How an IT pro in Mexico landed that hard-to-find ‘good’ jobBy Dana Gagnon
Is there a country on the planet that doesn’t need an IT pro? From Papua New Guinea to Peru, TrainSignal has customers in over 120 countries. We recently caught up with Angel Castillo, a 23-year-old IT pro from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Does an IT pro in Mexico face similar challenges to IT pros in other countries? Sure, but the economy of an area can significantly impact job prospects in the field.
“In Mexico, opportunities IT-related are very difficult to find,” says Angel. “The good ones anyway.”
Working with computers became Angel’s dream at the age of 9, when his family got their first home computer. His older brother, while playing music on Windows Media Player, tricked Angel into believing he was broadcasting his own radio station, which of course wasn’t true. But the potential of that machine intrigued Angel nonetheless.
“I knew from that very instant that computers were trying to tell me something,” says Angel. “That this was my path.”
First taste of training
His path eventually led him to college, where he had to complete a work-study program as part of a scholarship he received. He worked at the campus Microsoft Training Center as a technician in charge of installing operating systems and managing the sales team’s computers. He needed to learn more about Active Directory, so he took a course through Microsoft but found it didn’t offer enough info and required significant knowledge of the subject from the start. Only making $150 per month, which barely covered his transportation costs, Angel couldn’t afford to pay for additional training. Luckily, his supervisor loaned him a copy of TrainSignal’s Windows Server 2008 Active Directory (70-640) course.
“On Microsoft official courses, we have like 1,000 pages to read. It’s complementary but it’s not enough to get certified,” says Angel. “TrainSignal, what it does, it gives us the opportunity to ramp up not only our knowledge and skills but also practice a lot.”
Angel didn’t stop at the Active Directory course. After graduating with a BE in Engineering and Computer Systems in February of 2012, he set out to look for that hard-to-find “good” IT job. He eventually came across the perfect role: a client technical support senior associate position at Dell Services. The job description said a deep understanding of Outlook was a must. Although experienced in Access, Excel and the rest of the Office suite, Angel knew little about Outlook. He decided it was time to buy his first TrainSignal course, Outlook 2010.
“I took the training. I got certified…That got me into my job,” says Angel. “There was several questions related to Outlook and email that TrainSignal helped me to address. Without that, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”
Before his interview, Angel also utilized other TrainSignal resources, including a blog post that outlines the 77 interview questions IT pros should be prepared to answer.
“You have no idea how helpful that was,” says Angel. “It was truly amazing. Trust me.”
In his current role, Angel primarily works in customer service, doing Active Directory password resets, adding members on a group, working with the DNS and dealing with software problems. He says coming in with the right training and certifications allowed him to immediately stand out, even among more experienced pros from large companies like IBM and Oracle. With about a year at the company under his belt, he’s already setting his sights on his next career move. After taking TrainSignal’s courses for Windows Server 2008, he successfully achieved the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in May. He also just earned the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) after passing the Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure (70-643) exam, which he credits to TrainSignal’s course on the subject.
In August, he plans to apply for a sysadmin role and feels confident his new MCSA and MCTS will help him land it. He also plans to use TrainSignal to brush up on his ITIL® skills before interviewing.
“Since I’m at Dell, I have a career there,” says Angel. “So, I’m trying to get better every single time and with the help of you guys, your courses, I think I can do it even faster than with normal training books…I’m going to take every course I can.”
No matter where his career takes him, there’s one thing Angel knows for sure: He hopes to stay on the server side of the IT aisle.
“I just love computers. I love clicking stuff and taking part in a big company, where I can help enhance the user experience and provide solutions to them,” says Angel. “That’s what I truly love about being behind a server. While nobody is going to acknowledge you, you’re giving solutions to the people, and that’s enough for me.”
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About the Author
Dana Gagnon is the Director of Branded Content at Pluralsight. After working for years in Chicago media, she joined the team in 2012 to continue bringing quality news, tips and more to Pluralsight's audience. Find her @ChicagoDana or on Google+.
Author's Website: http://blog.pluralsight.com/