Meet Our June Get Into IT Students Of The Month! – Digital Nova Scotia – Leading Digital Industry
Meet Our June Get Into IT Students Of The Month!

A huge congratulations to our students of the month for June! These two Get Into IT participants have been actively engaging in all aspects of the program.

First, from cybersecurity, we have Ashleigh Mcdougall who joined Get Into IT with a background in public relations. Deciding to make a change, Ashleigh wanted to find something that would continually challenge her. Having worked closely with the IT departments in her previous roles allowed her an insider’s perspective that this career might be just what she was looking for.

So far, Ashleigh has enjoyed learning about cybersecurity roles, processes, and operating system security and feels that she now has a better understanding of the roles of cybersecurity within an organization. She also mentioned that the holistic approach of the program was another great component to learn from.

“What I’ve liked about Get Into IT so far is the scope of the program – it’s not just doing the certificate. The additional career development workshops have been very beneficial. I’ve particularly enjoyed Dr. Ofosu’s sessions and her insights into how to overcome common challenges and build your resiliency.”

When asked why she chose to pursue cybersecurity Ashleigh shared that she “became interested in Cybersecurity because there seemed to be so many different types of roles and career paths to take. It’s also a field that requires you to be willing to continually learn, grow and adapt to keep pace with how quickly technology, and threats to that technology, change.”

As the program progresses, Ashleigh is confident in pursuing her dream role of working in a Cybersecurity compliance and Risk Management position, as she feels “the support from the team really makes you feel like you’re being set up for success”.

Our second student of the month, from the IT Specialist stream, is Jackie Cochran who moved to Halifax from rural New Brunswick to pursue a career in audio engineering. She has since done a bit of everything, from working with local AV companies to working at concerts and events all over the city. After years of learning in the AV industry, Jackie made the switch to something with more manageable hours. “I left my job in AV and enrolled in Cosmetology school. I have now been working as a barber for about 6 years.” Jackie shares.

So far, the IT support courses have given Jackie the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of topics. When asked to choose a favorite she shared; “I think it’s between either Hardware or the Operating Systems Module. Hardware got me excited to dig in and see how things REALLY work (I got so into it I tore apart an old Xbox just to see how it was all setup) and Operating Systems was really cool because I got to learn how Mac, Linux, and Windows work: what makes them similar and how they differ. I’ve used both Windows and Mac in the past, but I never really knew all the ins and outs of either of them, or even some of the cool features each of them have. There were definitely some “Aha” moments in that module!”

Jackie decided to join the IT specialist program when Covid hit and the personal care industry was suffering.

“When Covid hit, the industry I work in came to a complete halt (I’m currently a barber). I was stuck at home unable to earn a living or really control anything. To keep myself busy I spent weeks playing around with WordPress and built myself a website/portfolio. Later, a friend of mine mentioned I check out “FreeCodeCamp”, a site where you can learn web design basics for free. I spent some time doing that and I really enjoyed what I was learning and wanted to find a way to learn more, and how I could somehow even get my foot into the tech world in general. I later saw an ad for Get into IT and I thought that it would be a really interesting program and a good first step into the world of tech.”

A self-professed nerd, when Jackie is not playing video games, volunteering at Hal-Con or watching Doctor Who, she is eager to learn new things about front-end development and UI/UX design.

Another big congratulations for all their hard work! To contact Jackie reach out to missjackiecochran@gmail.com or find her on Linkedin and reach out to Ashleigh at ashleigh.mcdougall@gmail.com