The ITWorks Las Vegas graduation is just around the corner, which marks the end of the inaugural class! All 11 students earned their CompTIA A+ certifications and are gaining valuable experience in their IT internships. James Mazza, a student in the Las Vegas class, had recently discovered that he wanted to pursue a career in technology and is excited that he now has some experience from which he can launch that career. We checked in with James to reflect on his experience and hear about his future goals – read on to learn more!
ITWorks: What had you been doing prior to starting ITWorks?
James: Before ITWorks, I was actually unemployed and looking for work. Nobody wanted to hire me because I didn’t have any experience, and I couldn’t get the experience because nobody would hire me. I had tried doing some post-secondary education at a trade school for IT, but I wasn’t able to complete the program there. I’ve always been interested in IT and helped my family and friends with their technology needs, so it is a logical career path for me.
ITW: What made you want to pursue the ITWorks program?
J: One of my previous instructors at the trade school I attended told me about the program, and that it might be a great fit for me given my interest in IT. I checked it out online, and applied that day!
ITW: You’ve already completed the classroom portion of the program and earned your certificates – how does it feel to have those accomplished?
J: It feels great to know that I have some more experience under my belt now. The classroom portion is a lot to take in during a short period of time, but being able to say that I am Cisco and A+ certified is really rewarding. That’s not to say that I don’t miss being in the classroom. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people from our instructor, to my classmates, to all the guest speakers! The professional development sessions that focused on resume building and mock interviews will stick with me for years to come. They have helped me so much!
ITW: The internship is about halfway through at this point – where are you doing your internship? What’s the experience been like there?
J: I am interning at Easter Seals Nevada. I work with a small IT team, which is really cool because I actually get to help in a hands-on way. Often times they’ll have me tackle a problem first to see how I work through it and then guide me through the process if I need additional insight. The environment is a little more relaxed than I expected, but that’s a benefit to me because I feel comfortable asking questions when I have them. The skills and knowledge I am gaining here are going to be so valuable as I move forward and look for employment opportunities.
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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: I can’t say for sure, but I definitely hope the process is going to be easier! And if ITWorks finds anyone who is looking for some tech employees, they should send them my way. I’m not too sure where I want to specialize yet, but I’d like to try out some different areas and see what fits me best.
ITW: What do you think the impact of ITWorks has been in your life?
J: It’s given me a lot more confidence; confidence that I need to have a successful career in the future! Before I started this program, I didn’t know where to start or what to do. Now, not only do I have more confidence in myself but I have confidence in my new credentials – my certifications, internship experience, and being a graduate of the ITWorks program!
ITW: For those young folks in Las Vegas who are considering ITWorks, what advice would you have for them?
J: Definitely join the program! And study hard! It’s a really great program to get into – I am also recommending it to my friends.
ITW: Is there anything else about your experience with the ITWorks program that you’d like to share?
J: I sincerely appreciate all the time and effort that everyone has put into my future. It has genuinely changed my life for the better, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without my ITWorks family! Thank you!
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