The ITWorks Philadelphia Fall 2016 class is graduating this Thursday, December 15th, and we spoke with graduating student Jorry Senestant about his experience in our 16-week program.
ITWorks: What had you been doing prior to starting ITWorks?
Jorry: Before I started ITWorks, I was working for a pharmaceutical company in the packaging department, but I was looking for a job in IT. I did a quick look through Craigslist in the Technical Representative section and there was ITWorks. I decided to check it out, and became very intrigued so I decided to apply.
ITW: What made you want to pursue the ITWorks program?
J: There were a lot of things that drew me in. Number one for me was the networking. The opportunity to build relationships with professionals in the field is really big for me. That goes hand-in-hand with the mentor component of the program. Being able to have personal support from someone to help by offering insight in a future career path and share their professional experience is so important. The internship portion of the program was exciting to me as well because it allows for students to gain experience that they will need to launch into IT. And of course, the certifications and classroom learning. So, it really wasn’t one thing, but the entire ITWorks package that drew me in.
ITW: You’ve already completed the classroom portion of the program and earned your certificates – how does it feel to have those accomplished?
J: In the beginning, it was a bit overwhelming. Being in class all day every day, averaging two tests per week; it was a hurdle at the start since I hadn’t been in that environment for so long. But, I was able to adjust to the pace, and Stefane, our instructor, was able to remove the daunting pace by breaking down topics and providing a variety of learning modes. Furthermore, my classmates and I put together some study groups which led to friendships as we are all working on bettering our futures. I had been working on studying for the CompTIA A+ before I started ITWorks, so it’s very exciting to now have that under my belt. I know that I’m now qualified for a lot of positions that I wouldn’t have been before.
ITW: I know you said you’re excited about the internship! Where will you be interning? Are you hoping to walk away with a specific experience?
J: I’ll be interning at AchieveAbility. I want to be able to apply what I have learned in class at my internship. Being able to deal with real-world problems and develop real-world solutions that will help people is something that I’m really looking forward to. If I can help people in a field that I love; I can’t ask for much more!
ITW: Graduation is right around the corner. Do you have any expectations on how the job search process will be? Is there a particular niche of IT that you want to get into?
J: Having completed the program, I feel more confident now than I have in the past as far as applying for jobs in this field. Through the Friday Sessions, internship, and classroom learning, ITWorks helps prepare you to not only get your foot in the door, but to succeed in the field as well. After gaining some experience first, I’d like to pursue something in the networking field. It has always intrigued me, and it seems complex. I love to solve difficult problems, and I think that maintaining networks would be a great fit for me. Later down the line, I would like to branch off into the Security field as well once I have the knowledge and experience necessary to make that transition.
ITW: What do you think the impact of ITWorks has been in your life?
J: The Impact of ITWorks goes back to what I said earlier about confidence. I knew of technology and I knew of computers before, but I am now more confident in my skills in this field. It has instilled a new level of accountability in me as well. One of the things that stood out to me the most was during one of the Friday Sessions on Communicating for Success. I think communication is one of the most important aspects of succeeding in this field – not only with peers and upper management, but also with clients in a way that they can easily understand. I have a better grasp on what to expect moving forward, and I am ready for what is next!
ITW: For those young folks in Philadelphia who are considering ITWorks, what advice would you have for them?
J: I would say, don’t feel like success is not attainable for you. It may be challenging, but with the support of ITWorks – you will have the tools and resources you need to have a successful career. It can be intimidating to think about computers and technology, and other career paths may seem safer. But the IT field is so exciting because it’s always changing. Don’t be afraid of that, and come with an expectation of learning.
ITW: Anything else about your experience that you’d like to share? Any parting words?
J: I left my previous job for this program. It was an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. I think that speaks to how impactful this program is. And it was more than worth it! It has been a pleasure just to be accepted into this program. There is a pretty intense interview process, so just being offered a spot felt like success. This is an experience that I’ll never forget. The experiences that I’ve built through Tech Impact and ITWorks are ones that I believe will last a lifetime. You all are great people. The instructors are great. Everything is given so much thought and detail. Being given the opportunity to shake hands with upper management at places like Oracle and SAP is something that I’ll never forget. The past 16 weeks have been nothing but greatness. So, thank you!
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