ITWorks Philadelphia Student Spotlight: Edwin Wilkinson



The ITWorks Philadelphia class is kicking-off the Fall 2017 session this week! We spent some time with one incoming student, Edwin Wilkinson, to learn about what drew him to the ITWorks program and what he is most looking forward to. With two small sons at home, Edwin has been looking for a career that will allow him to better provide for his family. After two of his cousins found success in the ITWorks program, he decided it was time to take his interest in technology to the next level. Read on to learn more about Edwin’s story.

ITWorks: What have you been doing prior to starting ITWorks in regards to work and/or school?

Edwin: Prior to starting ITWorks, I have been working as a food safety quality assurance technician in Hatfield for several months. I’ve also had some retail positions. I enjoy it in my current role, but I also have experience with computers. I took a few IT classes at Montgomery County Community College. I have always had a general interest in technology and those classes gave me an opportunity to learn more about the field. I have been wanting to get started in a tech career, but I didn’t really know how to get started.

ITW: How did you hear about the ITWorks program? What made you decide to apply?

E: Two of my cousins have graduated from ITWorks – the Sankofa brothers. They are both doing really well and working in the field. I wanted to see if I could have the same success as they did. What really stood out to me was that the ITWorks program would teach me everything I needed to know to make it in the IT field, whether someone has any background in the field. And I also really liked the emphasis on professionalism. I need both to succeed.

ITW: What are you most looking forward to about the 11-week classroom portion of the program? Anything you are nervous about?

E:  Despite what I already know, I am excited to take it back to the foundation and learn everything in technology from A to Z all at once. I’ve been able to pick up bits and pieces along the way, but it’s hard to retain all the knowledge when you’re not immersed in it entirely. The only thing I’m nervous about is my out-of-class responsibilities. It’s going to be tough juggling my schedule since I’ll be working full-time on overnight shifts, but this opportunity was just too good to pass up.

ITW: What are you excited about during the internship? Is there a specific experience you are hoping to walk away with?

E: Experience-wise, I am really looking forward to putting the skills I will learn in the classroom to work. It’s going to be really cool to apply the knowledge in a real-life environment. I am also excited just about being in a professional work environment. I haven’t had the opportunity to experience that yet, and I think it’s a setting that I will mesh really well with.

ITW: What do you think graduation will be like? Any anxiety about looking for a job?

E: I feel like naturally there will be an element of nervousness just because I’ll be stepping out of a comfort zone and being on my own a little bit. I also feel like the pressure will lift a little bit; knowing that as tough as it was for the last 16 weeks that I came out on the other side and can now move forward in the career that I’ve always wanted.

ITW: What is/are your ultimate career goal(s)? Where do you want to be in the next year or two? Ten to 15 years?

E: I don’t have a particular company in mind, but I would just like to be somewhere that allows me to take what I learn here and put it into practice. Down the road, I would enjoy the opportunity to be able to teach others. And throughout my career, I hope to be able to continue to learn as much as possible.

ITW: What has been/will be the impact of ITWorks in your life?

E: I feel like it’s going to be the stepping stone that I need to be able to actually apply for IT positions that I am interested in and would love to have, but don’t really have the educational or on-the-job experience for it. ITWorks is going to give me both. Employers are going to be able to see that I know what I’m doing and will be willing to give me a chance. 

ITW: Besides your passion for technology, what are some other things that you typically find yourself doing?

E: I have two kids; my sons are two and one. So whenever I am not taking a nap during the daytime, I spend as much time with my kids as possible. Otherwise, my little brother is a new player on the Denver Broncos so I am really excited to support him in any way possible.

ITWorks is an award winning 16-week job training program that changes lives. ITWorks offers free, immersive IT training to young adults– motivated high school graduates, 18-26 years old, who have not yet completed a Bachelor’s degree.

Students earn a professional certification in IT and a real-world internship inside leading corporations and nonprofits.

ITWorks offers both Spring and Fall classes. Even though it is too late to register for this semester, we are currently accepting applications for our Spring 2018 classes which begin February 2018, with interviews beginning in December 2017.

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