03/01/2013 09:54 am ET Updated May 01, 2013

Words From a Recent ITWorks Graduate

By Ariana HadjiaghaITWorks graduate, Fall 2012

When I reflect on the months that I spent as an ITWorks student, only positive memories come to mind. Never did I expect to have the opportunity to participate in a program of this caliber, where students receive top-notch treatment from caring instructors and generous sponsors and volunteers who invest their time, energy and resources to help young people struggling to find employment. The experience was nothing but pleasant, and certainly one of the best ways I could have spent my time. I feel deeply grateful for what I've been given, especially knowing that I might not have had this privilege otherwise.

ITWorks primarily focuses on the Cisco curriculum, but learning extends far beyond the classroom; students are exposed to a variety of professionals who are glad to share their knowledge. Technical skills are supplemented with job search and interview strategies as well as a 5-week-long internship with a major technology company, making for a truly rich and comprehensive training experience. I can honestly say that I'm much more confident in my ability to interview than I was before enrolling in this class.

I'll never forget the people I've met (and there were plenty!) throughout this four-month journey, from my superb instructors to my classmates who never failed to make me look forward to being in class with their antics and cheerful outlooks. There was a supportive, nurturing environment that I think would take a lot of people by surprise, considering that the IT field and the concept of "warm and fuzzy" normally do not go together, yet that is exactly what I found.

If you show commitment to the program, the program and the people behind it will undoubtedly show their commitment to you. I enthusiastically recommend ITWorks to anyone with an interest in the IT field who would like to find a job or advance their current one. A graduate of ITWorks walks away with many things, with hope for a brighter future among them.