The Fall 2018 session is officially coming to a close with the last graduation of the season in Delaware this week. This mighty class came from all walks of life with one goal in common: to gain the skills needed to enter the IT field. Now, they are ready to do just that – including Jessica Brown. Having actual hands-on experience, she knew that tech was where she wanted to be but she lacked the certifications and formal training to get there. Finishing her internship at Goodwill Industries, she is ready to truly begin her career. Read on to learn more!
ITWorks: Congrats! It’s officially graduation week, and you have made it through a tough 16 weeks. You have known for some time that you wanted to pursue a career in tech, and even started ITWorks with some experience. So, what made you decide on this program?
Jessica: I knew what things were and I knew what everything did, but I didn’t have any concept of the theory behind it – I couldn’t explain it to someone, which is essential to being a technician. I also didn’t have any experience in a professional environment, and I knew that ITWorks would help prepare me for that…and it has! The Friday Sessions grew my knowledge about being a young professional, but mostly my internship has given me the first-hand knowledge.
ITW: Tell us more about that! How is your internship going, and what have you learned there?
J: I really love my internship. When I found out I was placed here with Goodwill, I was a little unsure of what to expect but I’ve actually been able to gain a lot of experience beyond my skillset, which is enhancing my resume. Since the IT department here is so intimate, I get to do literally everything that a service desk would tackle from handling tickets to going on-site to fix user issues. Besides the technical growth, I am really being immersed in a real professional setting for the first time in my life – and that is going to be so important for my career.
ITW: It sure is! You will be able to use those skills for the rest of your life. Speaking of career – any idea on where you want to take it?
J: Right now, my goal is to keep gaining more experience. ITWorks is putting my foot in the door, and now it’s my job to keep it there. I’m focusing on service desk opportunities with growth potential towards network positions. I’m not picky on the what or the where just yet, and it’s not really about chasing a paycheck either. I want to grow as a person and as a technician, so I am chasing the opportunity that lets me do that.
ITW: With that mindset and attitude, there is no doubt you will have some great opportunities knocking at your door. So, I know the last few months have been super busy, but have you had time to reflect on it all? What does all of this mean to you?
J: ITWorks has shown me that I am more than my environment, and that I can rise above my past. I have learned that as long as you have the will to do something, you can achieve it. I absolutely couldn’t believe a year ago that I would be sitting in this position right now. I went from being stressed and depressed living in a homeless shelter to shaking the hand of the governor as an IT intern, all in just a few short months. I am still trying to wrap my head around that – it’s crazy!
ITW: What a transformative testimony! You put in all the hard work to make that happen, so kudos to you! So, do you think programs like ITWorks are important?
J: Absolutely. It can really change someone’s life for the better. In times like this, that could really help somebody who, otherwise, would have had a much harder life. I can only speak for myself, but I know this program is going add to my happiness much sooner. It has taken so much stress off my plate about figuring out my career. I have found myself here at ITWorks. I know what I am capable of, and I know exactly what I want to do now. ITWorks took me in, helped me brush off the dust a little bit, and reminded me of exactly who I am and who I want to be. And that’s the Jess you see today!
We’re so proud of the person and technician that you are! Congrats on an amazing start to your journey, and best of luck as you continue after ITWorks. You are going to do great things!