FALL 2017 | CompTIAWorld 45 Getting Technical Training While Serving His Country William Smith also launched his IT career in the military. After completing basic training, Smith went to technical school at the Community College of the Air Force. For four months, he attended two-week immersion courses on topics including Windows servers, Unix, networking fundamentals and Security+. It was then that Smith earned his Security+ certification, which he says launched his career. “From a resume standpoint, it shows that you’re willing to go beyond just getting your degree and settling for the bare minimum,” he said. “In my first job, it helped that I’d had a high- level view of what the technology does and how it fits into the bigger picture.” Following his IT training, Smith switched gears from full-time military to full-time student at Iowa State University. He continued to serve in the Air National Guard one weekend a month. The skills and experience he gained in the military set him apart from other candidates when he interviewed for internships. The summer after his freshman year, he was a data integration specialist intern for Principal Financial Group, and the next summer he went back as an application developer intern. “If I had not joined the military, I would have started my freshman year without any tech experience,” Smith said. “It would have been harder to get such a prestigious internship as a freshman. Having six months of technical school courses plus three months of hands-on work set me apart.” n