Most people who go to Calbright take classes and learn new skills before they work with our Career Services program to develop their resumes and find a new job. 

Alicia did it her own way: “I needed a job, so I found Calbright and the first thing I did was go to Career Services and work with the resume builder,” she said. “She helped me a lot, and then I used that resume to get the job I have now at a non-profit at a children’s hospital. And that has really helped.” Now she’s taking her classes while she works.

That’s an unusual way to use our systems, but everybody cheered Alicia on: Calbright’s whole purpose is to find ways to say “yes” to what students need. When students tell us “this is what fits with my life, and how it will work best for me,” we find ways we can help. We’re ready when they are.

Alicia moved to the Bay Area in California when she was 18, and never looked back. She was thrilled to get a “background internship” at a major tech company. It wasn’t a technical role, but it was a job in which she got to help people whose jobs she wanted to do.  

“That was where I first got my spark of ‘I want to do something in tech, I want to do something with computers,’” she said. But when she tried to learn, to get the skills she needed to start a career in technology, she kept being told she didn’t have the right credentials. “I was at the end of my rope,” she said. Something needed to change.

The pandemic changed everything. “I became a hermit,” she said. She left her job and didn’t leave her house. “Calbright helped me get out of that.”

After enrolling in Calbright’s IT Support program, she not only found an education, she found a community. 

“I got in and then I felt like my life changed, I did a 180,” she said. “Everybody was reaching out to me. I was getting all these Slack messages telling me things I could sign up for and do. Even though it’s remote it made me feel like I was doing a lot of things with people. It really made me feel fulfilled after two years of not doing anything.”

She already has a job she likes, but she’s using Calbright to plan for a career.

“When I complete Calbright’s IT program, I’m definitely going to continue and do the Cybersecurity program,” she said. “I’m already here and I really love it, and it’s free, so I may as well add a few more certificates and a lot of skills.”

After that, she’s going back to the big tech companies to have the career she wants. “I’m going to say I have the credentials, I have the experience, I have the knowledge, and I want to be here! And when I finally do get that job in big tech, I want to make a lot of my dreams come true. And I know that Calbright can help me.”

Alicia Rangel