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Success Stories from Graduates

Jerry Shelton

Jerrys’ story is actually simple.  Jerry entered into my program with no real IT experience other than what he had learned on his own, but I could see from the very beginning that Jerry was going to be a success story for my program and for Danville Community College.  Here is Jerry’s story: 

 In 2008 I found myself in what seemed like a dying career path in the electronic repair field.  I had always been fascinated with the IT world so I decided to go back to school and get my Associates degree in Information Technology. I enrolled in Steven Carrigan’s A.A.S. Networking Degree Program and immediately knew it was for me. While attending DCC I was fortunate enough to obtain a position in an Internship program through the Advanced Institute of Learning with a small global company in Danville VA thanks to Steven’s help and recommendation.  My internship experience led to a full time position.  The collaborative experience in DCC’s program and the internship allowed me to gain invaluable knowledge and skills over a short period of time.

In September of 2012 I was afforded the opportunity to join the Atos IT Solutions team at the Microsoft Data Center in Boydton, VA.  Thanks to the experience and knowledge that I obtained through my training at DCC I felt confident beginning my career in the Data Center environment.  Over the next three years I worked my way through the positions of Shift Lead, Site Lead, and Training Coordinator.  As a Trainer, I was able to travel to other sites to help them learn processes and procedures in the Data Center environment. One of my most rewarding trips was in March of 2016 to Hong Kong, China for a month to train the Atos Team on the Microsoft account and Data Center procedures.  Shortly after my return, I was promoted again to Service Delivery Manager for Atos at our current Microsoft Data Center Site. I am now one of two Managers responsible for 100+ technicians, must maintain a 99.99999% (5-9 uptime) for the site, and in charge of hiring new staff. 


             I would have to say that without Steven Carrigan’s phenomenal program, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The amount of in class training, hands on labs, and his lectures are better than any other program I have seen. We have recently employed 7 other graduates from Steven’s program at our Data Center Site with Atos. 


James Adkins

             James’ story is a big success for my program too.  James entered into my program with a background in IT and the military, but he wanted to do more with his chosen career.  Here is James’ story.

             As a military veteran, the Post-9/11 GI Bill gave me a strong incentive to return to college upon transitioning back to civilian life. Deciding on the right college to further my education was an absolute necessity. Since I previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Management, I was more interested in entering a program that would allow “hands-on�? training based towards certifications and industry tools and best practices. The Networking Specialization A.A.S degree at Danville Community College was able to provide just that.

             Upon completion of this program, I gained more in-depth technical knowledge and abilities while working with new technology and equipment. The relationships that DCC has with the industry’s leading vendors paired with its proximity to Research Triangle Park and two large Datacenters in southern Virginia allowed me the opportunity to meet and learn from industries leading experts. Upon graduating from DCC, I decided to continue my education and have recently completed a Master of Science in Information Systems as well as a Master of Science in Information Assurance and Computer Security. I am currently a Sr. Security Analyst at Tribune Media Company with a focus in SaaS applications. Since completion of DCC’s program,

             I have worked for industry leading companies such as Hewlett Packard and MillerCoors. The training that I received through DCC has directly helped me to advance in my career as well as to gain industry certifications from Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, Rapid7, Tintri and CompTIA.


Austin Sigmon

             Austin’s story starts with his high school training.  Austin completed semesters I and II of the Cisco Academy program and two semesters of the CompTIA A+ training while in high school, which was part of the dual-enrollment program offered through Danville Community College (DCC). 

             Upon graduating from high school in May 2015, Austin immediately continued his education by starting his college training in summer of 2015.  In May of 2016, Austin received his A.A.S. Degree in Networking and during the time he was working on his degree he also started taking courses in the Cyber Security Certificate program DCC offers.  Now Austin is completing his 3rd course in the Cyber Security program and is currently employed in the IT field.  Austin will complete his Cyber Security training in May 2017.  Here is Austin’s story.

              My story all starts when I was a young child; I’ve always been fascinated with computers and how they work and as I got older that fascination never faded. When I reached high school, I knew I wanted to do something with computers and after seeing my options I decided that IT networking was going to be my career choice. So, I decided to take Votech classes in Cisco and CompTIA which were being offered by my school.  As I progressed further into the IT classes offered I knew that I had made the right choice because I found myself wanting to learn more beyond what was being taught.

              After graduating high school, I progressed straight into college about two weeks later. This time, I was able to go more hands-on with the equipment with the labs that were assigned; I felt really lucky that Danville Community College with Mr. Carrigan’s guidance afforded me the opportunity to work on real equipment and learn the latest technologies.  Now that I have completed my Networking A.A.S., I have decided to go into Cyber Security and am enrolled in courses now to complete this next level of my training, which hopefully will advance my career in IT to new levels.

              Currently I am a technician at an ISP, Digital Phone and Security company here in my hometown. I have to admit I really enjoy working in the field getting the experience I need while continuing to learn something new every day.


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