CompTIAWorld, Issue 6, Fall 2019

CompTIA Member Matters

CompTIA AITP’s Rising Star is Inspiring the Next Generation of Tech Pros One of the most valuable resources an aspiring IT professional can have is a mentor, especially women and people of color who are underrepresented in the industry. Fortunately, rising tech professionals like Susanne Tedrick are stepping up as champions of mentorship and helping to expand the universe of those who see a future for themselves in IT.

As a member of IBM’s Cloud Platform technical sales team, Tedrick works with cutting edge technology, but her career path didn’t lead straight to the IT industry. “Growing up, I was always interested in technology,” said Tedrick. “I would take my parent’s appliances apart and try to see how they work, but it was never something that was cultivated beyond general interest.” Her first jobs were administrative in nature, but she felt a calling to work in IT. She enrolled in courses at Northwestern University and joined CompTIA, which led to opportunities to meet local tech professionals and learn about where IT skills are needed. “To make a career transition you need to network, find mentors, and know what’s relevant in the industry,” said Tedrick. “School can only go so far in providing that, and that’s what I was looking for when I joined—to fill holes missing in traditional education and augment my transition to IT.” In addition to working full-time and studying for a master’s degree, Tedrick

volunteers with mentoring programs such as IBM’s P-TECH initiative and Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that empowers girls of color to develop IT skills. “I love going to [Black Girls Code] workshops because it’s really important for girls that age to see that women of color can do this and are succeeding,” said Tedrick. Seeing women leaders in tech and finding a mentor was critical for Tedrick’s career, and now she’s working to build that same confidence with the next wave of innovators. "Being able to have people that understand your background and struggles and have that partnership and friendship is important,” said Tedrick. “When you have diversity of thought and different backgrounds you get really incredible things.” Susanne Tedrick, Client Technical Specialist, IBM Cloud Platform

“When you have diversity of thought and different backgrounds you get really incredible things.”

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CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

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