible down the road!
  4. And lastly, thank you so much for everything you've done. The bootcamp was a lot of fun, and like you said, we all got practical, hands on experience, and for at least me, it opened my eyes to different possibilities of work that I could go into, and not just focus on data science/analytics.
  5. I just want thank you for creating and maintaining this program for students like myself. When I applied in the beginning of the year, I was sure I won't get in because of my year, which many view it as lack of experience. However, if you gave me the chance to attend such an awesome bootcamp that taught me so many hard and soft skills. Actually, after this program, I'm really want to pursue, or at least try out, the path as a PM or technical PM despite my initial thought of pursing a route as software engineer.
  6. I wanted to thank you again for all the help and leadership you've given us in the bootcamp. I know we hit our bumps along the way, but your supportive guidance really made a lasting impression on all of us, and we wouldn't have been able to be as successful as we were Thursday night without your never-ending support.
  7. As the new year was approaching, I began reflecting on the different memorable experiences I had in 2019 and wanted to write to you to thank you once again for hosting the YTP Tech Bootcamp. It was such an amazing experience; I really enjoyed how the program was structured and truly admire your dedication to providing students with real product development and project management skills. 
  8. I just wanted to thank you for putting the tech bootcamp together — I talked about it a lot during interviews, and now I’ll be interning at Microsoft as a PM this summer!
  9. I just wanted to update you to let you know that I recently received a product management internship at a startup. I just started two weeks ago and so far, it's been really fun and exciting because of the different projects I get to work on! Alongside that, I also participated in Product Hacks and won first place! I honestly want to thank you so, so much because if it weren't for the product bootcamp and all of your help, I would not be where I am today.
  10. Just wanted to send a thank you as well as quick update on me. Our Fall Innovate@UCLA program helped a lot with summer internship MBA recruiting. I was able to speak to project work for LA County, and running through the Design Sprint process was helpful - learning by doing. In short, thank you for an awesome program. MBA recruiting was a tough 6 months. I was able to receive product management summer internships to Nvidia and Amazon, and will be (fingers crossed COVID does not impact) at Nvidia remotely this summer.
  11. I actually just confirmed an internship with a blockchain company called Data Gumbo yesterday! Thank you for all your help & support Raffi! Definitely could not have done it without the bootcamp. In most of my interviews I spoke about our homelessness project!
  12. I just wanted to say this bootcamp is incredible! I’m so excited every week and I can’t stop raving about it to my friends. It’s giving me a chance to experience team work and other skills necessary in the workforce. Thank you so much for organizing, it’s made a huge impact on me. 
  13. Young Tech Profession is my first real world experience with business and working in an agile environment. I love your enthusiasm every week during our Fall session, and you are one of my greatest inspirations to get into entrepreneurship.
  14. 2020 Fall Quarter:
    1. Thank you so much for your guidance and everything you have done for the program; it was truly an enriching experience!
    2. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to experience the YTP Bootcamp. I very much wish I could have experienced it in person because it was already so enlightening as a virtual program. 
    3. The bootcamp was such a great learning experience and I had an amazing time getting that real-world experience so thank you for ensuring it was as smooth as possible!
    4. I would also just like to thank you for all your support and mentorship ever since we met. Working with you on YTP has been a very formative experience for my career in college and beyond, and these experiences will hold much value as I apply for full-time jobs.
    5. I really just wanted to thank you though for all that you've done this year. I remember during the start of the year, I was so ecstatic when you asked me to be a part of the planning committee! The bootcamp made such a large impact on my junior year at UCLA and I couldn't wait to help provide that same impact to countless other students. The meetings were something I looked forward to every week; I loved being able to listen, share my input, and also learn a bit about project planning! Also I still can't forget about the memorable trip we made to the Sony Pictures HQ, that was so much fun! Even though we weren't able to have the bootcamp that spring quarter, I'm still really glad that we managed to make everything work virtually this quarter (and not to mention, how we managed to almost triple the amount of applicants! - hopefully the numbers just keep growing from here and the bootcamp will be scalable :-). Overall, it was such a great experience and I'm definitely glad that I, along with the other students, were able to voice our input and help shape the program for future students. 
      Another thing I wanted to thank you for was for always updating me with internship and full-time opportunities! I really appreciated it, especially when you took the time to refer me to PwC. Even though I didn't get the position, I'm forever grateful for that gesture!
    6. I was able to talk about the bootcamp in many of my interviews and definitely could not have landed the role without that experience. Thank you so much for all your help and thinking of me for the internship opportunity. I appreciate your time and the effort you put in to make the bootcamp so rewarding! 
  15. 2021 Spring Quarter:
    1. I wanted to thank you again for allowing me to participate in the YTP Planning Committee and learn alongside the bootcamp participants. This was such an enriching experience that is easily one of the highlights of my EMBA time so far. I also wanted to thank you so much for your kind words whenever you introduce the Planning Committee - your commitment to students is not only genuine and apparent, but truly inspiring.
    2. I’d like to say thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of YTP Tech Bootcamp this Spring Quarter! I was amazed at every meeting of the amount of professionalism; the premium quality of the speakers, health experts, and coaches; as well as how much I could learn in such a short amount of time.  Most of all I was amazed at the passion that you can instill in students through this program.  It was truly an amazing experience that has opened my eyes to the possibilities that tech offers, and this experience will definitely alter what I look to do in the professional world.
  16. 2021 Fall Quarter:
    1. Thanks Raffi for putting together this fantastic program! We are extremely grateful for the opportunity, learned so much this quarter!
    2. Thanks Raffi for hosting this project. It was very fun and a good learning experience!
    3. I want to thank you for putting so much work and effort into the Young Tech Bootcamp. The resources and the amount of guest speakers was impressive and very informative. I appreciate how well the program came together and provided a microcosm of what I imagine the tech industry & startups to look like. My team coach was amazing. He asked our team poignant questions, and gave us amazing feedback and connections.
    4. Thank you for a wonderful quarter, and for giving me this opportunity. I had a wonderful time, and look forward to applying next quarter!
    5. Thank you again for such a great quarter; I really learned so much from the bootcamp.
    6. Thank you for allowing me to participate in YTP this quarter. It was a really interesting and enriching experience. I would do it again!
    7. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I really learnt a lot in product management and design in the workshops (these workshops are so great!!!)
  17. 2022 Spring Quarter:
    1. Just an update on myself, I have decided to try PM this summer at Microsoft! To be honest, my experience with YTP two years ago was my first interaction with PM-related work! I'm incredibly grateful for your dedication toward Innovate@UCLA, and I really appreciate your impact on students like myself toward this awesome career path!
    2. I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this bootcamp. It provided me with valuable real-world business experience while also allowing me to instill a passion for product design in an agile environment.
    3. I had a great time during the bootcamp. This is one of those experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life.
    4. I really loved this class, and let me know if I can help at all in the fall. I definitely learned a lot and it established many connections for me. Grateful for your mentorship. 

Coaches Testimonials

  1. 2021 Spring Quarter:
    1. Now that we have completed the program - wanted to express my appreciation to you and the entire program membership for allowing me the chance to coach a UCLA team of amazing students.   I really enjoyed the experience and would definitely do it again. Thanks again.
  2. 2022 Spring Quarter:
    1. May 2022 Daily Bruin article "UCLA technology program becomes official course, focuses on problem-solving skills"