Connecting with friends and new opportunities

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Tracie Winslow felt stuck. “I spent eight years trying to get a job with my bachelor’s degree and ended up working at a few call centers,” said Winslow, who grew up in Riverside, California. “Not only did I absolutely hate the work, but I barely made a living wage.”

One day, Winslow reconnected with a friend who was enrolled in SLCC’s Enterprise Network Services program.

“She told me how it’s online, self-paced and takes most people only a few months to finish,” Winslow recalled. “She told me the program is designed to help you earn an industry certification, the CCNA.”

A quick online search showed Winslow there were a lot of jobs opportunities in Salt Lake County that required a CCNA. She decided to give the program a shot, even though she’d never studied technology before.

The education turned out to be such a perfect fit that Winslow landed a job as a system administrator at Farsight Security before completing the program, thanks, once again, to a conversation with a friend.

“I knew he was a networking professional, so I asked him questions about my coursework on Facebook chat,” Winslow said.

Not long after, that friend’s company decided to add a new position to his team. “He told me I should send them my resume,” Winslow said. “They’d never hired anyone before who had no professional experience in the field. But they hired me.”

Winslow, a recipient of the American Institute for Research SATTS Scholarship, credits not only her friends but also the caring and knowledgeable instructors for helping her on her path to success.

“My instructors are available to help me whenever I need them. They explain things in a very understandable way,” she said. “They also make me feel that I’m important to them, to the program and to SLCC overall. It feels really good to be known as a person.”

Winslow’s time in SATTS was the course correction she wanted. “You can always learn something new that can change your life,” she said. “I’m making more money and I’m doing work I find personally rewarding.”