The phone rang shortly after 3:30 pm, two weeks ago. The conference call was scheduled, but in my haste I might have carelessly ended it. I presume that after they pored over my resume, assessed my qualifications and verified my academic achievements, I was possibly a match for their company.

The phone rang again. The reputable company—locally, if not multistate—had a vacancy in their IT department and apparently was still interviewing potential candidates nearly two months later. And here I was, fortunate enough to be granted an initial phone interview for a position I assumed was a long shot. But, like the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

After a few prior rejections, not at all unusual in the dreaded application cycle for IT jobs, trusting the process was at times agonizing. And, even as a Dean’s List recipient in IT courses (if that means anything without much experience), the uncertainty of landing a decent job was overwhelming. Every company, it seems, seeks candidates with experience (often two to three years) to complement their education. However, for applicants with families, seeking that experience (often in another city or state) is not always feasible. As parents to two amazing kids, my lovely wife and I do our best to coordinate their extracurricular activities with our own schedule—a fine balancing act.

Thus, finding a local company was important, especially if opportunities for professional growth and promotions are in place. Also, the company seems to value diversity given the potpourri of talent it has in various leadership roles. I think progressive companies whose corporate culture is healthy and inclusive, matters.

Over the last two years I have learned a lot from my IT classes (C++, algorithms, JavaScript, mySQL, cyber security etc.). So when I was invited a week later for an onsite interview, I wondered if I knew enough. As someone who’ll be responsible to access FAQ’s resources on the company’s Intranet, research and provide software/hardware solutions to our internal and external clients in a timely manner, as well as assist in development and communicate trends, there were a myriad of questions I could be asked. It could be something as obscure as the meaning of TCP/IP, active directory, authentication or more abstract ideas, including two dimensional arrays, functions and polymorphism found in data structures & algorithms.

I entered the IT job search with a lot of excitement, but also trepidation. Truth be told, one is never too ready for an IT job. The field itself is broad and very challenging that one can’t possibly know it all, let alone a newbie.

“We still have two more interviews to determine our candidates… excuse me,” she corrected, “our candidate.” It was an innocuous admission that nevertheless underscored the stiff competition, even for an entry-level technical work. All told, I’d been interviewed by five people; during the phone interview and at the corporate headquarter.

Nearly a week later, as I prepared to head home from the office, a missed call with a request to contact my prospective employer. A decision had been reached.

I left work that day to the tune of a generous offer, welcoming me into the IT profession.

 


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