Meet Shawn Perez: ITWorks PA Student Spotlight

Las Vegas students already have one week under their belts, but now it's time for the Philly class to get started! Shawn is part of this cohort after witnessing the transformation in his long-time friend who graduated last Spring. Intrigued by what spurred the change and the possibility of debt-free education, he decided to look at ITWorks. He's ready to take advantage of this opportunity alongside his classmates. Read on to learn about Shawn's story. 

ITWorks: You are about to start an incredible 16-week journey to a career in IT! Congratulations on your acceptance to the ITWorks program. What led you to this opportunity?

Shawn: A long-time friend of mine graduated from the program last Spring, and she told me about it. I noticed this new drive in her that hadn’t been there before she was in the program, and I was intrigued by what brought that on. She basically told me that it was one of those things that seemed too good to be true, but that it actually was all that it claimed to be! Between hearing about the certifications, the professionalism, and the internship – it really set her up for success. I knew I had to give it a try.

ITW: Our graduates really are the best testimony of what can happen during this tech accelerator. I imagine that you must be interested in technology. Do you have any background in the field?

S: I was going to school through the military and then at a local university for a couple of years, but I could never find something that I was passionate about. I studied criminal justice, English, history, and economics at different points in time. Indecisive, I know, but I did not want to stick with something that didn’t have any meaning to me. Through it all, I always came back to my love for technology, so I knew that had to be the field for me. The financial hardship of college started adding up, so I decided to look for alternative options.

ITW: You’re not alone in that search. College alternatives are becoming more popular. Why do you think they are important here in Philadelphia?

S: You’re right, I feel like trade schools are more attractive to my generation these days, and ITWorks is basically a trade school. It’s cool that this program is a reflection of the market. There is such a huge need for tech talent here in Philly, and you are turning out people with the skills required to fill that need. I’m going to get hands-on training and knowledge and start my career in just a couple of months. The possibilities are endless from there.

ITW: Sound like you are in the right place! Are you ready to get started?

S: I am excited! But I’m also a little nervous. I still have moments where I can’t believe you guys chose me! It’s surreal, but I am so grateful. I’m looking forward to meeting my classmates and getting into a groove. I know I have to live up to the success my friend had in the program.

ITW: I’m sure she will help you along the way, too! So, let’s fast forward to graduation day for a moment. What do you hope to have accomplished at that point?

S: I already know that I’m going to be empowered by all the skills I have gained, and that I’m going to be super proud of myself – that’s for sure. Beyond that, I want to say that I’ve been able to establish a network of peers and professionals to help jumpstart my career in tech. That’s what it’s all about right? From there, it’s up to me and I’ll do my best to do you guys proud!

We’re already proud of you for making it this far, Shawn! Best of luck to the entire ITWorks Class 33 as you begin your tech careers.

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