My name is Sandra and I completed the Google IT Support Professional Certificate Program on Coursera. Prior to completing the Professional Certificate program, I was a restaurant manager. Now I’m an IT Consultant at a great company in Virginia.
I have never worked in the IT field before but my interest for IT began at an early age. When I was 14, I learned how to make websites with HTML, Flash, and some graphic design skills. When I was younger, I lacked the confidence and support to pursue such a technical career path. I was often told that IT was for men and that women were not good at such things. Instead, I graduated with a degree in advertising from a university in Brazil, where I’m originally from. After graduating, I moved to the US and worked 8 years in the restaurant industry in order to make a living. After so many years, however, I knew it was time for a change. I wanted to change careers.
Recently, with the encouragement of my husband, I decided to invest time in what I love and started working towards building my career in IT. I got admitted into the Merit America program that provided me with access to the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program. After completing the program, I was finally able to get my new job in IT this year.
The knowledge I gained from the Google program made the learning curve a lot less intense because of the exposure I had from the coursework. The course on Computer Networking and on IT Security were the most impactful for me because it helped me understand how networking and security works which in turn helped me understand the training material at work.
Learning how to use PowerShell, install a virtual machine, and how Linux works was helpful. In my new role, my responsibilities include multiple system management tasks, adding and disabling customers on their systems, monitoring their systems for availability, creating catalog items, discovery, monitoring data flow, data management, and more. I love my role because it’s challenging, involves creativity and allows me to help others in a great way. I love that I am part of a system where everything connects well. The labs in the program are so much fun and they give you an opportunity to get hands on experience while you learn and get a little taste of what it’s like to be an IT support professional. I have learned so much and it helped me land a new job in IT.
Professionally, I hope to develop a career at my current company, become a subject matter specialist or even a lead consultant and work on projects. I hope to help other women get into the IT field and I’m constantly getting involved in initiatives that aim to close the gender gap. I want everyone to know that if you have a goal and you put in the time and effort, it will happen. I hope everyone has the chance to go after their dreams.
Sandra completed the Google IT Support Professional Certificate though Merit America, a Google.org grantee. Merit America combines online skill development with in-person coaching and support to prepare hard-working adults for upwardly-mobile careers.
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