Central Carolina Technical College
“We all have things we have to overcome in life. You may not be able to escape them, but you can power through them.”
Originally, I didn’t have plans to go to college. I wanted to start my own business, but my father suggested maybe I should do both. I had a vague interest in technology in high school, but no clear idea of what I actually wanted to do. This is the story of how Plan B became my path forward.
What changed your mind about going to college?
I didn’t really care for school. I didn’t really understand the importance of education, and felt like it was a drag. My parents helped me see the bigger picture. They knew traditional college wasn’t for everyone, but insisted that I had an alternate plan in place. You don’t say no to Plan A, but you also need to have a Plan B. My dad encouraged me to stay with them and go ahead with pursuing a college degree while I worked on whatever side hustle or business I wanted to explore.
How did you decide on technical college versus other options?
You can’t argue with free, regardless of what you are doing or where you are going. I decided that if I could get two free years of education, I could knock out all of the general education courses and basics I needed. From there, I could either get a basic entry-level job with a few certifications or I could keep working on a bachelor’s degree with a good chunk of the classes already completed.
What have you defied in your lifetime?
I was not the most sociable person growing up. I’m a huge introvert, so talking with people just isn’t my strong suit. Many of the choices I made in high school were opportunities that I could have taken advantage of but decided not to for one reason or another. As my dad says, “Sometimes fear disguises itself.” It’s not the same kind of fear you would feel if there were something dangerous in front of you. It’s a subtle fear that’s like, “Hey, I know I could work and accomplish this thing, but I just don’t feel like it.” Naively, I assumed that my dad was wrong, but fear really was holding me back. I believe I would have gotten the ball rolling a lot faster if I had been able to overcome those fears. I definitely believe that you have to be able to overcome those sorts of things and you have to be able to move on. You’re not going to escape them, but you can power through them.
How would you say that your time at Central Carolina Tech has helped you get to where you want to go?
It’s nice to be able to dip your toes in the water. A lot of the instructors have connections, especially around the local area. If you stick with a class or an instructor long enough, often you will get connected to different opportunities and job openings.
What do you feel you’ve learned about yourself through your educational journey?
Probably the most notable thing, aside from tenacity, is being able to stick with something and follow through. With computers, I have to do troubleshooting all the time. For a few classes, I had to get software and equipment in order to take the class. There were times something would work for everyone but me. Those moments taught me how to stick with a problem and build my problem-solving skills and patience.
How did the affordability of technical school influence your experience?
The cool thing about going to a technical college that is also a local college is that it’s much cheaper. Because I didn’t have to worry about rent, water, electricity and other bills, I was able to afford a car. That definitely helps and is definitely worth it.
What are your plans for the future? What are you hoping to achieve?
I want a tech position within cybersecurity. I am considering “ethical hacking” or working as a security researcher. I would also like to build my own company one day; something that would be contracted by companies like Microsoft or Google.