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Army Veteran Begins His Career in IT after Graduating From National

Army Veteran Begins His Career in IT after Graduating From National

Jun 24, 2013

After serving his country, Jason Gabbard, a U.S. Army veteran, was having a difficult time finding a job with a good future. With funding through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, he enrolled in the information systems engineering (ISE) program at the Florence Campus, and less than two years later, he has earned his associate’s degree. Now he has a job working as an IT Specialist for Hospitality Technical Services (HTS) at Columbia Sussex Corporation.

Jason previously attended a local community college but it didn’t meet his needs. He was glad to find a different experience at National. “When I started here, I figured out how nice the people are, and how much they are willing to help you,” he said of his experience in the ISE program. “I’d recommend it to anybody.”

According to ISE program director Valerie Bowman, he became a leader in his class, taking other students “under his wing” assisting them in any way needed. He was also the first student at the Florence Campus to become TIA A+ certified during his program, an important credential which is valued by employers.

During his program, he was able to get on-the job-experience and showcase his skills to a potential employer when he worked as an extern for KET Public Broadcasting Station in Lexington, Kentucky.  Jason recalled that he’d always dreamed of working for KET and, with help from Valerie and Lexington Campus ISE program director George Camp, he was able to make the externship a reality.  

In his job with HTS Columbia Sussex, Jason assists employees of Marriott Hotel properties across the country with troubleshooting, installations, and upgrades of the their computers and reservations systems. He also assists guests of the hotels with any questions they have about connecting to the Wi-Fi service for internet access.

Jason feels that there are many opportunities available to him in the field of IT and he has enrolled in the American National University Bachelor of Information Technology online program to ensure that he keeps advancing in his career. His ultimate goal is to work in Silicon Valley in the IT industry. “Since I walked through this door, I (said) ‘I’m going to finish this,” Jason said of his education. “There’s nothing that’s going to stop me.”

In the bottom photo, Jason Gabbard is pictured on the far right with fellow ISE graduates Adam Brown (left) and Kyle Bowman (center).

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tags: Computer Technology: Information Systems Engineering - Associate's Degree (ISE)