IT Career Success
Posts in this category reflect our IT Career student success.
As a child growing up in Rhode Island, Chad Giguere had dreams of becoming a fighter pilot. By the time he was old enough to take the military placement assessment, he had seen news and footage of the 9/11 attacks and decided the fastest and most direct impact would be in the infantry.
Following six years of service, Chad concluded his infantry career at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and endeavored to enter the private sector. Though infantry experience tells volumes about leadership, grit, and bravery, the only employment opportunities that came calling were in security and construction trades.
Chad started searching for the fastest, most direct route out of these trades and into information technology. Soon enough he found his way into Apprenti, scored well, and secured his path into IT as a TLG IT Pre-Apprentice.
Certifications and fresh IT resume in hand, it was still a struggle to get employers to see Chad as an IT candidate. Like so many quality candidates looking to transition into a new field, he just needed attention and intention. Thankfully, TLG Learning was able to introduce Chad to their hiring partners at TEKSystems. They took the time to meet with Chad, get to know him, and hired him into an IT role.
Today, Chad is happily working and serving his own aspirations with his new career. With the passing of another 9/11 anniversary we reflect on how many people sidelined their personal careers to serve and protect our country. With the shared commitment to helping veterans, TEKSystems, TLG Learning, Apprenti, and others continue to create pathways for servicemembers like Chad.
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. -Goethe
Alana Franklin’s vocal talent led her to study opera in college. As she decided she wasn’t going to go pro, the job market pulled her into assistant and office management roles. And those roles eventually pulled her into an Exec Admin position at Amazon.
There she spent her days steeped in tech but unable to directly participate. Though Amazon had some opportunities for internal pivots into tech, the people in her organization seemed unable to see her as anything other than an Admin. She knew she belonged in software engineering, but how was she going to convince her colleagues, employers, and organization without having to go all the way back through college?
She started teaching herself programming concepts with a combination of books, websites, and sheer brute force. Meanwhile, she researched other avenues into technology careers and landed on Apprenti. The studying she’d been doing paid off when she took the assessment and her ranking earned her a spot in Microsoft’s maiden cohort of software engineering apprentices.
As she started the C# training with TLG Learning, she found her earlier self-study and preparation gave her an inside track on absorbing the information while also helping her classmates. When she began the year of on-the-job training at Microsoft, Alana was quickly productive with Microsoft’s coding tools and methodologies. With the assistance of an excellent mentor and the support of her team, Alana was able to slide right into an FTE role at Microsoft.
Alana learned software engineering because that’s who she is. Microsoft hired her because she’s bold enough to take her place. And we are glad to partner with Apprenti to help deliver the training that helps people become who they are.
Roscoe has had multiple lives: from serving in the United States Navy to professional dancing, competitive boxing and coaching. To entertain himself he studied math and took courses with Khan Academy.
Seeing unrealized interest and talent, Roscoe’s girlfriend mentioned he might want to look into a program she’d heard about called Apprenti. He took the assessment and received a competitive score on the first try. Before he knew it, Apprenti was calling and offering him the chance to interview with Microsoft. He studied up on Microsoft’s initiatives and interview practices—and wowed them!
Roscoe joined the first-ever cohort of Software Engineering apprentices for C# training at TLG Learning. From there he progressed into the yearlong on-the-job training on Microsoft’s campus. When the time came, he interviewed for a fulltime position and now he uses his programming chops to help transport Microsoft’s critical financial data.
Looking back, Roscoe believes the frenetic nature of his career was out of a need to always be learning. He’s found his match working in data, constantly sponging up new ideas and putting them to work. As for Roscoe’s other match? Yes, he’s still with his keeper of a girlfriend.
A daisy chain of events brought Navy veteran, Britini Malloy, into Software Engineering at Microsoft.
Shortly after transferring to Everett, WA with her active-duty husband, this industrious and studious mother of five (including twins!) enrolled in college. She completed her degree and it yielded her a whopping one interview, so she decided to return to school to get her masters. Two years later the best opportunity she could find was an unpaid internship as a web developer/designer.
Frustrated but undeterred, Britini amped up her search and accepted assistance from her local WorkSource office. As luck would have it, her counselor had recently heard about Apprenti and recommended she give it a try. Britini took the assessment in December and by Valentine’s Day she was interviewing and getting plugged into the inaugural Software Engineering Apprenticeship for Microsoft.
A portion of the apprenticeship included three months of C# training with TLG Learning. Since the structure of a cohort is more collaborative than competitive, Britini’s academic computer science experience was valued and built upon.
From TLG she moved into on-the-job training at Microsoft which led to two full-time offers a year later. She opted to join a team of seasoned engineers working on Microsoft Intune. Though she was a little intimidated by the heavy-hitters on her new team, Britini’s new dev manager valued the perspective and creative approach she brought to the organization. In fact, their team has since used their headcount to acquire additional up-and-coming developers from varied backgrounds.
