“Things are looking really good,” he said.
They are, indeed.
Madlung – who provides IT Help Desk support to employees at Covidien – recently earned a six-month extension on his contract, along with a raise. Better still, he loves the work he’s doing.
“I feel like I’m learning and building on my experience every day as I learn from other people within the company,” he said. “The folks here knew I was coming in green. They’ve been willing to take the time to bring me along because I’ve shown a commitment to them. I put in time and effort on my part, and they see that and keep helping me move to the next level.”
Asked to describe why IT-Ready worked for him, Madlung said it boiled down to commitment – a commitment from IT-Ready instructors, who worked hard to instruct and encourage students. A commitment from students, who threw themselves wholeheartedly into learning and growing.
And a commitment from employers, willing to extend opportunities to vetted and trained individuals with a desire to succeed.
“It’s like anything in life – if you put effort into it, you will be rewarded for it,” said Madlung, who graduated from IT-Ready last summer.
Michael Dauffenbach, a veteran who graduated from IT-Ready in December, agreed. He now works in Medtronic’s IT call center, helping employees with their computer and software-related issues. And he says he puts the “soft people skills” that he learned in IT-Ready to use every day.
“If you truly want an opportunity, you need to reach out and take it. You have to want it. It will not come to you,” he said.
Dauffenbach described IT-Ready’s eight weeks of education and training as “spot on” in terms of meeting the expectations of potential employers. And the softer professional skills he gained have proven to be just as critical as technical knowledge.
“Learning exactly what employers are looking for during an interview helped me greatly,” he said.
Asked where he sees himself in five years, Dauffenbach said he hopes to move up to a desktop support position – and anticipates that IT-Ready again will prove beneficial.
“IT-Ready’s continuing support for additional certifications will assist greatly,” he said.
Noel Stamper, an IT-Ready graduate from December, provides IT Help Desk support at Atos for her employer, Ascendum. In her role, Stamper troubleshoots software problems, and helps employees in installing software, activating Blackberries, securing identifications and other support needs.
Like her fellow IT-Ready graduates, Stamper is buoyed by her prospects. Currently studying for her Network+ certification, Stamper also is working on earning her associate’s degree in networking system administration.
“I plan on learning as much as possible and doing extremely well,” she said. “I will graduate with my degree in March 2014 with experience in my field and certifications. The options are going to be limitless.”
Stamper said she is sometimes overwhelmed by the gratitude she feels for IT-Ready – and all the new doors the program has opened for her.
“I can't say enough how thankful I am for this program,” she said. “I was a successful business owner who loved where I was and what I was doing…but with all of the changes in the economy, I could no longer move forward. Then I came across this opportunity and it offered me a light and a ladder. I am not sure where I am going to end up – but I know it will be somewhere great.”