The students in our ITWorks Philadelphia class are more than halfway through the Fall 2017 session! With CompTIA A+ certification exams happening now, students are busy studying and preparing for their internships. We sat down with one of the students, Isaiah Ginyard, to hear about his experience in the ITWorks program. While always with a job in the food service industry, he grew frustrated with the lack of growth opportunities. After two friends found success in the ITWorks program, Isaiah knew he needed to give it a shot. Read on to learn more!
ITWorks: Why did ITWorks appeal to you?
Isaiah: This was actually my second time applying for the ITWorks program. I have two friends who have gone through this program before, and they told me about ITWorks. Since I am always working on my computer anyway, I thought this would be a good way to turn what I enjoy doing into a career. Right now, I work in food service; and that’s really a tough industry to work your way up in. So, ITWorks was my ticket into something that I could be passionate about.
ITW: ITWorks can be a little overwhelming when you start – taking two exams per week, meeting 100+ volunteers, having tons of resources to use, preparing for internships, studying for the A+ exam, job searching, and more! Has it been challenging all of this in addition to your out-of-class responsibilities? What makes it worth all the hard work?
I: I definitely lost track of time; I can’t believe we’re already in Week 8! It’s a lot of work, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Everything that happens during class-time is the easiest part for me – I know that I can show up every day and put forth my best effort. It’s my time management outside of class – finding the time to study, still earning income, etc. – that is the hardest part. But I’m learning more every day, and knowledge is power. It’ all worth it because we spend so much of our lives at work, and I’m ready to be enjoying what I do. If I’m going to be working with a company for 40 hours a week for the next ten years, then I want to make sure I’m enjoying it and can see myself doing it for a while. With IT, that’s true for me.
ITW: Who or what is motivating you to take full advantage of the ITWorks program?
I: It’s myself really. My background and my personality fit so well with what I am learning here. I know that I can prosper in this industry. It provides so many opportunities for improvement and growth, and that is something that I constantly strive for. I can actually see myself in the shoes of so many of the volunteers we have met. So that propels my internal motivation as well. I can’t wait to be where they are so that I can give back, too.
ITW: How is ITWorks preparing you for the career that you want?
I: Well, I’m not really sure what career I want just yet. ITWorks has exposed us to a lot of different career pathways, though, between all of our labs, the volunteers we meet, and our internship opportunities. So really, I’d say just by giving me the chance to explore what I want to pursue is the best preparation. I know I want to be in IT, and soon I will know what that really looks like.
ITW: What do you envision for your future after you graduate from the ITWorks program?
I: I look forward to working with a group of like-minded people in IT. I know that I’ll thrive in a positive team environment because it helps keep me accountable and I like to help others stay motivated. I don’t know what that job looks like just yet, but I know I want to be on a team and that I want to give back.
ITW: Why should other young people in your community consider ITWorks? Any tips for future students?
I: It’s an unconventional program that can provide you with exactly what you need to get started. Sure, a degree is still the ultimate goal for many. But we have the opportunity here to be A+ certified and have an IT internship under our belts in just 16 weeks. There’s not a lot of people who can say that! What’s even more amazing is that your background does not matter! I imagine they’d like to see you with some job experience, but they are really looking for people that are motivated to see this through. At one point in the past, I was homeless. But now I am here, working hard, and I’m going to be an IT professional. Put yourself first and know that ITWorks is the best decision you will make. You just have to want it and work hard.
Are you ready to work hard to start your
career in IT? Apply to ITWorks today: