Speaker: Loran Bolding, Technical Instructor
Introduce yourself! What is your role and how long have you been with ACI Learning?
Loran Bolding: Hey, everybody! My name is Loran Bolding, and I am a CompTIA Technical Instructor with the amazing ACI Learning. Let me tell you, I am so excited for you to begin your IT journey here with us. I have been a Technical Instructor for several years. I just came on last year with ACI Learning and I love it here. I get up every day, excited to come to work and I'm gonna be excited to get up and come and see you and meet every one of you and get to know your passions for the IT field. So, come on in, we're gonna have a great time and I look forward to seeing and meeting every single one of you.
Tell us about your professional journey.
Loran Bolding: So a little bit about my professional journey, I got off to a quite interesting start. A little bit of vulnerability here, I was actually going through a divorce when I decided to take a journey into the IT industry. I went to My Computer Career, which is another adult accelerated learning facility, where I got all of my certifications. I have about 17+ certifications underneath my belt within the past bazillion years that I've been part of this industry. I'm just kidding. I love this industry! Everything about this industry. I started out with building computers when I was younger and that just developed my sense of the IT field and what I wanted to do. I have been in all aspects on this professional journey. I have been a help desk technician. I have worked in call centers. I have been a sys. admin., a systems admin. I have been a network admin. I have been a server admin. So I have a lot of experience underneath my belt with the little things here and there that I've done on my journey. Which compiles to a lot of stuff, right? Because that's what we do here. We love to train new IT professionals on the experiences that they're gonna have out when they get jobs in corporate America. We are so excited for you to proceed with your professional journey with us. It's going to be a fun, challenging, amazing road ahead and I look forward to being with you every step of the way for it.
What is your favorite thing about the IT industry?
Loran Bolding: What is my favorite thing about the IT industry? I love how it's always developing. It's technology is developing every single day and it always keeps you on your toes. It's an industry that I don't think will ever become boring. There's always something new, always something bigger and better, but they always want to try and make it smaller, like mini SD cards or mini sim cards. Can I get an Amen? So I love that the, IT industry is forever changing. We're always growing as the, IT industry grows. So that's probably one of my favorite things about the industry.
What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned from your education?
Loran Bolding: So one of my most valuable lessons that I've learned from pursuing my education: give yourself grace to grow and give yourself grace to learn. Because this is all new. If we are forward marchers and we're that very Type A personality, when something doesn't necessarily go our way, we get really frustrated really easy. That can actually be a detriment to people's passion. So what I tell all my students, just like my mentor told me, just like my instructors told me as I was going through my education route. Give yourself grace to grow. Give yourself grace to learn. It's okay to fail, as long as you don't give up. Learn from what just transpired and then get back up on the horse and go again. So give yourself grace to grow, to learn. This may be all new for you. You may be like me and out of school for 15 years before pursuing an IT profession. So just give yourself grace to grow. That's probably the one, the most valuable lesson I learned through this journey.
What's something you want students to know about you?
Loran Bolding: Okay, so I'm gonna get a little vulnerable here with something I want students to know. When I first started my IT journey, I was very emotional. If something didn't go my way, I would roll up into the fetal position. I would cry! I was so frustrated when times got tough. To be honest with you, if it wasn't for my mentor being extra sensitive and empathetic with me, I don't know where I would be today. So another thing is I utilized my mentor. Mentors, excuse me. They were amazing. They really got me through some really tough times and helped me understand that it is okay to give myself grace to grow. It is okay for something to be hard. We just have to figure out how best we study, or how best we learn. There were times where I did get so frustrated that I would just curl up and just cry. Oh my stars... It was, it was an interesting time in my life. So utilize your mentors because they're gonna be able to help you through the difficult times.
What advice would you give to students starting out in the IT industry?
Loran Bolding: One piece of advice that I would give any students who are getting out into the IT field after finishing up school and getting your certifications: Find an IT mentor. Somebody who you can trust, somebody who has more knowledge than you, who's been around a lot longer than you, and just glean from them. Find somebody that you can trust that won't lead you in the wrong direction and give you advice that can help push you forward. It may be intimidating. It may look like this huge battle you have to overcome. But when you're out in the IT industry and you're brand new, it can be really overwhelming with everything that's coming at you. So finding an IT mentor, I actually have two with ACI, whom I trust any time I have any questions, any time I'm feeling a little off, I can go to them and I can say, "Hey, how did you deal with this experience?" "Is there any advice that you can give me?" That's a mentor. So make sure that at some point you find an IT mentor. Somebody you trust who can speak into your life and help you through some tough times.