The ITWorks Philadelphia Fall 2017 class is graduating this week! We spoke with graduating student Juliette Thomas about her experience in our 16-week program. Read on to learn more!
Pictured: Juliette Thomas
ITWorks: It’s almost ITWorks graduation day! What has the last 16 weeks been like for you?
Juliette: The last 16 weeks have definitely been a roller coaster! Not in a bad way but more so in an exciting way with the combination of anxiety of not knowing what's going to happen, like when you're waiting in line to get on the coaster. Throughout the last 16 weeks, I've been really excited to see what we're going to learn next, to meet new people and to develop my skills as an IT professional. But there has also been the feeling of doubt and the fear of not using the skills and advice everyone has given to my best ability. However, now that I’ve completed the program (rode my roller coaster) the fear isn't really there anymore and it's definitely an experience I wouldn't mind doing over and over again.
ITW: You’re graduating from ITWorks with two certifications – including the CompTIA A+. What does it feel like to have accomplished that in such a short period of time?
J: it feels amazing! When I first found out I was in the program, I thought that I wouldn't accomplish getting my CompTIA certification at all; I had the fear that I was going to fail and that I wouldn't get to this point. But to be officially certified in CompTIA A+ after passing both exams on my first try feels awesome. it just shows me that I should be more confident in myself and the abilities I have in the future.
ITW: Do you have an idea of the entry-level job you’d like to pursue after ITWorks?
J: I'm so torn between what I want to do now, coming into the program I definitely wanted to do hardware-software engineering, but now I’m also interested in networking as well. So I think for entry-level I want to pursue something similar to help desk or a support technician where I get more experience actually troubleshooting problems and gaining more skills as a tech.
ITW: How do you think that ITWorks and your internship have prepared you for the career that you want?
J: They have definitely prepared me for the career I want because the program has taught me the basic skills I need and the internship has given me the hands-on experience to apply those skills in the workplace. As well the ability to do different things with more confidence and not be afraid to take risks or have a fear of failing tasks.
ITW: What do you think the impact of ITWorks has been in your life?
J: IT Works has definitely had a physical and mental impact on my life. Physically, I've gained hands-on skills as well certifications for completing the program and a network of people that want to help me succeed. Mentally, I've gained more confidence in these skills and in myself. I still have doubts but I don't let them stop me now from taking more chances. I can acknowledge that they are there but still go forth with pride in myself to accomplish great things.
ITW: For those young folks in Philadelphia who are considering ITWorks, what advice would you have for them?
J: TO GO FOR IT! I definitely recommend the ITWorks program to anyone that's looking to pursue it. It's a great opportunity and will give you the support, skills and network that you need to further your career. It is a serious commitment but it will definitely be a fun commitment and you'll meet awesome people. That's all you need to know! So I definitely say go for it to everyone that's considering applying and if you really want to get in keep trying, giving up shouldn't be an option.
ITW: Anything else about your experience that you’d like to share? Any parting words?
J: Throughout the 16 weeks, I've loved building a relationship with my classmates and the people from ITWorks. That bond made during that short period will definitely benefit all of us and I'm so proud of how far my classmates and I have come in such a short time. I'm excited to see what everyone will be doing in five years or even in the next year. I can’t wait to see everyone graduate and pursue their careers after putting in the hard work and stress for 16-weeks, it has definitely paid off! CONGRATULATIONS TO MY CLASS FALL 2017, WE DID IT!!!!