We’ve hit the halfway mark for the Fall 2018 ITWorks session! The Las Vegas class is busy getting ready for their CompTIA exams, and are just a few short weeks from getting started at their internships. Having tried to get into a tech job on his own, Ivine Chiang knows how important both items will be to add to his resume. We sat down to talk about his experience so far and how ITWorks is elevating him above other candidates. Read on to learn more.
ITWorks: You are halfway through the program already – time flies! In just a few short weeks, you will be starting at your tech internship. How did your interviews go? What are you hoping to get out of your internship?
Ivine: I had a couple of really awesome interviews including MacStadium and Southwest Gas. Each one had great things that they brought to the table like a relaxed work environment, the company’s commitment to continued learning, and a focus on exciting fields like cybersecurity. I would be thrilled with any of them, because right now I am really wanting to just get the hands-on experience with the fundamentals. I want to lay the groundwork so that I can be successful in my future career.
ITW: How exciting! I have no doubt that you will learn a lot and be a valuable addition to the team wherever it is that you are placed for your internship. You mentioned cybersecurity as an exciting field. What caught your attention about it?
I: Penetration testing is what really caught my attention! I really like the idea of the proactive approach to security as opposed to always just responding. We had two Lunch and Learn visitors that spoke about cybersecurity – Steve and Jim – and they made the field sound really appealing. I’d like to work my way towards that!
ITW: Learning about the field from those that are already working in it is the best way to get an accurate picture. It sounds like you made some great connections. Before the internship starts, though, I understand you have some important exams coming up – the CompTIA A+! Are you ready?
I: I honestly think I am! I was nervous up until this point, but we have been preparing so much over the last few weeks. I feel like I have the knowledge I need in order to pass!
ITW: That’s a great attitude to have. Good luck! So, we obviously know that working in tech is the end goal, but what were you doing before this?
I: I was working for a portrait and photography studio. I couldn’t see myself doing it forever, and there wasn’t a pathway for growth. Technology had always been an interest of mine, and I knew that there are endless possibilities in the field. I had been applying to Tier 1 help desk positions to get in my foot in the door, but I wasn’t having any luck – which caught me off guard. My sister’s friend had gone through the ITWorks program, so when I learned about the details I knew that this would be the thing to elevate my resume and actually land an entry-level position.
ITW: It can be such a competitive field but having the right things on your resume can help a ton! Between the ITWorks program itself, the certifications, and the internship – you should be all set when you start applying again. How else would you say this program has impacted you?
I: It’s truly already impacted me a great amount. I was an introvert coming into the program, but the soft skill and professional training from the Friday Sessions has helped bring me out of my shell. I feel comfortable in those environments now and know how to successfully network as needed. Beyond that, this program is differentiating me from other candidates for the best jobs in Vegas.
ITW: What a transformative experience. You are going to graduate from ITWorks ready to take on tech in Las Vegas! Is there anything else we should know about your experience?
I: I’d just like to give a kick shout-out to the staff! Everyone is so invested in us and our future careers. They go above and beyond what is required of them on a daily basis. When there are some of us that want to come study on the weekend with alumni, they show up no questions asked. It’s been a “wow” moment that I’ve never experienced elsewhere.
Good luck on you’re A+ exams, Ivine! We can’t wait to see you thrive in your internship and beyond. Be sure to check out the blog and our social media pages to stay updated on everything ITWorks!