2020 Computer Service Technician Graduate
Support Center Analyst at GreenPages

Imagine how happy Michael was to be hired in an IT position, at the company where he most wanted to work—even before graduating from school. Just as he was expecting to begin his new career at GreenPages, the country went into lock-down to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Instead of commuting to his new worksite, Michael began telecommuting from his home office, where he was sheltering-in-place with family—including his 2 ½ year old daughter. Although he was an essential worker, the support Michael received from his loved ones placed all of them on the front lines…

michael working at computer
I came to MTTI, more than ready for a career change.

I wanted to get out of plastering full-time. It pays well, but it was tough on my back and knees. When I started searching for schools, I saw MTTI all over the place—on billboards and online. I scheduled an appointment and toured the school; the Computer & Networking program was definitely what I was looking for, but the next class scheduled to start was full. Enrolled for a December 2019 start, I was excited when the Admissions Rep, Cheryl, called me about an opening in the September class.  At the last minute, someone couldn’t attend; she offered me the one open seat.

I liked everything about the school and the Computer & Networking program.

All of the staff were nice to deal with. My Instructor, Boris, is a cool guy. He’s smart, and knows everything about computers; he shared lots of information with us. My classmates were cool people. too. I enjoyed attending class with people of all different ages and backgrounds.

At MTTI it’s not just book work; you get fast-track hands-on training.

I’m not a book-savvy person, so I appreciated being in the classroom half the day and the other half learning in the computer lab. I built a working computer from scratch, and gained skills using a hands-on virtual program—TestOut—which simulates integrated hardware and Operation Systems. I could practice tasks similar to what computer professionals do on the job. I’d drag and drop components, including RAM, CPU, various wires and different sizes of motherboards, to the right places according to the different makes and models of computers.

Throughout the program, I stayed on top of my job search.

I applied to jobs every day. The Career Services Specialist for the computer program, Shawn, helped me with my resume and the search process; he regularly emailed me job leads. When I connected with Steve at GreenPages, I learned they were hiring for an intermediate position. I continued to call Steve; we spoke multiple times. He knew I was entry-level, but liked my persistence in keeping in contact. Steve also appreciated that I am an Army veteran; he recognized that military experience had honed my communication skills and instilled in me self-discipline and a strong work ethic.

GreenPages created a new entry-level position and hired me to fill it.

My internship was scheduled to begin April 1st; on March 25th I was hired to be a Support Center Analyst on the ‘AA’ team. Steve explained that, as I progress, I will move up into Tier 1 and eventually, Tier 2. GreenPages is a leading hybrid cloud services provider and systems integrator, that helps organizations virtualize their business environments. The company works with many different types of companies across the United States, especially commercial, healthcare and financial organizations.

I was all set to start my dream job; suddenly everyone was ordered to stay at home.

Fortunately, computer operations are essential. The only person in the company I had met face-to-face was Steve, when I interviewed with him at GreenPages’ headquarters in Kittery, Maine. I never imagined that, on the first day of my new job, I would have to work from home. Fresh out of school, where I had been learning ‘live’, with an instructor who could answer my questions and provide one-on-one help, I wondered if I would be able to learn to do the work by training remotely.

All of my training to-date for my new job has been virtual.

I shared my screen with trainers who I will never meet in person—one is in Maine and the other is in Florida. We communicated using Microsoft Teams Chat; I also attended Zoom meetings with my bosses. When I started taking support calls, the trainers listened.  They could help by talking to me without the client hearing. It was a bit confusing at first to hear their voices while I listened simultaneously to the client, but I got accustomed to it. Then, it was a little scary when I started working with clients on my own; I knew I could always access the trainers using ‘chat’.

During school, I wondered how what I was learning in the program would play out on-the-job.

I was relieved that what I am doing at work is built on what I learned at school. I answer voicemail and email, then remote into the clients’ system.  Similar to the tasks I did at school, I perform password re-sets, configure VPN, set up Active Directory and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).

In my home office, I work with a laptop and two large computer screens.

The job is very technical. We go into so many different programs, according to what software each client is using. Having two screens helps me manage as many as 15 open browsers at once. While I am working from home, I also have to copy documentation, fill out paperwork and send it to headquarters.

Working for GreenPages, I have so much opportunity for improvement and growth.

I’m finally going to make the transition from home to work at our Configuration center, where I will be trained on a different ticketing system. I want to learn as much as I can to become the best Tech I can be. Although I appreciate all tof he support I get from my team, I look forward to being able to resolve clients’ issues without having to ask for help.

Training from home wasn’t always easy, but I’m always up for a work challenge.

During the pandemic, I balanced between working and making my daughter, Savannah, happy. Fortunately, she has a stay-at-home mom. I am thankful for my girlfriend, Courtney, who took care of our baby. Courtney has been at my side the whole time.

As the region re-opens, I look forward to buying my own house in a year or two.

I’d like to buy a two-family house—I’m fortunate that my Dad and I can do all the work on it. And I can’t wait to tell my Instructor, Boris, whose passion, when he’s not teaching, is flying rockets, about my new venture–I just bought a drone to take aerial photos and videography. I can fly it up to 400 feet high; it can ‘see’ for about a mile and a half.

My whole experience in the Computer & Networking program at MTTI was awesome.

Even the program’s schedule worked well for me—we started at 8:30 am and were out by 3:00 pm. I had the rest of my day to go home and hang out with my family—or when the weather was nice, to go fishing or just be outdoors. Even though I’m a hands-on person, I found I was well-prepared to learn my new job virtually. MTTI is a great place to learn—I recommend it.

Starting a new job and career during a pandemic has been a crazy time.

It’s been like something you’d see in a movie—and thought it could never happen here. I consider myself fortunate that during a difficult time, I’ve been able to make a good start on a great new career. And, did I mention the ‘tool bonus’ I earned at MTTI? By being hired prior to 90 days past graduation, I got to keep the computer I built during the program!