Rashmi Bhattarai found her place in the IT infrastructure market and helps healthcare providers to do their jobs easily and efficiently.
By Michelle Lange
Rashmi Bhattarai remembers the exact moment she got interested in IT. She’d just spent eight hours trying to figure out an error message on her computer, and when she finally cracked it, she felt a rush of satisfaction.
“That was my moment,” she said. She didn’t know it then, but that moment would also be her first step toward IT-Ready, a program that would introduce her to technology careers and help her find a home in the complicated infrastructure of healthcare IT.
At first, Bhattarai taught herself about little things, reading about hardware online and fixing her own computer. She enrolled in networking and security classes, and expanded her tech skills to help her friends and family. Thanks to a neighborhood computer shop, she volunteered her time to apply what she was learning, but never felt like she had the right to call herself an IT pro.
“That’s when I realized I didn’t have the confidence to put anything on my resume,” Bhattarai said. “I didn’t have a certificate, and I’d never worked in IT.”
Bhattarai looked online for affordable IT programs where she could get that experience, and landed on IT-Ready, a free eight-week program that helps people get started in IT, earn entry-level technology certifications and find jobs right away.
“I felt like it was too good to be true,” she said. “I was really skeptical about having a job at the end of an eight-week course, and I was a little bit skeptical of the program. Eight weeks to learn CompTIA A+ material and two exams you have to pass? I don’t think so!”
Bhattarai filled out an application, got an acceptance letter in the mail and was suddenly immersed in technology. She was studying for finals in her IT networking and security classes while starting IT-Ready with 25 other students, who quickly grew into a supportive group.
“IT-Ready created such a positive environment for the students to come in and learn and succeed that we wanted to help each other, no matter what level we were in,” she said.
Graduating from IT-Ready and passing the CompTIA A+ exam put Bhattarai exactly where she wanted to be. “Now I have a paper that says I’m an IT technician, and now I can put this on my resume and now I can move forward,” she said.
Through IT-Ready, she got a job at HealthPartners, one of the employer partners of Creating IT Futures in Minnesota. “I work with a team that works hard and makes it really possible for all our healthcare providers to do their jobs easily and efficiently,” she said. “Now I know how IT infrastructure works in the business world and how I fit in that world.”
Bhattarai said HealthPartners and IT-Ready helped her go from someone interested in technology to a budding IT technician with an opportunity to grow and learn as much as possible.
“IT-Ready, the teachers and the mentors gave me a little bit of a push and the confidence to have a career in IT,” Bhattarai said. “I doubted myself but then IT-Ready proved me wrong. Thank you, IT-Ready, for showing me what I can be. And thank you, HealthPartners, for giving me hope for what I will become.”
Michelle Lange is a writer and designer living in Chicago.