Nashville State Alum Finds Passion in New Career
After 10 years in the insurance business, where she found professional success and enjoyment, Tressa Reed began thinking more about what may make her truly happy and inspired.
Tressa knew she had a strong interest in creating processes to solve complex problems and loved incorporating technological applications to accomplish what was needed.
So, she began exploring career training and educational options to get into the technology field.
“I believed in myself and was looking for the best value to get me into the game,” Reed said.
As someone who is highly motivated, getting into the industry as quickly as possible was important to Reed. At the same time, she wanted to feel prepared and confident implementing the technical skills she would need to be successful.
“I explored different options and found that specific computer information technology programs at Nashville State gave me comfort and the direction I felt I needed for my journey.”
Reed was able to go to school tuition free via the Tennessee Reconnect grant.
During her two years at the College, Reed built relationships with faculty and staff, who were instrumental in her development and were constant sources of encouragement.
Associate Professor of Computer Science David Welch and Assistant Director of the Technology Services Division (TSD) Beth Rogers were both cited by Reed.
“Tressa was always a hard-working student,” Welch recalled. “There was no problem that she could not tackle and master quickly. I found her to be a self-starter and very motivated. I feel that Tressa will be an asset to any endeavor that she puts her mind to.”
Interestingly, Welch came to Nashville State to earn an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Computer Information Systems after getting his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Technology Maintenance and Management from MTSU. He has also earned a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from Strayer University.
Rogers mentored Reed on a few hands-on projects.
“Tressa started working remotely as a student worker in TSD during the pandemic—not an easy time to begin your first technology position,” said Rogers. “Being a highly motivated self-starter, she conquered every project I assigned her, regardless of the operating system or application.”
As she neared graduation, Reed began working with the College’s Career Services department for guidance. In addition to résumé development assistance, Career Services set up several meet and greets with potential employers. As part of this process, it was where Reed first learned of a new paid apprenticeship program with Accenture, a Fortune Global 500 company, that specializes in technology, operations, and consulting. Accenture has been specifically recruiting community college graduates.
Reed applied and was offered a position.
As an apprentice, Reed is a full-time employee, who has access to benefits and is paid a competitive salary. The year-long program is hands on and allows the apprentice to be in control of the career path. After the 12-month period, Reed and other apprentices will have the ability to continue within the company.
With coaching and guidance, Reed has been working from home, where she is analyzing systems, creating databases for reporting, and working to train agents who staff the human resources call line for the state of New Mexico.
“Given the quality of Tressa’s work as a student, I am not surprised to see that she is already succeeding in the profession. I am proud of her,” said Rogers.
During her time at Accenture, she has connected with some of her peers from Nashville State and, as a result, two graduates have been hired.
With her Associate of Arts and Science in Computer Information Technology in the Systems Analysis concentration and the continued support of her alma mater, Reed is building a career path and progressing as the analyst she wanted to be.