Inspiring Success

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January 21, 2016

On-the-job IT experience gives IT-Ready graduate a leg up her career ladder

DavinaRossDavina Ross wanted a career in information technology — and she was doing everything right to make it happen.

She graduated with an associate’s degree in computer information technology from Community College of Philadelphia, where she augmented her studies by providing tech support in a work-study program. Then, she landed a role in information systems at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she updated quality assurance test scripts and conducted production testing for websites.

Still, Ross wanted to give her fledgling IT career a boost and was eager to take on greater professional challenges. She identified career opportunities she knew she could do, if only given the chance.

“As a recent college graduate working in the IT field, I knew there were a lot of jobs out there,” she said. “But employers want years of work experience, which I didn’t have.”

Ross knew that professional certifications — such as CompTIA’s highly regarded A+ certification — would elevate her resume. Securing CompTIA A+ certification was already part of her plan when she stumbled across an advertisement for IT-Ready on the website /home">IT charity Creating IT Futures Foundation was offering the IT-Ready career program in concert with workforce development organization Philadelphia Works.

“When I saw that they were offering an eight-week A+ certification program and providing books and instructors free of charge, it was a no-brainer for me,” she said. “At the end of the program, I would have my CompTIA A+ certification. And to top it off, I could apply for a six-month internship and they would help with job placement. I filled out the form right away and signed up.”

Although Ross was more familiar with information technology than some of her IT-Ready peers, she found the team-based and collaborative structure of the classroom helpful.

“Every day, practically all of the students worked in different groups,” she said. “That was great, because I have found that being in the IT field, I work with different colleagues and clients regularly. It really showed me the importance of being adaptable in any given situation.”

Following graduation from IT-Ready and earning her CompTIA A+ certification, Ross secured an internship at Aramark and now is working on her CompTIA Network+ certification. She works in Aramark’s IT Field Services Support division.

“I really enjoy what I do,” Ross said. “Every day, I learn something new and take on new challenges, while I also put into practice everything I learned while college and at IT-Ready.”