Frank Santoro - An MTTI Success Story

Success Stories

Frank Santoro

2012 Computer Service Technician/ Network Installer Graduate
Sr. QA Analyst, CVS

"Attending MTTI has been a great opportunity. I’ve accomplished a lot of learning in a short period of time. There are other school programs that go into more depth, but they take more time (and money). The Computer Service Technician/Network Installer program at MTTI gave me exactly what I needed—quickly and efficiently."

I had a successful career with Raytheon for 22 years, as a Systems Engineering Team Leader. I tested systems software and hardware. I was making a good salary.  When the defense industry experienced a turndown, I—along with hundreds of engineers--lost my job.

When I came to MTTI in the fall of 2011, I had been applying for positions for almost a year.Getting hired again was a difficult sell. Coupled with being unemployed, there were a lot of negatives to overcome. The interviewers would look at me, knowing I had been making more than they could pay me. I was willing to take $12.00/hour just to get started, but I knew they were thinking that I wouldn’t stay at the job.

I felt isolated from the hiring managers. It was hard to know what they were looking for—what buzzwords needed to be in the resume. I had a former Raytheon HR executive work with me on my resume. I was networking with people from Raytheon, plus General Dynamics and Lockheed (where I had worked prior to Raytheon). People were recommending me. They would say ‘you’re a great candidate’. I didn’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over. There was that firewall you can’t get through: ‘The Hiring Manager will call you if interested.’ “ 

It was a fluke that I decided to go back to school.

When my wife visited schools to look for medical billing & coding programs, I came with her. I spent the day at MTTI sitting in on Boris’s Computer Service Technician Network Installer class. I was always interested in the other side as a computer user. I thought, if I can’t get a job as a Systems Tester, maybe I can get a job as a Computer Technician.

I met with Admissions and looked at the financials. I thought to myself, I can do this—I test well—and if 85% of graduates are getting jobs, that’s got to be me.

The Department of Labor and Training required that Frank look at other schools. “I had done some research about going back to College for computers, but college was prohibitively expensive and there were no guarantees. I felt I would be throwing good money after bad. I looked at other Career Schools—either it took too long or one did not talk about internship. I already had a Bachelor’s degree, so didn’t think it would be an advantage to get an Associate’s.

I saw MTTI as a quick way to get back into the workforce.

At MTTI I did everything I could to be successful—wrote a new resume, aced the exams, did extra work, earned the A+ Certification. But I remained unemployed while others in my class got the jobs. In my mind, I was the best candidate—had more to offer than some of the others. But I wasn’t getting offered the positions. At one small firm in North Attleboro the hiring manager said to Rick, who had arranged the interview, ‘I’m looking for a Private—you sent me a General.’ Often, I took it personally. 

It helped to talk with Rick in Career Services. I felt like the wind was taken out of my sails—it was time for an attitude adjustment.  Rick’s been there. He told me stories about others who had great backgrounds but about whom employers felt ‘they know too much’. We adjusted my resume again—editing it down. In interviews though, employers would know I had a lot of experience—they were afraid I would get bored.”

“I’ve never been a quitter. I said the same thing to myself that I tell my Boy Scout troop: ‘The only way to fail is to quit.’ Even if you aim high and fall short—you’re still going to hit something. Sometimes, though, you just need a push—a word from someone who says ‘tomorrow is another day.

I networked to someone who was a Department Head at CVS.

He referred me to a position, but it didn’t come through. He suggested I go on the CVS website to apply, and put him down as a reference. I applied to over 24 entry-level positions at CVS—they didn’t have one for a computer tech so I applied for information system testing.

In December 2012 I had a phone interview for two of the positions I applied for; just before Christmas, I went to an in-person interview. They liked what they saw in my resume; they were also looking at other candidates. During mid-January, I received a rejection letter for both positions for which I had interviewed. I told myself, ‘I know I can do this—it’s what I did in the past.’ An acquaintance suggested that I probably should apply for senior positions. 

Around the first of January I received a phone call from a recruiter doing an interview for a senior position.

I went through the same set of questions, talked about salary again—and once again heard the recruiter say, ‘we’ll get back to you’. He also said, “I sent you a link—look at it and apply if you think you’re a good fit.” I told him I’d give it a shot. 

I didn’t hold much faith in getting the position—I’d already been turned down for lower level jobs. I thought that the opportunity to work for CVS was over for me. About the 22nd of January I got a phone call from the recruiter who said he had received my application and was moving it forward. On the 24th, the recruiter called to say, ‘You’re the finalist.’ He told me the salary and asked if I would accept it. I replied, ‘Absolutely’. My birthday was the following Saturday—the offer of a new position was the best birthday gift I could get.

The recruiter liked the way my resume was organized and also my skill set—the new computer skills complemented my past work experience. It was a plus that I had completed MTTI’s program.

The system I was hired to work on at CVS is hosted on PCs through Internet Explorer on an XP platform (even though Microsoft has moved beyond XP, it is a stable platform). 

Funny that the person who eventually hired me for this position was someone who had interviewed me earlier and had told me I was overqualified for all the positions I applied for! Although I was willing to start at entry-level, ultimately I found my fit in a senior position.

Attending MTTI has been a great opportunity. I’ve accomplished a lot of learning in a short period of time.

There are other school programs that go into more depth, but they take more time (and money). The Computer Service Technician/Network Installer program at MTTI gave me exactly what I needed—quickly and efficiently. The soft skills and interview practice were also very beneficial, as was sitting with Boris and Rick to continually re-work my own resume. I had a lot of bullets on my original resume, but it wasn’t getting me what I was looking for. I also got a few interviews through MTTI that I would not otherwise have had.  And without this support, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make conversation with the person in the bar that ultimately directed me to interview at CVS and provided me with a referral. 

Rick’s and Boris’ guidance and patience during the program and while I was job searching was a great support. I was fortunate also to have the support of my wife during the two-and-a half year journey back into the workforce—she has been my inspiration.

I love my new job! It’s a job I like and am good at doing.

I love the team and the company. CVS is a place I can see myself working until I retire—which will not be all that soon.