Apprentice Spotlight: Alexis Paul
Alexis has always had a passion for Information Technology thanks to her family who inspired her to move into the field.
Job Title: Cloud Engineer
Alexis is currently a Cloud Engineer at Simple Technology Solutions. In this role, she designs, implements, operates and administers CI/CD pipelines in cloud environments. She helps perform incident/alert troubleshooting and assists the team with problem analysis while providing overall support to other users and the customer.
Prior to joining STS…
Alexis landed positions on a few contracts doing high-level executive assistant tasks in support of the CEO of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She kept the CEO organized, managed data entry, proposal submission, and the planning of events and other campaigns. She says these skills transferred to her IT goals because they taught her to be self-sufficient and how to learn and execute on her own. The IT field requires just that – there is little supervision and micromanaging – her previous experience made her feel ready to take on and adapt to the challenging IT ecosystem. By the way, while working for HUD, Alexis also earned two Cisco certifications!
Needing a Change
Alexis’s family has a long history in the IT field and encouraged her to pursue IT. Alexis says that while she had the educational experience, which is important, she didn’t have the crucial hands-on knowledge needed to excel in the field. One of her family members suggested she pursue an IT internship, which ultimately led Alexis to Simple Technology Solutions. She found the STS Apprenticeship Program by chance. When STS was interested, she was ecstatic and knew her career would expand and become more dynamic. Her ambition was apparent when she met with the STS recruiter and she soon came on as a pre-apprentice. During that time, she earned her AWS Developer Associate Certification – another big milestone. STS brought Alexis on again in their next wave of apprentices which gave her the confidence of knowing that she could excel in the IT field.
In Alexis’ Words…
How Will You Make the Transition from Apprentice to the Next Level?
My goal is to become a Cloud DevOps engineer. The transition will be challenging but engaging in things like hands-on IT projects that my mentor, Wes Coffay gives me is a good start. Being able to work hand-in-glove with expert engineers gives me the scope and experience to learn more efficiently and more quickly than someone not enrolled in the STS Apprenticeship Program. While this field is very competitive, I know that what I have learned and continue to learn from Wes and others at STS will catapult me to the next level.
How Did the STS Apprentice Program Help Launch Your Career?
This mentorship has provided invaluable guidance in my new career. It continues to provide a solid layout of my career path. Because of this program, I was given the resources and tools necessary to grow as an individual. Now I can take those skills and apply them to the real world. When I first started, we were given weekly projects from the Google classroom and all the apprentices would come to the office and discuss or present those projects. We also conducted study groups to receive our certifications. This group learning setting allowed future IT professionals the opportunity to learn collaboratively. STS believes in its apprentices and wants to see them compete and excel in the real world – this was obvious, and I am grateful for the opportunities the program afforded me.
Favorite Part About Being an IT Professional
I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from those more experienced than me. I have built a network of like-minded and talented professionals. I also believe that I positively impacted the company and the people around me. I also enjoy the diversity of the work I do. One day I might be working on an AWS project and the next one could have me optimizing Continuous Integration (CI) builds using Jenkins. Being able to work with all these automation tools, which are on the cutting edge of technology, has always been a goal of mine.
Advice for Those Looking to Get into the IT/Software Engineering Field
Be ready to put in overtime because the work can be extensive. It requires the right attitude and self-discipline. 100% participation is required. Keep learning – don’t give up no matter how hard life gets. Make sure that you build your professional network and meet as many people as possible. If you are a driven, goal-oriented person, this field will be very fulfilling. Never Give Up!