Jimmy earned his Calbright certificate in IT Support, and after working with Calbright’s Career Services, already has a job in IT he loves. But he’s not stopping there. He says he’s coming back for more.

Born and raised in Los Angeles., Jimmy lives just a street away from where he was born. His roots run deep, and right now he’s taking care of his family, especially his grandmother, for whom he is the primary caretaker.  

Despite all these responsibilities, he worked himself through college – earning an Associate’s degree in psychology and then a Bachelor’s in political science.  But while he’s proud of his achievement, he realized that he didn’t know where to go next to find a job.

“Growing up, I always had this kind of knack for electronics in general, I was always interested in that. But when I was in college I didn’t think that I’d be able to do an IT major, so I didn’t pursue it. I kind of shorthanded myself,” Jimmy said. “So I graduated, and then I didn’t know what to do.”

A friend who works as a cybersecurity analyst convinced him that there was a good career available for him if he’d get the right skills. “So I did research and I loved what I saw on YouTube tutorials. It’s a long path from here but it’s something I want to accomplish.”

He didn’t know Calbright was out there when he started. “I was Google searching for A+ certifications, I just typed that in and Calbright was one of the top 10 results,” he said. “I was looking for a free program, so I thought I might as well join.”

He was thrilled with what he found.

“I love that it’s self-paced, but also that unlike a lot of programs where they say it’s self-paced – there’s guidance attached with that at Calbright,” he said. “You get to decide your schedule, but they work out a plan with you that fits your life. And there’s so many people I can connect with – I have a specific instructor for the class, and also a counselor and coaches, and they’re all on the same Slack I am, and so if I get stuck I have someone to reach out to. I had an experience once with a coding boot camp where it was self-paced, but if I had a question I had to contact customer service. At Calbright, if I ever get stuck or confused or need more information about something I just reach out to any of these people who I already know, and they always get back to me, sometimes as fast as five minutes, never later than the next day. And if they see I’m idle from the program for a week, I get a message asking me if I need help getting back on track. I love that about Calbright. They have guidance. They have mentorship. It’s great.”

After he finished his Calbright coursework, he was following the jobs that were coming in on the Career Services Slack channel.  “I saw that they had a job listing for a tech onsite support person, and I was desperate at this point for a job, so I applied.” The president of the company reached out to him, and they had a long interview. “None of my work history has anything to do with IT, but because of Calbright I got to introduce myself as an IT person. He liked me, so he had me talk with the director I’d be working with, and we went over more of the technical stuff, and at the end of it all the president said ‘We’d like to give you an opportunity, if you want to join our team.’ They’ll start me off with a job, and once I pass my A+ exam that I’ve been studying for at Calbright, they’ll give me a raise to go with that.”

He took the job, “I’ve been working since then, and it’s been nothing short of amazing. Everything that I’ve been taught has really prepared me for this, and I’m still learning and studying.”

He’s also planning to re-enroll at Calbright in the cybersecurity program, and eventually reach his goal of being a cybersecurity analyst.

“Be ready to learn,” Jimmy said of people considering going to Calbright. “Come empty handed and leave with a full basket. Take up all the resources and mentorship and guidance that Calbright provides. It’s an exquisite jump start to an IT career.” 

Jimmy Park