The ITWorks students in Philly have been learning all about IT hardware and infrastructure for the last eight weeks, and they are halfway to graduation! With certification exams just around the corner, we snagged a few precious minutes to sit down with Joseph Suos. While he enjoyed the troubleshooting and customer service that goes along with being a mechanic, Joey did not want to do it forever. His affinity for tech and the testimony of some friends who went through the program made it an easy decision to try ITWorks. Read on to learn more!
ITWorks: You have passed the halfway point in the program – woo! Congrats on sticking with a rigorous and demanding schedule. Can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing before ITWorks?
Joey: I’ve been working on cars as a mechanic for about four years, but it’s always been a passion of mine. My parents pushed me to look at it as a career, and I didn’t have a reason not to. I stuck with it for a while, because I enjoyed being able to fix people’s problems and building a pool of returning customers. It’s a good feeling to see someone come back because they like your work.
ITW: It sounds like you built quite a positive reputation for yourself and were doing well! What made you decide it was time to transition into tech?
J: This past summer, I took a trip to Japan. While I was there, I had this epiphany that I really didn’t want to be working on cars, but I did still want to be fixing things. A few of my friends had gone through the program and recommended it as an entry-level point into the tech field. I decided to apply on my birthday, kind of as a gift to myself. Two days later, I got a call to come in for an interview!
ITW: An opportunity at a sustainable and successful career is a powerful birthday gift. What a cool story! There are, of course, other programs that you could have applied for. What sold you on ITWorks?
J: What I really liked about the program is that you didn’t have to have a particular background – you could come from anywhere! My buy-in has only expanded since I started. As a student here, I have witnessed how each staff member helps with making that transition from, in my case, working on cars to being an IT professional. My peers have quickly turned into friends, even a family which makes learning a lot more fun when we are truly behind one another 100%. Oh, and I can’t forget about the connections I’ve made at all the Friday Sessions! We have met so many people.
ITW: With any new adventure, you don’t always know what you are getting into until you’re wading through the waters. Thanks for trusting in us! Now, let’s take a look at the future. You’ll be starting your internship in a few weeks! What companies did you interview with, and what do you want to get out of your internship?
J: I had the great privilege of interviewing with Reed Tech, PNC Bank, and Build the Future which all would provide a valuable internship. I am really looking forward to the experience at the internship, no matter where I go. We have learned so much in the classroom, and I am going to learn that much more by being in the field and watching others do what I have only read about. It’s also a great opportunity to explore the various parts of IT that are out there to see where I might like to focus. Right now, cybersecurity and IT consulting seem interesting, but I haven’t gotten my hands dirty enough to know just yet!
ITW: With an open mind and eager attitude, you are in a good spot to gain all that and more! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and your class will soon graduate. What do you think your future IT career holds?
J: We just went to SAP for a Friday Session recently, and I have to say I am really sold on working there! They are great because they have the local office, but they also have a location in Japan – and that’s kind of a dream of mine to work there. I knew about SAP before the program, so when I saw we were actually going there – I was speechless! Being there…wow! I still have no words. It was such a cool experience. I can’t wait until I get the opportunity to work there. We got to keep our name tags from that day, so I have it in my room where I can see it every day to keep me motivated and focused on my goals.
Look out SAP, Joey has his eye on you – and what a great addition he would be! With his forthcoming CompTIA A+ certification and tech internship, he’ll be ready to add value to any IT team. We can’t wait to see where your journey takes you, Joey. Who knows, maybe the next time we catch up you’ll be working in Japan!