Solo

Making Dreams a Reality

By Karen Stinneford

Growing up as the youngest of eight children in Liberia, Nyankoi Solo Ngungkpan dreamed that someday, he would live in America and work with technology.

America, he said, was the place “where any dream can become a reality.” 

Thanks to training from IT-Ready Technical Support, Solo’s dream has come true, and he now works as a technical operations center analyst associate for Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis. 

 

Dreaming the American dream 

His path to America and a career in IT began in Liberia. In 2008, Solo had just earned his associate’s degree in electronics engineering from Stella Maris Polytechnic in the capital of Monrovia when he secured a visa to immigrate to the United States. He settled in Minnesota to be close to a brother already living there. 

“My first Minnesota winter was crazy,” he said. “Growing up in Liberia, ‘snow’ was an imagination. We could not fathom what snow was really like, so the very first time I saw snow, I had to touch it, take a picture of it and post it on social media. It was a great feeling that confirmed that I was, indeed, in the United States.” 

After settling in Minnesota, Solo continued his education by earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting, after which he worked as an accounts receivable representative. But his heart was never really into accounting, he said. 

“During those years, my desire to work in technology did not go away,” he said. “I always was approached by friends and family members about which computer or laptop to purchase, why their computers were slow, etc.”

When he stumbled across an online ad for IT-Ready Technical Support, he realized it was an opportunity to pursue the career of his dreams. 

“When I read that the program prepared you for CompTIA A+ certification and that they would pay for the certification, including the training, I knew that was my chance to get my foot into IT,” he said. 

 

IT-Ready makes a big impression

Solo said he knew immediately that IT-Ready Technical Support was a legitimate and rigorous program.

“We had to be responsible and arrive on time,” he said. “We had a member of our class who missed a couple of days during the first week and was booted from the program. I made it my decision to be the first one in the classroom every day and I never looked back.”  

Students learned how to build a computer from parts, install software, troubleshoot problems, and set up and manage networks. Students also learned softer professional skills such as workplace etiquette, communication and customer service. 

“The hands-on and troubleshooting training was immense,” he said. “But it’s the soft skills training that makes IT-Ready second to none. The skills I learned during those eight weeks would have cost me a lot of money if I had gone elsewhere.”

 

Launching a career of the heart 

Upon graduating, Solo earned his CompTIA A+ certification and quickly secured employment in the tech industry. He now works as an analyst associate in the Technical Operations Center for Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis.

“I validate that changes to IT systems are successfully completed. I monitor and verify system performance and capacity, executing define procedures to fulfill roles in event, incident, problem and change management processes,” he said. “I initiate the incident management process, including engaging technical and leadership staff, and documenting and communicating status in the lifecycle.” 

Four years after graduating from IT-Ready Technical Support, Solo is developing expertise in security, earning CompTIA Security+ and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certifications. In addition to providing financial security that supports his wife and two sons, his tech career also has made his heart happy. 

It’s a dream come true, he said. 

“It’s been phenomenal,” he said. “It’s been unbelievable moving from working jobs to just pay the bills to working a job that you really like.” 

 

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