While there were struggles and frustrations of accelerated learning and on-the-job training, Britini marvels at her on-going experience at Microsoft and has come to believe in Satya Nadella’s principles around growth mindset. Today Britini continues the daisy chain by referring people to the program, we look forward to sharing their stories someday soon!
Brandon Lamkin had an easy transition from military to civilian life: he moved from Stryker maintenance in the United States Army Infantry to Stryker maintenance for a government contractor. Though the transition was seamless, the 70-hour work weeks and heavy machinery took a physical toll. The flat career path and intermittent workflow were also unsettling. Still, he put his head down and gave the job 100% while also becoming a husband, a homeowner, and a father.
Two years into his tenure and weeks before the holiday season, Brandon’s misgivings suddenly materialized as his entire department was laid off. For most, this is when their story would begin to unravel. However, this is when Brandon’s story started coming together: he found Apprenti which opened the door to an IT Pre-Apprenticeship with TLG Learning.
Brandon began the Data Center Technician Program in March of 2019. As if to test his commitment, his former employer soon called and offered to rehire him. The proposal was tempting, but he had already dedicated himself to a different career – one where he could use his head and not his hands. In May 2019 employers began calling TLG’s Placement Manager to inquire about possible candidates in the tech industry. After interviewing, Brandon ultimately accepted an offer from Seattle-based WatchGuard Technologies. He traded labor and long hours for a life of learning, troubleshooting, and problem solving.
WatchGuard, in turn, won an employee with Service and IT skills as well as the elusive traits of commitment and grit.
Tyler Walser’s path into the Tech industry was full of roundabouts and hairpin turns. He enlisted in the United States Army and, though assigned as a mechanic, he was deployed to Iraq on a combat recovery team. By the end of his tour, Tyler had not only earned funding for college but also a Bronze Star Medal.
Tyler parlayed his G.I. Bill into a film degree, then moved to Los Angeles to work piecemeal on commercials for long enough to establish himself while also realizing the industry wasn’t his cup of tea. Looking to broaden his prospects, he once again pulled up his stakes and returned to the northwest in pursuit of an MBA.
The MBA helped Tyler land an operational/administrative role for a local trade hall. While his position was stable, he found the day-in and day-out tasks to be grinding, repetitive, and stressful. Looking to find the right track, he searched the internet for steady and challenging jobs with solid compensation, which lead him to Apprenti. What followed was a quick succession of assessments, interviews, and admittance into the first ever Software Engineering Apprenticeship with Microsoft.
Tyler’s apprenticeship started with learning frontend development at a coding bootcamp, followed by zero-to-sixty training on C# with TLG Learning. After 20 cumulative weeks in the classroom, he and fellow apprentices set out for a year of on-the-job training at Microsoft.
Right off the bat Tyler’s new team sidelined C# and tasked him with switching over to Scope and building data pipelines. A combination of sheer will and his training in programming fundamentals helped Tyler make the leap.
At the conclusion of his apprenticeship Tyler formally interviewed with Microsoft and landed a full-time job as a software engineer—accomplishing in months what takes many aspiring coders years to do. Although Tyler found the IT Apprenticeship to be anything but easy, he will be the first to tell you it’s completely worth it. His new career demands creativity and constant learning while he also relishes a new sense of ease he hadn’t experienced in previous roles.
Apprenti is actively reviewing assessments for a Microsoft Software Engineering cohort scheduled to kick-off in late September. TLG Learning is honored to administer the training and looks forward to sharing more stories like Tyler’s!
Philly native Tamekah Thompson’s military career could not have been further from IT. She started out in Human Resources and was eventually assigned to transportation where she served as a driving instructor and operations manager. Knowing she wasn’t going to be career-military, she began preparing for her eventual separation by earning a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems.
After 11 years of service, she and her active-duty spouse landed in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Tamekah initiated her separation from service and set to work on getting her foot in the IT door. She landed an entry-level opportunity as an end-user support provider for a behavioral health organization close to the military base.
Just as Tamekah was hitting her stride, her spouse received orders to transfer to Washington State. As experienced by far too many veterans and their spouses, relocation meant a devastating set-back in Tamekah’s fledgling career. She accepted it with grace, resigned from her position, and accompanied her spouse to Washington. With limited experience and no professional IT connections, her search results were disappointing, and she felt herself getting far afield of her career goals.
In mid-2018 Tamekah heard about Apprenti. She took the required assessment and scored high enough to apply for the Pre-Apprenticeship with TLG Learning. She was selected as a TLG IT Pre-Apprentice and she joined the March 2019 Data Center Technician cohort at Camp Murray.
A few weeks ahead of program completion, TLG’s Placement Manager began introducing her to partner employers. Among these partners was eXcell, a division of CompuCom Systems. With their shared value in Veteran talent and hiring, eXcell wasted no time interviewing Tamekah and lined her up for an offer within one of their managed IT services.
