Randy Holcomb – Student Highlight

Randy is a thirty‑one-year-old working toward obtaining an associate degree in information technology.  His favorite class so far has been Networking 103.  When asked why that class was his favorite said, “that’s the class where you finally put your knowledge and hard work to use.  You’ve spent all this time creating your ‘baby,’ and now you can start working with it.”

Randy comes from a labor background, has an 18-month old son, and even though he is older than the traditional student, he is highly driven to succeed in his academic goals to give his family a better future. Randy decided to start a career in the IT field because he feels it would give him a career doing something interesting and new. Randy also stated that a career where you can sit while you work sounds pretty appealing after so many years of labor.

Randy feels that many WVJC faculty and staff have helped him along his academic journey, but most of all, he is grateful for Mr. Powell and Ms. Middleton. Randy stated that Ms.  Middleton worked with him and understood the financial struggles that college brings. She was patient, helpful, and did whatever she could to make sure he was able to attend WVJC. Mr.  Powell is understanding and accommodating. If it wasn’t for him, Randy feels he would not fully understand the content in the difficult IT courses. Randy states that Mr. Powell is a phenomenal instructor who goes above and beyond for his students.

Randy enjoys the challenges that college-level learning brings.  One tool he said that has been an asset to him in his college career is the “inability to lose.”  Randy is very competitive, and luckily some of his classes allow him to use that as motivation.

When asked what his favorite part of WVJC was, Randy stated, “The class structure and small class sizes are extremely beneficial.  Knowing your instructors have your back and truly want you to succeed is incredible.  The entire staff has a fantastic, helpful attitude.  Honestly, WVJC as a whole is my favorite thing.”

Randy’s advice to other students would be to put in as much work and as many hours as your instructors do.  Do not lose your motivation.  Remember your reason for being there.  You have to have accountability.  Most importantly, you have to be driven to succeed.  Your instructors can only do so much.  You’re taught 90%, and the other 10% has to come from you.

To learn more about WVJC’s Information Technology program, request information here!

What I Would Wear – College Edition

WVJC Charleston students came together to share with you what they would wear in different scenarios. Starting with a typical school day, then transitioning to their externship, and then on to their career.

On a typical day, students spend time in the classroom getting hands-on experience. So students can dress more casually.

When our students start the externship process, they get to work in their field and receive on-the-job training! Here you’ll see students modeling what they wear for medical assisting, dental assisting, information technology, and business administration externship training.

Once students complete their 18-month program and externship, they are ready to start their careers! At WVJC, we strive to prepare you for a great career and a great life. Let’s get started on yours today!

 

 

Information Technology – Program Highlight

The fast-track Information Technology (IT) Associate Degree Program at West Virginia Junior College Charleston is an 18-month program that prepares graduates for a wide variety of entry-level positions in the technology field.  The IT Program begins with courses in PC repair and troubleshooting, operating systems, peripherals, and mobile devices. Students then progress into an in-depth course sequence focusing on networking skills and technologies, such as routing and switching.  The IT Program also focuses on security and server management, and administration. During the last 12 weeks of the program, students complete an externship to apply the IT skills learned in the classroom in the workplace.

Professional certifications are important in the technology field. In addition to earning an associate degree, WVJC students in the IT program prepare for three leading industry certifications from CompTIA. These include the A+ certification, which focuses on PC troubleshooting and repair, the Network+ certification, which focuses on networking skills and technologies, and the Security+ certification, which is optional and focuses on information security.

The Information Technology program is now enrolling for evening classes.  If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, such as Information Technology, request information here!

André Brumfield – Student Highlight

WVJC Information Technology Student André Brumfield began taking classes at WVJC in August 2020. Before starting classes at WVJC, Andre worked in a factory making ignition coils for Chrysler vehicles. He had never attended college before and was working 50 hours a week with only one day off in the factory. André decided to come to WVJC after seeing the success of his friends. André said, “I have a couple of friends who had graduated through the program, and I noticed that they were hired for jobs in their field almost immediately.”

