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The WTIA is proud to be affiliated with the Apprenti program. Starting today, Apprenti will feature an apprentice each month on WTIA Blog. To kick off, we have Jared Call who is one of Apprenti’s first apprentices sharing his experience. Jared is charming veteran who is training at F5 as a Network Security Administrator.
It was the summer of 2016 – I had just moved back to Seattle in search of new employment opportunities. A good friend of mine shared an article from the Seattle Times detailing tech apprenticeships, which of course included Apprenti. I researched Apprenti’s program and discovered they would be launching in late summer. As more details were finalized and shared by Apprenti, I became convinced that this was an amazing and unique opportunity to jumpstart a career in the tech industry. As soon as the program launched, I applied, took the assessment, and was very fortunate to be accepted.
In the past couple years leading up to this apprenticeship, I had finished a career in the military and had enrolled at a university to study engineering. The courses were highly technical and I thrived on that. However, I wanted to be more hands-on in my learning, and I began to realize that I strongly desired to get back into the workforce now! Trusting in my prior technical education and training, I made the leap of faith to try my luck in the burgeoning tech scene of Seattle.
My apprenticeship is focused on the exciting field of network security. I completed two certifications in computer networking and network security prior to starting my on-the-job training at F5 Networks. I’ve been with F5 for nearly six months now and both the practical experience and the focused mentoring have deepened my understanding and proficiency. During the first three months, I received one-on-one training in networking fundamentals from skilled engineers, while also gaining real-world experience handling customer support cases. Most recently, I have been assigned to work in one of F5’s data centers, setting up custom network configurations, maintaining networking equipment, and troubleshooting issues that arise. The people at F5 have been very supportive and willing to mentor and teach – the whole experience has been incredible!
Apprenti has opened doors to amazing opportunities that would otherwise have been very difficult to discover. This program has been a huge leg-up in finding a mid-level career position in a field of interest that might have otherwise taken years of training and work experience to find. Things are looking good for me to stay on at F5 following my apprenticeship, and there are some very interesting career paths within the company for continued learning and advancement in the field of network security.
I would highly recommend Apprenti to those seeking a direct path into the technology industry. It is a great program for anyone – with little to no tech background to those already working in this field. Apprenti provides excellent career support through relevant technical training and partnerships with first-rate tech companies. I’ve really enjoyed my apprenticeship experience thus far and I’m excited for the future of my career in tech. Thank you to all those who made Apprenti possible!