At the beginning of July, Tamekah began her role as an IT Technical Support Engineer. In addition to getting her career back on track in a role that allows her to flex her technical muscles, Tamekah is also enjoying the perks of a tidy pay increase and the comfort of working from home. What a difference a bit of intensive training and a few intentional connections can make!
Georgia native Erica Bozeman served for 8 years in the United States Army before pursuing a career in IT. Stationed in Virginia and Washington, she quickly moved up the ranks while serving in multiple departments from Transportation to Deployment Readiness and Human Resources.
Throughout her military career Erica excelled due to her exceptional tenacity, work ethic, and customer service. Never one to rest on her laurels, Erica not only performed her job duties, but she also received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, earned Commendation and Achievement medals, and attained top secret clearance. She accomplished all of this while becoming a mother and welcoming her four sons into the world.
While working on her Bachelor’s degree, Erica discovered she had a knack and interest for information technology, but she hadn’t considered pursuing IT as a career until it found her. While transitioning out of the service, Erica was approached by several IT employers, but nothing struck a chord.
Erica learned about Apprenti and TLG’s accelerated IT Program while at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Transition Assistance Program and she decided to apply. She was selected as a TLG IT Pre-Apprentice and started with the Data Center Technician cohort which kicked off in Camp Murray, WA in March of 2019. Shortly after starting the program, Apprenti and TLG partner employer, Amazon, reached out and offered Erica the opportunity to apply to their facility in Herndon, VA.
By June Erica had CompTIA A+, Linux+, and Network+ certifications. She also had a technical resume, a fleshed-out LinkedIn account, and relationships with classmates and instructors she’ll keep forever. Last but not least, she had a new career! Amazon flew her out to Virginia, interviewed her, and offered her a job as a Data Center Technician Apprentice.
Thanks to a healthy salary with a relocation bonus, Erica started her new job with Amazon in Virginia in July. It is difficult to imagine a more profound career pivot than what Erica has accomplished—Congratulations!
In the fall of 2018, Navy veteran and Illinois-native, Joram Howard, found himself in the Puget Sound area exploring what to do with his post-military career. Joram had always been interested in IT but was not sure how to make the leap. His experience as an Electronics Technician was a good foundation in technology, but not easily transferable into an IT career.
Joram sought a program which would help him quickly bridge the skill gap without putting his life and family on hold for years while he pursued training. The WTIA’s Apprenti veteran and diversity-oriented training mission sparked his interest, along with the potential of cost-free training.
Joram started the process by taking Apprenti’s online assessment. Similar to the GMAT, this assessment is comprised of a variety of questions and problems which includes basic algebra, critical thinking, and soft/communication skills. In the competitive Seattle region, one needs to score an 85 or above to be considered for the program. With 6000+ applicants and more individuals testing every day, the competition is fierce. Joram’s score was high, but not quite high enough to guarantee an Apprenti apprenticeship.
Frustrated, yet committed to his path in IT, Joram expanded his Apprenti application outside of the Seattle region and into Camp Murray, WA. As a training partner with Apprenti at Camp Murray, TLG Learning was able to offer an alternate track with their Washington State approved IT Pre-Apprenticeship program.
Joram happily applied for the Data Center Technician program, was accepted and joined the cohort which comprised of 15 Apprentices and Pre-Apprentices.
After completing the accelerated and intensive training, Joram’s cohort emerged with industry standard certifications and foundational knowledge in IT. As a Pre-Apprentice, Joram was guaranteed to interview with Apprenti and one of their hiring partners.
Though other opportunities were available, Joram set his sights on Apprenti’s largest hiring partner: Amazon. He waited until Amazon was ready to hire and seized the opportunity to interview for a System Development Engineer Apprenticeship at AWS.
In the spring of 2019, Joram landed his dream job at Amazon. In addition to a salary close to triple his Navy pay, Joram will enjoy the perks and benefits of full-time employment, as well as the invaluable on-the-job training and mentorship baked into Amazon’s apprentice program. This has been a transformative year for Joram!
Below is an interview on his experience with the program and his transition from Pre-Apprentice to employee:
Q: What was the training like?
Joram: Hard, fast-paced. But there was a good group to lean on.
Q: Benefits and challenges?
Joram: One benefit was ability to learn a trade and use GI benefits to supply income. The GI benefits include a monthly housing allowance and living stipend, which made living stress-free while I focused on my studies. One challenge was being alongside students who already had their apprenticeships secure which, if anything, made me focus on the pre-apprentice program even more like a job.
Q: What job will you be taking as a result of your training and how does it compare to your previous work?
Joram: I’ll be a System Dev Engineer at AWS. The work itself will be completely different than what I did in the military, however, the conditions will be similar as I learn and work in on-the-job training.
Q. What advice would you have to offer individuals who are considering the program?
Joram: Worth it! This is a nice way to network, learn, and then make career connections.
Q: And advice for someone once they’re in the program?
Joram: Find your own pace and then work ahead of yourself and keep your own pace. As much as possible, stay ahead!