Mastering the Digital Battlefield – A Cybersecurity Apprentice’s Odyssey with Apprenti, Featuring Lisa Hunt
"The best advice I would share with aspiring apprentices is stay curious, build a strong…
On March 25th, 143 apprentices graduated from the Apprenti program, recognizing all completions between November 2020 and March 2021. Because we now have so many apprentices in so many states, Apprenti has started recognizing this achievement on a quarterly basis, along with recognizing some of the people who champion apprenticeship work at different companies and in different states.
These apprentices trained in a variety of occupations, including IT Business Analyst, Cloud Operations Specialist, and Network Operations Developer, and represented 20 different hiring partners in 10 different areas of the country.
One apprentice who was highlighted during the festivities was Nathalie Vega, a Software Engineer at JP Morgan Chase in Ohio. She spoke about the other apprentices in her cohort and the diversity of their backgrounds, including a recently-separated military veteran, a former steelworker, and an Über driver. Of her own background, she said: “I was born in Colombia and I moved to the States when I was nine years old. I remember every day stopping by church on our way home and praying as a young child for God to change my life. My mom was a cleaning lady, and working trying to make ends meet for my family.” Before joining Apprenti, Nathalie served in the US Air Force, and then got a degree in English Literature before teaching herself to code. Apprenti was what allowed her to turn her self-taught love of coding into a career.
Apprenti also took time to recognize one of our longstanding hiring partners, Amazon, and awarded our first Industry Partner Championship award to Nick Curry, Amazon’s Manager of AWS Military Initiatives. In a short speech, Nick invoked Amazon’s leadership principles to advise graduating apprentices to “learn and be curious. We fundamentally believe that leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. I challenge all of you to continue to be curious about new possibilities and act to explore them in a manner you can.”
One of the states that was graduating its first group of apprentices this time was Utah. Melisa Stark, Utah’s Commissioner of Apprenticeship Programs, addressed the unusual circumstances in which this group of apprentices had undergone their apprenticeships: many of them had begun training in-person prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and had concluded training remotely. She connected this to the idea of adaptability as part of the future of work, saying: “We have decades of history that shows the way we’ve been doing business isn’t the way we can take them in the future and so this is just another opportunity that we can continue to build on.” For her work with our program in Utah, Melisa was awarded the Government Partnership Champion Award.
If you missed the event and would like to experience it for yourself, please see the video below:
Our Quarter 2 Graduation will be taking place on June 24. Please see our Eventbrite page to register.