Inspiring Success

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April 5, 2016

New IT pro Dylan Anderson honed leadership and IT skills, thanks to IT-Ready

DylanAndersonIt was the middle of the night and Dylan Anderson was stocking shelves in a grocery store when the thought struck him: His career was going nowhere.

“Stocking was not a satisfying job for me,” he said. “It felt very dead end, with no chance for promotion. And there were no intellectual challenges to keep the work engaging.”

So he quit. And a new and improved career plan fell into his lap quite by accident when his mother passed along information she had seen driving by a billboard advertising IT-Ready.

“I applied for IT-Ready because I had just quit stocking overnight, so I had the time and nothing to lose,” he said. “I had always had an interest in IT and electronics in general. Honestly, I was skeptical that IT-Ready would be everything it said it was — it had the feeling of being too good to be true — but it ended up being all it claimed and then some.”

During his eight weeks of intensive classroom-based training at IT-Ready, Anderson learned — completely free of charge to him — the technical and soft professional skills needed for an entry-level position in the IT industry. He learned about laptop and desktop assembly; installing and configuring different operating systems; and how to troubleshoot computers and devices such as smart phones and printers.

Anderson also learned other career skills, such as how to interview effectively, how to communicate clearly and work well with others, and how to create a professional-looking resume.

Looking back now, Anderson says, he appreciates that the most important lesson he learned at IT-Ready was that he truly is capable.

“IT-Ready gave me the confidence I needed to stand out at work, and not just because I earned CompTIA A+ certification, but because I’m not afraid to ask questions when they need to be asked, or take the lead in team-oriented environments,” he said. “The most important skills IT-Ready taught me were the motivation and leadership skills I now use every day but didn’t know I had. Two years and one promotion after starting at McCormick Computer Resale, I still use what I learned in IT-Ready to manage my department.”

Anderson now manages the cleaning and packaging department at McCormick Computer Resale, located in Apple Valley, Minn. The company specializes in new and refurbished point-of-sale systems, such as cash registers and scanners, and offers hard-to-find replacement parts. The company also provides computer hardware and server maintenance and technical support.

Anderson started at McCormick Computer Resale as a technician repairing everything from laptops to receipt printers — reflecting another key takeaway from IT-Ready, Anderson said, which is where you start in IT is not necessarily where you stay.

“Another skill I learned from IT-Ready was how to interview effectively,” he said. “Since going through IT-Ready, I have felt confident and prepared for interviews. Confidence in an interview can put you in league with the most qualified of the candidates you’re competing with, and I believe what I learned played no small part in helping me get the career I have now.”

With his career facing forward — no more dead ends— Anderson said he is excited about what his future holds.

“I would like to earn more certifications through CompTIA and perhaps a degree in business,” he said. “IT-Ready played a role in this vision, because I would have never imagined I would be capable of excelling in the workplace like I have without the confidence and the skills IT-Ready gave me.”

Anderson said he encourages other people to apply to IT-Ready.

“It can be a life changer,” he said. “If you take the program seriously and pay attention to what is taught, you can find yourself in a rewarding and enjoyable career —something I never thought possible for myself before. Passing the A+ certification exam and graduating from IT-Ready represents a huge step forward. Take full advantage of what is offered, because chances like this are once in a lifetime.”