Taking a Chance on a New Collar Career

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Sometimes, you have to take a risk and start again. That’s just what Rey Lozano did after his first attempt at college and working minimum wage. Rey left college after just two semesters because he felt like his coursework wasn’t helping him build skills that would translate to a career. He then worked at a fast food restaurant for five years before deciding something had to change.

“I didn’t have pressure from anybody else,” he said, “I just had my own motivation for a better future. I didn’t want to work minimum wage for the rest of my life.”

Rey Lozano

Taking a chance on new collar skills led Rey Lozano to a new career.

When family priorities took him from Laredo to Houston, Rey saw the perfect opportunity to take a chance on a new career and pursue new opportunities. Building on knowledge he’d gained repairing computers and mobile devices as a teenager, Rey enrolled again in classes – this time to learn about computer networks. Two and a half years later, after completing his associate’s degree and a Cisco networking certification program, Rey had developed in-demand technical skills in network management. These skills – together with Rey’s drive and willingness to take a risk on a new career path – made it possible for him to make the jump from fast food to the fast-growing technology industry.

After finishing his two-year degree, Rey joined IBM’s Houston-based network operations team in 2014 to oversee the infrastructure for Bluemix, IBM’s cloud-based application development platform. Today, Rey monitors devices on the Bluemix network for issues, records incidents and troubleshoots problems as they arise. By continuing to expand his skills in his spare time and by learning from his team, Rey has learned to support larger internal teams and resolve network issues. He’s worked his way up to become a senior technician and now the leader of his own team. Rey looks forward to eventually join IBM’s network engineering team, which works to resolve more complex incidents.

“Three or four years ago I wouldn’t have imagined having the experience and knowledge I have now,” Rey said. “Now I can live comfortably and have opportunities to grow my career. For the first time I’m looking to take a vacation, maybe to New York or even overseas. All because I found the opportunities to try something new, and took a chance.”

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Media Contact:
Adam R. Pratt
Ph: (202) 551-9625
arpratt@us.ibm.com

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