André chose to go into the Information Technology field for multiple reasons. André said, “I have an interest in learning about computer hardware and software as well as learning how the devices connect to each other.” He added, “I also believe that Information Technology is a field that will only become more valuable as time passes.” Although André says he has enjoyed the entire program, his favorite classes so far have been Introduction to Computer Hardware and Introduction to Networking. His favorite experience in the program to date has been building his own computer. “Being able to apply the knowledge I learned in class in a physical environment with actual hardware helped tie everything in together,” André said.

Thinking forward to his time following graduation, André knows that there are numerous career opportunities open to him as an IT professional. He is excited about getting to apply the knowledge he is learning in a practical way. André said, “The ideal job after graduating for me would be working with PC’s hands-on in an environment when I can help people.” He also added, “In five years, I would like to be settled into a job that I’m comfortable and proficient at.”

If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, such as Information Technology, please contact us by phone at (304) 769-0011 or visit WVJC.edu.

New Year, New Career at the Bridgeport Campus

It goes without saying that the year 2020 has been a roller coaster ride for us all. As we are rapidly approaching a new year, hoping it will be better than 2020, let’s consider a new you.   We all make the cliché “New Year’s resolutions,” like dieting, eating better, and exercising more. These are all important to our overall well-being, but this year maybe a new you, and a new career, is what you are seeking.

This is the time and year to evaluate your lifetime goals and dreams, and really think about your career. Perhaps for some, the pandemic has made you reevaluate your job. Many of you have possibly been putting off taking the next step to continue your education, due to children being your number one priority. However, even though that is understandably something that could hold you back, perhaps in 2021, it’s time to begin thinking about yourself and the career of your choice.

At West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport, we offer a variety of programs that might be what you are looking for. The training programs at WVJC include medical assisting, medical coding, IT, dental, nursing, and practical nursing. Our classes are small and hands-on with an externship that will allow you to be hands-on in the classroom and a real world setting.

The time is now! Use these steps to help guide you to a great career in the new year!

Brainstorm/Evaluate:

Brainstorming is a way to generate new ideas and is the beginning stage in developing the possibilities of what you are looking for. This creates an environment that is uninhibited and non-judgmental to explore all the many options of what you are looking for in your new career.

Get Motivated:

Motivation can be difficult from time to time, but is a key factor in being successful. Staying motivated to work toward your goals and dreams will help your dream and goals become a reality. Take the time to find a group of people you can rely on to help you stay motivated on the tough days.

Start Your Job Search:

Once you have decided to continue your education with WVJC and the program of your choice, start job searching. Researching the field and understanding the job market’s needs and demands will help you finalize your choice. This will help you explore your career choice and understand the places that would work for you and your lifestyle. Understanding the job demands in your town/city will be beneficial to you and your new start.

Toward the end of your program, every WVJC student is offered a Career Prep class that will help you build your resume, cover letter, interview skills, and, most importantly, assist you in landing that career you have always wanted. WVJC’s career management director will sit with you and really get an understanding of what career fits best with you and your lifestyle.

Dreams come true here at WVJC, and this is the year for you. When considering those new year’s resolutions this year, dig a little deeper and find the education and career you have been looking for.

To learn more about WVJC’s career training, request information here!

Mountaineer Technology Consultants, LLC – Externship Highlight

Mountaineer Technology Consultants, LLC was formed in 2016 by Booker T. Walton of Morgantown, WV. MTC provides full service IT solutions for individuals, small businesses, and companies throughout the state of West Virginia. MTC offers services in consulting, hardware, networking, software, and digital marketing. MTC also offers student services such as PC diagnostics, formatting hard drives, and standard cleanup of a PC.

West Virginia Junior College began their relationship with Mountaineer Technology Consultants in 2017. MTC has attended WVJC career fairs, done mock interviews for students, hired graduates, and accepted numerous WVJC Networking Administration/Security and Information Technology students to complete their externship hours. Students completing their externship are able to experience a wide array of in field knowledge while working with businesses in the community.

