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

Dawn Riley – Network Administration/Security Student

On July 20, 2018 WVJC Morgantown and Charleston hosted their second annual career fair. It was open to students, graduates, and the general public. There were more than 30 employers attending each of the campuses! Some of the employers that attended include: WVU Medicine, Mon Health Medical Center, WVNet, Frontier, and Aflac.

We had the opportunity to sit down with a few of our graduates and students to discuss the career fair and what WVJC means to them. Check out this video featuring one of our Network Administration/Security students, Dawn Riley.

Network Admin/Security Student Highlight-Bret Mains

Bret MainsLife is about timing and finding your niche. For WVJC Information Technology student Bret Mains, it took some time to find the right college situation. In fact, Bret attended 3 different colleges before settling in at WVJC, where he is now pursuing his passion, and working on launching a career in Network Administration or Cyber Security.

At his previous colleges Bret struggled with impersonal online classes and was frustrated with taking expensive courses with little or no relevance to the career field he hoped to pursue. He decided to transition to a vocational school to study electrical technology so he would have a marketable skill. However, it just wasn’t the right field for him.

In the back of his mind he knew that he was always quite proficient when it came to working with computers. They excited him and his enthusiasm for computers translated to success. After speaking with a friend he decided to take a hard look at WVJC’s Network Admin/Security program.

After doing his due diligence Bret realized WVJC-Morgantown had everything he was searching for! The small class sizes and individual attention appealed to him. The hands on training and logical problem solving approach that is necessary in the Information Technology field is where he excelled. He found an environment where instructors were, “willing to sit down with you and take the time to ensure that you understand the curriculum inside and out.” He has developed a strong bond with his Program Director Robin Addis who he calls, “a phenomenal teacher.”

Bret is now well on his way to a career in networking or cyber security. By staying persistent and deciding to attend WVJC, he has developed a “skill set that will have value in the workplace.” He will leave WVJC with a Specialized Associate Degree and at least 4 certifications (A+, CCNA, CCENT, and Cisco Security). Armed with his degree and certifications, Bret hopes to apply his craft in North Carolina after graduation. He has undoubtedly found his niche.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE.

Student Highlight – Bobby Viands

Bobby ViandsThe formula is simple.  When you combine passion and intelligence with drive and work ethic, the result is success.  Since Bobby Viands enrolled in West Virginia Junior College’s Network Administration/Security Program in January of 2017 that’s what he has experienced . . . Success!

Bobby’s story isn’t unusual.  There’s been challenges and setbacks.  After completing his senior year of high school, like many students, he decided to attend a traditional 4-year institution. Bobby had a fairly positive experience, but something was missing.  “It was a fairly nice place, but it lacked relationships.  I didn’t feel like there was anyone there who was in my corner,” he said.

While attending the four year institution, Bobby also encountered life adversity.  There were trials and tribulations.  These struggles included the grief caused by several deaths in his family and the impact those deaths had on a family dynamic.  Bobby needed a change and a fresh start, so he headed to Morgantown.

Bobby realized that he needed a source of income so he secured work at a local call center.  While working he rediscovered that his passion in life was computers. He had previous exposure to computers while in high school. Bobby knew that he wanted to earn a degree that would make his parents and grandparents proud, but he wanted to do it on his own terms.  He began searching for the right environment, where hands on experience was as valuable as lectures.

Bobby found WVJC.  He was familiar with the campus from spending time in downtown Morgantown. He realized there was a career enhancement scholarship available to WVJC through his employer TeleTech.  He dove into the program head first while enjoying “the downtown atmosphere with the smaller college setting.”  He has also excelled in the classroom working with IT Program Director Robin Addis on a daily basis.  He said, “She really sees my potential, gives me a lot of responsibility, and believes in me.”  The results can be seen through his academic progress.

There has been sacrifice involved.  Bobby is busy, but in his mind being busy equates to productivity and a sense of accomplishment.  He attends class from 8a.m. until 12 p.m. and then spends more time in the computer lab honing his craft.  From there it’s off to work from 3:30 p.m. until midnight.  The dedication has already paid off as Bobby has earned his CCENT Cisco certification and is in the process of obtaining three additional certifications which include the A-Plus, CCNA, and Cisco Security.

Bobby has a plan and a vision. He knows the effort he exerts now will be rewarded in the future.  In the coming years he anticipates utilizing his degree and certifications in the area of network and server administration.  He wants to assist the community by contracting with small businesses to launch their computer networks.  It is a dream that seems quite obtainable for a young man who has embraced his education with such determination.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE