At 24, San Francisco resident Ron Chong was seeking an entry point to the region’s booming tech sector. Having attended numerous tech conferences over the past five years, the young adult knew this was the place for him, as he had always had an interest in the digital world.
Ron started his journey with a job at Cricket Wireless, where he learned customer service and how to troubleshoot smartphone issues. This whet his appetite for how he could parlay that knowledge to the next level.
In the summer of 2014, Ron attended a Summer Jobs+ career fair and learned of MEDA’s free Mission Techies program; he immediately enrolled to be part of the fall cohort. “I was 24 at the time, so I was almost too old to join. I just made it in,” jokes Ron.
Ron thrived during the 12-week course at Plaza Adelante, taking apart and putting back computers with ease, and later refurbishing PCs and Macs for low-income Mission residents, a requirement of the program. “Ron was a quick learner. I knew he had what it takes,” explains Technology Training Coordinator Leo Sosa.
Showcasing how a network (the other meaning of the word) can help a young adult get on the path to an IT career, Sosa then helped Ron get enrolled in TechSF, the arm of the city’s Office of Employment and Workforce Development that is devoted to a range of training programs in high-growth IT occupations that are currently in demand, including networking & security, tech support & administration, programming, and multimedia.
The TechSF program at Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) is where Ron has been since January, furthering the young adult’s tech skills. Ron is now working on his CompTIA A+ certification—a big step in a professional IT journey. This condensed training offers the ideal foundational certification to get started on a career working with cutting-edge information technologies.
TechSF recently helped connect Ron to a ten-week internship at Riverbed Technology in San Francisco’s SoMa. “I start my internship in two weeks. It’s coming fast, but I explained I needed to complete my A+ certification, which they agreed made sense,” states Ron. At Riverbed Technology, Ron will be troubleshooting PCs, using the knowledge he has garnered along the way.
When asked where he sees the internship taking him, Ron excitedly talks of working for HelpDesk. He envisions a fulfilling career in the tech sector, and he knows that all of the steps he has taken have been integral in this process.
“It takes hard work and dedication. I just need to prepare for my internship to successfully succeed in the IT industry and land myself a good-paying, stable job,” sums up an optimistic Ron.