2021 Computer Tech Graduate
PC Technician / Win 10 Deployment Technician at Lifespan

The Computer & Networking program curriculum at MTTI offers hands-on training for students, who like Malcolm, enter with limited prior experience, as well as for people who need to update or expand their skills. Students work towards earning the TestOut PC Pro Certification and the CompTIA A+ Certification. Those who pass both parts of the A+ exam, are supported in preparing for the CompTIA Network+ Certification exam.

Malcolm’s goal was to begin a career doing skilled work.

A 2017 graduate of Central High in Providence, Malcolm worked for a couple of years at a nursing home, as a Dietary Aide. Building relationships with patients and co-workers, he developed customer service skills that employers in any industry would value. “I would take trays to patients and navigate the conversation with them—always remaining respectful, regardless of how they interacted with me. Most of the residents were very nice to talk with.”

He took classes at a local college, hoping to earn a computer degree.

“The program required that I take Gen Ed courses in non-related subjects. The computer course I was in focused on programming—something I didn’t see myself doing as a job. At the college, there were 20-30 students in a class, and very little individual attention to learning needs. A lot of the time, I just felt like giving up.”

Taking a leave-of-absence, Malcolm considered what kind of training he wanted.

“When I was ready to return to school, I wanted a program where I could build from the basics to more advanced knowledge—and the skills taught would be matched to my interests. I wanted the focus to be on training to enter the workforce quickly. I searched the internet for schools and found MTTI’s Computer & Networking program. The Build-To-Keep Computer bonus that was part of the program appealed to me. I had never built a computer. Like many people my age, I enjoy using internet technology, but didn’t have the skills and experience to be hired into a professional IT position.”

Malcolm also chose MTTI to develop job search and interview skills.

“When I interviewed for the Dietary Aide position, I was over-dressed and nervous. I wanted to feel better prepared for securing a skilled position in the IT industry. MTTI provides extensive career development. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist for the program, helped me write a professional resume, practice for job interviews and to conduct an effective job search. Learning how to talk with prospective employers built my confidence. Due to COVID, interviews had to be conducted on Zoom. We practiced beforehand so that the actual interviews were comfortable.”

The path for Malcolm to complete the program was not always smooth.

“It was not an easy program, but there was a big difference between learning at MTTI and at the college I had attended. At MTTI, you are in one class all day. Classes are small, so there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one help—it’s a more personalized education. I also found more people I could relate to at MTTI; my classmates were a great support throughout the program. You still have to work hard, but at MTTI your persistence pays off.”

“The light turned on for me when I passed the TestOut PC Pro Certification exam.”

“The most difficult part of the program has been preparing for the CompTIA A+ Certification exam. The simulations in TestOut PC Pro have helped a lot. The tasks and problem solving I practiced are similar to those I now encounter on the job—and I earned a Certification. While employers are interested in the full experience I had in the program, Certifications are helpful when being considered for a position. For me personally, earning the TestOut Certification made me know I could be successful working in this industry.”

Malcolm interviewed with the Manager of IS Infrastructure at Lifespan, who knows MTTI well.

“Early in my job search, I applied online for an IT position at Lifespan, but I didn’t get called for an interview. The Career Services Specialist, Shawn, connected me with TEK Systems; they had an open position at Lifespan. Jeff Berube, who interviewed me, has participated on MTTI’s Program Advisory Committee for a number of years—he knows the instructors and the curriculum. Jeff asked me questions about my skill set. He told me they really needed someone on the team, and that they were looking to hire. The internship would give him the opportunity to evaluate my fit for the position.”

This was Malcolm’s first full time job—and first skilled position.

“My manager showed me around and asked what we did at school. I asked him a lot of questions to understand what my job would be. I began to relax as he explained what they did and what I was expected to do. In my head, I was checking off the things he was explaining to me—recognizing that I had already done these at school. The only real difference was the specific software they used, and how they installed it on their PCs. Everything else was familiar.”

Malcolm provides internal IT services to healthcare providers and administrative personnel.

“Lifespan includes RI Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital and Newport Hospital. I had worked in a health environment at the nursing home, so I felt comfortable about starting an IT career in a medical setting. Before I was hired, I needed to complete online training to be compliant with Patient Privacy and HIPAA regulations. I’ve been learning quite a bit on the job; the IT team I am a part of gets a lot of tickets.”

“My team handles troubleshooting issues,” Malcolm explains.

“We’ll break down PCs sent to us with hardware issues. Common issues are problems with the battery or hard drive, or too little RAM (Random Access Memory stores data for short-term use and works with the hard drive, which provides the long-term storage.) We’ll also install hospital software on laptops and PCs, then pass them to computers techs on another team for set-up. The Techs on that team will send them to people throughout the hospital system.”

“MTTI is a wonderful school.”

“The Computer Service Technician / Network Installer program offers a more personal learning experience—the kind I needed. All of the instructors at MTTI have worked for years in their industry. My instructor, Boris is a great teacher. In addition to the technical skills that he taught us, he provided valuable tips about how to manage our demeanor and maintain focus when under pressure in an IT position.”

“Before I came to MTTI, I had a job—but didn’t have skills for a career.”

“After completing the Computer Service Technician / Network Installer program, I feel a sense of relief, as well as excitement. I have the IT skills to work in a professional position and to earn a good living. I look forward to a great future, continuing to learn new and evolving technology, and advancing in my career.

Top left: Malcolm with his bonus of the Build-To Keep Computer & accessories
Top Right: Malcolm at the computer in MTTI’s lab
Bottom Right: Malcolm in the lab during the cabling/fiber optic cross-training
Bottom Left: Malcolm holding his Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Diploma