Graduate Advances into Leadership Role Following Career Change
Dec 09, 2014
As a lead IT technician at Advanced Business Solutions (ABS), Louisville Campus graduate Tony Brooks provides IT support to the oncology departments of hospitals in the Kentucky One Health network using virtually every aspect of the knowledge that he gained in his information systems engineering program--from imaging and refreshing computers, to network administration, and installing software.
“I’m using everything that I learned [at National] on the job,” Tony said of his work at ABS. “They hired me on straight out of school, and I let them know that the main thing that I was looking for was experience. Through hard work, I now have the lead on the oncology electronic health records management project.”
A U.S. Navy veteran, Tony came to American National University with funding through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Veterans Retraining Assistance (VRAP) programs when he lost his job in sales after almost 20 years. “When the economy turned down, my position was eliminated, so I decided to completely change career paths,” Tony recalled. “I was looking online, and I saw that American National University was very veteran friendly. I had a tour of the place, talked to some of the students, and I was in.”
At National, Tony mastered his skills in IT by putting theory into action in the computer lab. “I’m a hands-on person,” he explained. “You get the broad concept of how things are done, but until you actually get in there and get your hands dirty and take a computer apart, or image the system, or set up the reference computer -- you really don’t know until you do it.” He also earned Comp TIA A+ certification while in his program, an industry credential that he feels is vital to confirm his skill set to employers.
To help keep him advancing in his career, Tony plans to return to National to continue his education in the cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program. He’s become a strong advocate for the school, participating in Career College Day at the state Capitol and Hill Day in Washington, D. C., where he talked with legislators about the advantages of career college education. “It gave me my foot in the door and a whole new career,” Tony said of his education at National. “After a few years in the industry, when I get the experience, my long term goal is to start a business of my own, supporting clients of my own, and taking care of their IT needs.”
A- Louisville Campus graduate Tony Brooks is working as the lead IT tech on a large electronic health records management project in Kentucky One Health system hospitals.
B- U.S. Navy veteran Tony Brooks used funding through the WIA and VRAP programs to return to school to train for a new career in information technology.