Angela began the Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS) in 2016 at the same time that she began her first ever position in IT. “It all kind of fell into place beautifully,” says Pender, who was looking for a career change after deciding to leave the restaurant industry, “I ended up being offered an internship as an IT Support Specialist that began a week after I started classes.”
Angela, who had only dabbled in video game design prior to enrolling, felt immediately at home in the program at MCC. “I would encounter something new at work all the time and then discover that it was the next topic we were covering in class—that kind of synergy with the on-the-job and in-class learning has really helped me accelerate my skill development. Like the Supporting End Users class—it is insane how much I use those skills at my job.”
Having since been offered a full time position as one third of the IT department at her company–supporting over 360 employees at 9 locations in 3 states–Angela has needed scheduling flexibility and has taken advantage of the online courses offered within the CIS program. “The faculty have been so accessible whether I have taken the course in-person or online,” added Pender.
In her current position, Angela does see that her background in business is valuable. “IT Support is customer service within the company, so my experience working with sometimes difficult people and perfecting that customer service mindset has been really valuable in my IT work.” Says Pender, “It’s been like a new beginning, you may think you’re on one path but then your world turns upside down and you get an opportunity to find your true passion and turn it into a career. It is insane how much I love what I do.”