Life After PTECH: "I Love My Job"
by Hayla Evans
Before Idaho PTECH was a part of my life, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school. I had tossed around the idea of doing IT after learning about it from my school’s system administrator, but I had no real reason or money to pursue it. I had thought about being a prison guard, a public defender, a prosecuting attorney, and a whole slew of other legal-themed careers, but none of them really connected for me. I was very lost, and the thought of choosing my major was one that sat dauntingly in the back of my mind. I had only taken English 102 from NIC, and that class was both terrifying and expensive for me.
Then, almost as a personal answer to my prayers, PTECH was born. Through my school I learned of this great opportunity where students interested in high-demand industries like healthcare, aerospace, and IT fields would be supported through their whole one- to two-year degree and provided with both financial and coaching support. I had the opportunity to be “patient zero” in PTECH, which definitely was up my alley.
My decision was immediately made. I already was thinking about Information Technology, and while my family wasn’t poor, we couldn’t afford to send me to college at that time. Thus, I began my dual credit college coursework through NIC with PTECH’s support, and was able to finish taking traditional high school courses in the beginning of my junior year.
Through that entire time, I had not only financial support, but the support of a coach, who helped me identify personal goals and set an agenda to help me achieve them. My coach was Hayley, and I am pleased to say that even though I am not technically a PTECH student anymore, she still is reaching out to me to see how I’m doing, and asking if there’s anything she can do to help me achieve my goals. That’s commitment right there, and something PTECH does wonderfully. I wasn’t made to feel like “just a number,” I was made to feel that I was special and really had a lot of positives to contribute.
Fast forward to now. PTECH was responsible for my completion of my A.A.S.; they allowed me so many opportunities to achieve technical certifications, and helped me develop employable soft skills. Guess where I am now? In downtown Boise, Idaho, sitting behind a convertible desk with a brand new iMac, my Cisco books carefully arranged, and a picture of my puppy and Isaac, my soon-to-be fiancé that I met in PTECH, doing network and software support engineering for a startup called Pingman Tools. I love my job. Every day, I get to touch networks and help people all across the world understand their computer networking operation. In fact, just today, the COO of our company asked me if I would begin mapping out our current network, which is the first step in allowing me to begin taking on the role of Network Engineer, my dream role.
If I could look five years from now, I think I will still be with Pingman Tools. This is such a great company, and I want to be with them for a long time, growing as a person and a professional. After I finish my Bachelor’s degree in spring 2020, I envision myself moving to western Oregon with my husband, pursuing yet another network engineering role. However, I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing; the only thing I know is that I will be happy.