It’s officially graduation season at Tech Impact! Just like that, sixteen weeks have flown by and the ITWorks Las Vegas class is graduating on Thursday. This group of students have gone through a transformational experience, and are now armed with the knowledge, skills, and training to launch their IT careers. We caught up with Maurice, one of the students graduating this week, to hear first-hand what the transformation has entailed. Read on to learn more!
ITWorks: I can’t believe that it’s already graduation week! I heard you are doing your internship at SDMI. What’s your experience been like there?
Maurice: It’s exactly what I was looking for in an IT internship. I’m doing tech support, but I’m also getting to learn about networks as well which was an interest that I expressed. It’s been interesting to be part of a medical organization because of all the HIPAA regulations, but that is going to be a useful skill to have. I’ve built a PC from the ground up, troubleshooted software issues, and run around with the team to solve user problems. I get to do so much, and that’s what I wanted. Plus, it’s so open and friendly – I even got to meet Dr. Steinberg. Even though it’s just an internship, I feel like I’m part of the team.
ITW: That’s so cool. It sounds like it’s been versatile and hands-on – both great experiences for getting into the IT field. Did you know what area of IT you wanted to focus on coming into the ITWorks program?
M: I had some previous technology-related experience related to the construction field, but I wanted something more. The whole purpose of me pursuing IT was to learn more about tech infrastructure and figure out how it crosses with healthcare. I originally thought I was going to attend College of Southern Nevada if I could find a grant or scholarship of some kind, but then ITWorks fell on my lap. Someone from my church told me about the Las Vegas Urban League and all the resources available there. I decided to check it out and thought I would get some interview and job search help. After going through their one-week program, they told me about a program where I could attain IT certifications and professional skills for free at Tech Impact. The rest is history!
ITW: The Las Vegas community is so connected and supportive. So, you applied in December, and then interviewed for the program. What was that process like?
M: I didn’t have long to wait, but I was anxious to hear about my application! It felt like the group interviews and individual interviews began right away. After going through all the steps, it was such an exciting moment when I got the call to say I was accepted to the program. I felt so blessed; it was such an answer to my prayers!
ITWorks: And just like that, fast forward a couple of months and here we are! Looking back at the last 16 weeks, what stands out about the ITWorks experience?
M: My teacher, Kera! She is so knowledgeable about the field, and she structured the class in a way that was conducive to learning. She and the whole team were so helpful in helping me accomplish my goals. The Friday Sessions, too, were so incredibly helpful. We had one at SDMI, which helped me realize that was an organization I wanted to be part of. Beyond that, those soft skills are so incredibly important to our success and our motivation. I feel like my momentum has been picking up speed since Day 1, and I can’t be stopped now! I have my A+, an incredible internship, and now we’re graduating. I wish I could go through it again! I would recommend it to anybody and everybody.
ITWorks: That speaks volumes if you would take time to go through the program again! Fortunately, the ITWorks team will be here to support you as you move forward! Looking ahead now, where do you hope this program will take you?
M: It has already given me the foundation for my goal of being in the healthcare IT sector. I know about the next certifications that I should aim to achieve, and I’m anxious to hear about ITWorks 2.0! If I could get the Net+ certification, that would push me towards my network admin goals as well.
ITWorks: It sounds like you have accomplished so much in a short period of time. We’re incredibly proud of you and your classmates! Tech Impact has now been in Las Vegas for over two years. What impact do you think it has had on your community?
M: It’s bringing hope! This organization and these people genuinely care. And more people need to know about it! The name Tech Impact really makes sense, because it’s so impactful. It’s what our community needs. It almost feels like a family. I know that I haven’t walked this road by myself, there are so many alumni before me – and I hope I can motivate future students to know they can do this, too.
Congrats to all our Las Vegas students and staff on your achievements! We know you are destined for successful tech careers, and we cannot wait to see where each journey takes you. Good luck from the entire Tech Impact family!