How Lauren turned a hobby into a successful IT career
My name is Lauren Parker and I am an IT Specialist at Sage Software in Oregon. When I began college a few years ago, I thought I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. After two very difficult terms, despite my best grades being in engineering courses, I discovered that mechanical engineering wasn’t really what I wanted to do and dropped out of school to move home. My very first job was working in a manufacturing facility for a well-known sports brand. When I saw what the engineers did day in and day out, I was sure that this field wasn’t for me.
I had always been interested in IT and was the go-to IT person amongst my family and friends. However, I had never viewed the field of IT as an option for a long term career. I knew I wanted to work with computers, but I wasn’t sure how. When my mom showed me the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, I was interested, but I didn’t realize just what I could do in IT and how many companies needed it. Upon taking the program, I realized that IT, which I had previously volunteered in and done for family and friends, could be my career. Needless to say, this changed the course of most everything in my life. Instead of being a hobby that I learned bits and pieces of, it became a skill set I could use in the field. I was able to explore more of what the field actually was, as well as put myself out there as a possible candidate for a new position. This course helped me with all of those goals, many of which in ways I would never have imagined.
After completing this program, I interviewed with Sage Services in Oregon for the position of Technical Support Analyst. My manager specifically asked about the Google IT Support program in my interview. The certificate helped me make a positive impression and show I was competent. I got the job, and I love it! There isn’t a single person on my team that I don’t love working with, and I am incredibly passionate about the work. I help accountants and IT people install, migrate, and troubleshoot systems issues over the phone. I also was just trained additionally to assist with data issues within the Accounts Payable module.
I love the feeling of a tricky case being completed, and knowing that I’m helping small businesses succeed.
The company is amazing, and I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. The certificate improved my hireability and helped me decide that this was the career path that I was interested in.
I am working with an enrollment counselor to begin my Bachelor’s in IT at Western Governors University as soon as I complete my A+ certification. I will be receiving credit towards my degree from this as well as from the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.
I wouldn’t have gone after this job or degree at all without the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.
My advice to other students taking the course would be to dive all in and be curious. IT is fascinating and always changing, and you can really learn a lot just by being curious. It can be frustrating to try and learn what you need to, and it’s easy to get upset and give up. However, it’s just as easy to find something inspiring about the tech field. Focus on that, and learning about this subject becomes much easier. At my previous job, I worked twelve-hour shifts, and would be physically exhausted at the end of the day. I worked on the course during my lunches and breaks. Since I loved the subject matter, despite being exhausted, I still felt like it was a break to work on the course. I completed it in just over two weeks. Had I looked at it as another chore or had I not been as determined to complete it as I was, it would have taken me much longer and not been something that I enjoyed as much as I did.
Furthermore, put yourself out there. Even if you don’t see results right away, it never hurts to keep making a name for yourself. You never know. I’m still getting emails about dozens of opportunities that found me from applications from over a year ago!
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