Graduate Profile: Mamadou Diallo

 

Mamadou Diallo, an ActivateWork graduate of 2021, is a dedicated student of personal and academic growth. He spends much of his free time studying subjects of philosophy, computer science, and general well-being.

Before immigrating to the US from Senegal, Mamadou had completed his bachelor’s in biology.  He worked as a mental health counselor and health technician for a while after graduation. While it was honest work, he felt that IT was where he wanted to be in the long run.

Mamadou’s interest in IT grew when he worked as a customer service rep troubleshooting iPads and desktops. When Mamadou moved to join his cousin in the US, he knew he would want to enroll in school and began studying computer networking at the Community College of Aurora.

 He felt that doing so would give him a leg up in the job market and make him eligible for more diverse job opportunities.

However, the transition was difficult; despite his interest and passion, he found that the school’s affordability was taking its toll. He had begun applying for entry-level tech jobs to no avail. At the time, Mamadou didn’t have a strong resume, nor did he have the tech certificates to back up his skillset. He thought that all his years of IT work experience should have qualified, if not over-qualified, him for all the positions he was applying for.

“I just needed someone who could allow me to start from the bottom.” 

One day, he had brought this sentiment to his friends at a barbecue his brother hosted, and someone from the BBQ told him about ActivateWork.

“He said they helped you with everything; school, resume, and getting a job, so I applied. I thought it was too good to be true,” he said.

The next day, he applied. When he came to ActivateWork, Mamadou had already stopped applying for jobs. He was discouraged by the requirements employers were asking for in entry-level positions. 

At ActivateWork, he was given a team of support. Before long, Mamadou was flying through his coursework. He worked with Dulcy Booth, Director of Career Development, to spruce up his resume. With the help of Ace VanWanseele, Manager of Business Solutions, he applied for jobs until he landed a position as Advance Video Engineer I at Spectrum/Charter.

“I am so happy. This is real.” Mamadou had been self-studying IT material for years. He took courses online through sites like Udemy and read textbooks, but ActivateWork helped him fill the gaps where self-teaching fell short. “I am so grateful for what ActivateWork does.”

 Aside from studying, Mamadou enjoys spending time with his friends. You can catch him playing soccer in our local parks or enjoying a meal at Noodles & Company. His longer-term goals include upskilling in areas including Python, Terraform, Docker, and Kubernetes. Ultimately, he hopes to work in Cloud systems where he can expand his diverse skillset.

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