Mountaineer Technology Consultants is currently hosting a Network Administration/Security student from WVJC who is completing their 90 hour externship. MTC also just brought on board a WVJC graduate for full-time employment. WVJC is honored to work with a company that cares deeply about the community and state. Students and graduates are not only able to develop their skills with hands-on training at MTC, but are also able to get a sense of pride helping those around them.

To learn more about WVJC’s exciting externship program, request information here!

Omni Strategic Technologies – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College and Omni Strategic Technologies have built a valuable and vital partnership to assist students in preparing for their careers in the technology field! Over the past several years, Omni has been accepting students from the Network Administration/Security program for their hands-on externship experience. Additionally, graduates have been hired by Omni into full-time employment.

Omni Strategic Technologies was founded in 1986 as HGO Technology. Omni is a full-service information technology firm, offering a wide range of technology services to clients. They have a particular focus on advisory services, consulting with businesses to choose the best technology products and services to meet their needs, and solve the challenges they are facing. Omni’s services have proven particularly valuable to companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many employers look to adapt the ways in which they conduct business. According to Steve Kay, Regional Director, Omni continues to see an upward trend in sales, even during the pandemic.

WVJC’s students who complete their externship with Omni have the opportunity to go hands-on with a wide variety of experiences in the information technology field. From helping to configure and deploy new systems, to learning about management of customers’ advanced servers and networks, students see the real-world application of many of the things they have experienced in the classroom. The information technology field offers many opportunities for growth, and the externship experience with Omni helps prepare students for that growth. As Mr. Kay observed, “A lot of the technology field is about growing people from technician to engineer to advisor.”

Both West Virginia Junior College and Omni Strategic Technologies are committed to continuing this partnership well into the future. Omni is a valuable part of Charleston and West Virginia and continues to offer companies important services, even during difficult times. As Mr. Kay observed, the technology field is ever-changing, but the one thing that is certain is that every company will continue to have technology needs and there will be a lot of potential for graduates in the field.

To learn more about WVJC’s externship opportunities, request information here!

Michael Asbury – Graduate Highlight

Michael Asbury was a senior at Riverside High School when he learned West Virginia Junior College offers an associate degree in Information Technology. Michael always had an interest in learning about computers, specifically hardware. He scheduled a college visit to learn more about the program and during that visit, he realized WVJC was a great fit for him. Michael chose WVJC because of the short-term programs, small school environment, and hands-on training.

One of Michael’s favorite classes at WVJC was his server course. During this class, he learned how to install and manage a Microsoft server. Michael said, “Mr. Pinkerton really knows what he is talking about and always made class very interesting.”  Michael graduated from the Information Technology program at WVJC in February 2019.  He said the best part about attending WVJC is “the community feeling. The staff and classmates are all supportive and willing to help.”

Less than a month after graduating with an associate degree, Michael started a job as a technology service desk agent. His career in technology has provided him financial security, IT and customer service experience, and a job that he enjoys going to daily. Michael said, “I enjoy helping customers resolve their technology issues.”

When asked if Michael would refer a friend or family member to WVJC, he said, “Yes. WVJC is a great way to earn your education in a short amount of time and receive training for a career.” If you would like to know more about the IT field or another program at WVJC, please visit wvjc.edu for more information and apply today!

United Hospital Center – Externship Highlight

Externships allow students to experience real-life skills in their field of study, in order to gain valuable experience and knowledge from the experts in the field. At WVJC, all students have the opportunity to participate in an externship where they get to interact in their field of study.

One of WVJC Bridgeport’s incredible externship partners, who we have worked with for years, is United Hospital Center. One of the programs UHC offers an externship program for is Information Technology. With this externship program, IT students work with the men and women in the IT field, experiencing everything from server management to network management.

Brian Williams works closely with the IT externs through the UHC Department of IT. He, along with other members of his team, work with information technology students on projects ranging from routine IT maintenance to new project installation. WVJC students get to work with industry professionals either one on one or in large groups to perform these various tasks and gain valuable experience.

Brian stated that the benefits of externships include the ability to see large infrastructure in action, ongoing project management, and viewing customer support in person. Brian recently moved into his role and is excited to see what the future will hold as WVJC and UHC’s partnership continues to grow.

