Andrea Johnson embodies the qualities needed to make Registered Apprenticeship a life-changing journey: She is strong, hardworking, unphased by adversity, and always willing to persevere towards her goals. With a twenty-year career in the Army under her belt, Andrea knew that she wanted to pursue an occupation where she could challenge herself, find relevant employment, and continue learning throughout the rest of her life. Apprenti’s Software Engineer Registered Apprenticeship proved the perfect fit for Andrea’s skills and abilities. Andrea’s efforts and diligence have allowed her to establish full-time employment while still enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard.
Her trajectory, however, was rife with various obstacles along the way. Though the Army had previously funded Andrea’s degree in computers, she soon came to see that most employment opportunities required hands-on experience. Knowing that she was nearing the twentieth anniversary of her time with the Army, Andrea was eager to step into a new challenge for the latter part of her life and career. She kept asking herself, “Now what?” Eventually, she Googled “women in technology,” which would lead her to Apprenti – an organization that would change the course of her life.
Apprenti helped Andrea obtain the hands-on experience and training needed to kickstart her career. Apprenti and Chase funded “boot camp” training that eventually allowed Andrea to become a full-time software engineer with Chase. Though Andrea was navigating her military career, motherhood, and her husband’s cancer during this time, she kept her eyes fixed on her ultimate goals and was able to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to her. Apprenti helped her break into software engineering, and her job with Chase—who Andrea notes is very fond of veterans—has been supportive in allowing her to navigate her new position alongside her role as a healthcare specialist for the National Guard.
If a Registered Apprentice were to come to Andrea for advice, she would tell them, “No matter what, continue with the apprenticeship. Do not stop until it’s over, regardless of how hard it gets—and it’s going to get hard.”
Andrea noted that Registered Apprenticeship programs push you, but they only push you because they “want you to succeed.” One of the things that Andrea valued most about Registered Apprenticeship mentors is that they are “there for you every step of the way.”
Andrea now hopes to work towards obtaining a managerial role. “In the military, I am a manager of soldiers,” she explains, “so I would like to become a lead engineer in the field.” Andrea still keeps an active eye out for opportunities that will allow her more experience and growth in her field, and she is grateful for all of the help that she has been offered in establishing herself in a new career.
Learn more about the Apprenti Registered Apprenticeship program here.
Publish Date: 10/06/2022