Apprentice Spotlight: Antwana Wadlington
Antwana is a motivated and driven Cloud Engineer that made a full career-shift by maximizing all opportunities available to her at Simple Technology Solutions.
Job Title: Cloud Engineer
Why did you apply to the STS Apprenticeship Program?
I was previously working in a very different field as a records specialist at a law firm. I wanted to make a career change, so I took a tech bootcamp that taught me the basics of coding and IT. This bootcamp was fast paced and it helped me learn the basics, but it was still very difficult to find a job; I knew the fundamentals but I did not quite have a career path into the field.
After completing coding school, I started to get acquainted with the job search process in the IT field. As I was navigating postings and opportunities, I was introduced to STS. The STS Apprenticeship Program helped by providing me with hands-on experience paired with a mentor already in the field. The STS Apprenticeship Program has been the perfect way to launch my career by providing valuable, relevant skills, and expanding my network.
What skills did you gain during the STS Apprenticeship Program?
The STS Apprenticeship allowed me to expand my Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform expereince. During this time, I also earned two AWS Associate Level certifications. The program has a valuable hands-on-learning phase. Through this type of hands-on-learning, I was able to apply my course knowledge to create solutions for AWS Cloud Governance.
How did the STS Apprenticeship Program benefit you and your career?
The coursework, hands-on projects, and one-on-one coaching/mentoring expedited my growth and career development. The environment at STS promotes inclusivity; the daily guidance and support propelled me to advance professionally. STS trained me to a level where I knew I could be successful, and then they provided me with a job utilizing the specific skills I had learned. I love my current role, it is a lot of fun.
After graduating from the Apprenticeship Program I was brought on full-time as a Cloud Engineer and am very happy with my current position. As a full-time employee, STS also provides an annual bonus for living in a HUBZone which helps greatly during this time.
What should future Apprentices expect from the program?
The program is challenging and requires an investment of commitment, determination and just plain hard work. I am so proud of my job title: Cloud Engineer at STS. And guess what? I’m still learning! The STS Apprenticeship Program has been a critical part of my career development and the long-term value of the program is immeasurable.
My advice to future Apprentices is to study as much as possible (AWS and cloud technologies).
What type of work are you doing now as an STS Cloud Engineer?
I currently work on a Cloud contract where I continue to gain tremendous experience alongside a Cloud architecture team. I currently perform mostly automation work in architecture and compliance. It is fun, I like it a lot. This is a niche area that I had not necessarily intended to pursue before being exposed through the Apprenticeship Program. I like it because it involves coding.