WVJC Bridgeport encourages students and graduates to learn from many different sources to better facilitate their education and experience in their field of study. If you are interested in gaining hands-on experience in your chosen career field while still in school, don’t hesitate to reach out at wvjc.edu!

Matthew Osborne-Lane – Student Highlight

Do you have hobbies that you’re passionate about? Did you know you can turn your interests into a successful career that you love? Combining hobbies with a career is something Matthew Osborne-Lane knows all about!

Matthew has an infectious energy that other students copy, and instructors crave. At WVJC, he is majoring in Network Administration/Security and plans to be a Sound Design Tech or Independent Tech Consultant. Building on his hobbies of producing electronic music, video games, kayaking, fishing, reading, watching horror-genre, and of course, his two beautiful dogs, Matthew feels very passionate about using his creativity and applying these hobbies to his career.

He chose the IT field because he was tired of accepting mediocrity and wanted to aim for something he could excel in and enjoy, which is very important to him. Matthew believes that understanding hardware, software, and networking is vital in the heavily tech-integrated world we live in today. From his various experience, to his intricate work in sound technology, Matthew is planning to incorporate these hobbies into his life’s work.

Matthew said that life experiences helped him make the decision to go back to school to fast-track his career. Although he was previously enrolled at a traditional school, he felt lost and like he had no direction. He was ready to find a career path that incorporated his interests and would provide him with a worthwhile job.

“Quitting my last job, having to rearrange my living situation, and realizing that I want to be able to be happy on my own terms was it. I want to be able to have full control over my options in life and without an education, I couldn’t quite navigate that,” said Matthew. With a career plan in tow and the supportive staff at WVJC, he feels he can pursue his interests and have a career to match.

When you hear Matthew talk about his family and what makes him happy, you can’t help but smile. “It’s my husband, my life, and my dreams for a family. My passion is fueled by the love and happiness I feel from being able to create and translate my feelings of such, into intricate sounds,” he said.

Matthew chose WVJC for a few reasons and is loving his experience so far. “I wish I had known about WVJC when I graduated high school in 2013. This program was a fantastic option financially, but also because the environment was so personal and meaningful. The staff cares about their students, and that is something you do not see in other schools.”

Matthew said that WVJC instructors and staff have been phenomenal. “They are giving me tools, both realistic and abstract, to be able to function in an IT career. They offer help and resources, and even give us the opportunity to foster peer relationships that unify us as people. I don’t want to sound like a cookie-cutter ad, but they really do seek to bring out the best in me, and us, as students and professionals.”

When asked what the best part of his experience at WVJC was so far, Matthew warmly said, “My interactions. I’ve already made friends that I can confide in, have the ability to be vulnerable around, and can consult for anything, and that includes staff members. All of my instructors so far have been so active in our learning experience that I feel like we grow with them, and growth is a key part of interactions and relationships.”

Matthew is a newer student and has a great perspective for anyone who is starting out. With four courses under his belt so far, he says his favorites are psychology and hardware classes. Matthew explained, “My psychology class was fantastic, and my peers and I were so involved in the material as a whole. My hardware course is where my Network Administration/Security major peers are, and we’re tackling relevant, hands-on experiments. I would have never gotten to experience this early in any program elsewhere.” As you can see from Matthew’s experience, even early on, students are integrated as a family, close bonds are made, and a supportive, productive environment is encouraged.

Matthew has quickly become a bright star among students and instructors at WVJC and his story is relatable and inspirational. He feels connected here, loves to share his story, and strives for success in everything he does.

When asked what he’d like to share with anyone who is thinking about attending WVJC, he stresses to enroll! “Enroll, enroll, enroll! If you feel nervous or alone about attending, come sit with us in a classroom. It’s a welcoming environment and we are always open to new experiences and input. If you’re looking to become a professional, sit with us in a class and you can see just how great this school is.”

Thinking about your hobbies, passions, and what inspires you? Would you like to make a living out of something that brings you joy? Request information now to fast-track your career today!

Holly J. Mitchell, MPH, CHES