ITWorks Las Vegas is halfway through its inaugural class, and the students are well on their way to some IT certifications and internships! Gamaliel Judilla didn’t always know that he wanted to pursue a career in technology, but is now ecstatic to get started in the field. We checked-in with him to ask a few questions about how the class is going so far and what he’s looking forward to with certification exams and internship interviews right around the corner – read on to learn more!
ITWorks: What had you been doing prior to starting ITWorks in regards to work and/or school?
Gamaliel: Before ITWorks, I attended college for a short period of time. It wasn’t a good fit for me because I didn’t really know what I was interested in or wanted to pursue. So I decided to put that on hold for a while to figure it out. I became interested in technology shortly thereafter when I had some issues with my computer, and looked into fixing it on my own. I realized after that that I wanted to pursue technology, and started looking for programs and happened upon ITWorks. It was perfect timing.
ITW: How did you hear about the ITWorks program? What made you decide to apply?
G: I saw an article about it in the paper – the Las Vegas Review Journal. After that I went on the website, looked around and decided to apply. I was drawn to the program because it was targeted towards young folks who either hadn’t gone to or hadn’t finished college. Compared to a degree program, ITWorks would get me in the field sooner and I wanted to be working as soon as possible.
ITW: You’re about halfway through the program at this point. What has been the most challenging part of the classroom experience thus far? What about the most rewarding part?
G: I feel like I’m doing really well in the class, but I have been surprised about the fast pace. Keeping up with the curriculum has been a challenge, but the rest of the class is really supportive and I have been able to master most of the content thus far. As far as rewarding, I don’t think I’m there yet but I know at the end of the program it’s going to feel so great knowing that we accomplished such great things in a short period of time. I also feel like I’ve been able to develop some of the professional and soft skills that are going to take me further in my career. Being able to speak confidently to others and in front of a group was not something I did much before, and now I am very open to the opportunities. Even this interview is great practice!
ITW: What are you excited about during the internship? Is there a specific experience you are hoping to walk away with?
G: This internship will be my first real job, so that in and of itself is super exciting. Other than that, seeing what the field looks like being actually immersed in it is going to be really cool. I think it will open my eyes to what I can expect moving forward. I think the whole experience is going to be great, but I am hoping the internship will help me determine which IT pathway I want to take in my career. I always thought I would focus on troubleshooting and hardware, but there’s so many other options that I’ve learned about in this program so I want to see what interests me the most.
ITW: Graduation is just a few short weeks away. Do you have any expectations on how the job search process will be?
G: I’m not too worried about right now. I am going into the job search process with an open mind to find a job that will get me more experience in the field, and that will start my career. I want my first couple of experiences after ITWorks to help me determine what I want to be doing 5 years from now so I have some goals to work towards. And I know ITWorks is going to help me along the way.
ITW: What has been/will be the impact of ITWorks in your life?
G: I feel like this program has been more helpful than just taking classes. Everyone here is working towards getting me a job in the IT field, and the support and encouragement is like none other. Even when I was looking into degree-programs, there wasn’t an option quite like this. ITWorks has exposed me to so many career pathways that I never knew existed, and now I have so many choices ahead of them – none of them being a bad choice. That’s a good spot to be in.
ITW: What are your hopes for the future of ITWorks in Las Vegas?
G: I hope that there are other people who are in similar positions to what I was, who know that there are other opportunities and options out there aside from college. I hope that young people learn about this program and pursue it so they can launch their careers, too.
ITW: Do you think you’ll want to stay involved with ITWorks after you graduate?
G: Yeah, I would! I want to even get involved with the next class. I don’t know how yet, but I definitely plan to reach out and see how I can help in the future. I think in a few years it would be really cool to come back and volunteer as a mentor or come into the classroom for a Lunch & Learn. I can’t wait to give back.
ITW: We focus on professional development each week with our Friday Sessions. What have you liked most about these sessions?
G: For a couple of the sessions, we had volunteers helping us one-on-one, like with the resumes and mock interviews. Having them provide such personal feedback and insight has been so helpful. Now, I feel like I have a great resume and I’m ready for my internship interviews this week! Aside from that, all of the content in the Friday Sessions is so important and it’s going to help me succeed in my future endeavors.
ITW: Is there anything else about your experience with the ITWorks program that you’d like to share?
G: I love all the people here! My classmates, our instructor Kera, and the rest of the Tech Impact team. Everyone is on our team and cheering for us, it makes the entire experience so great. Even when we’re in class all day, I enjoy it because of the ITWorks family we have created.
Read more about how ITWorks students
have been met with success in their new careers: