My Name is JoShanda. I am currently enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). I’m majoring in integrated studies with a focus in information technology and a minor in business admin. I spent this past summer gaining experience for when I graduate in December.

I utilized my networking skills to gain an internship with the American Red Cross. During the internship, I learned a lot about reimaging and setting up computers, as well as how to be proactive and gain experience in leadership and self-direction. I also had the opportunity this summer to become the president of the Pinnacle Honor Society on campus at MTSU due to my leadership skills.

I also attended a conference in Nashville called Analytics Summit, which allowed me to network with people and learn more in the IT field. I have learned by being part of AccessComputing that you have to sell yourself, so I utilized those skills as I networked at the summit. I was able to meet with the president of Nashville Technology Council, and we discussed opportunities for me to job shadow at companies in the area. This led to me job shadowing at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), where I got to excited to visit and gain experience from their IT department.

Despite my nerves, I put my best feet forward and remained positive for the outcome. My number one goal is to become a project manager in IT, and I had the pleasure of meeting the manager that oversees that department for my job shadow.

I have worked hard my entire life, and my parents have always told me to strive for the best—these experiences this summer have made me feel like it is my destiny to meet my goals.

Based on my experiences with AccessComputing, I have learned to never let your disability, in my case a learning disability, stand in your way. Always know there is hope at the end of the tunnel. I am a living proof that thinking positive will take you a long way in your career and having the right people in your life as well. I have developed more knowledge than ever before this summer, and even though I had some obstacles that stood in my way through the process, I didn’t give up on my craft in career development in IT and remained focused on my purpose.