NCT Grad Finds His Niche at DataServ
Kevin Butler, Network Communications Technology, Class of: 2010
There is no disputing that Lorain County Joint Vocational School courses place students on the fast track to success.
Which is why Kevin Butler enrolled in the JVS Network Communications Technology Program.
But the 2010 JVS grad admits he was amazed at how quickly that his training led to gainful employment as a technical service engineer for DataServ of Westlake.
It began when Butler attended a Lorain County Community College Career Fair in July (2011) and spoke with representatives from DataServ, which provides networking and managed services solutions to the public, including libraries, state and local government and the educational marketplace.
"I was the only person who showed up at their booth with CISCO credentials," Butler said. "I know I impressed them. I left thinking how cool it would be to work there and hoped that I'd get a call back…sooner rather than later."
"My cell phone rang on my drive home from LCCC," Butler continued. "It was DataServ, asking me to interview for a job. Things went well and I was hired a week later. It was awesome!"
Butler is convinced that his JVS curriculum, including internships and special assignments, helped seal the deal.
"I was the only student in my class chosen to intern in the IT Department at the JVS between my junior and senior year," said Butler, who connected computers, installed software and maintained network closets connected to the department's mainframe computer.
"My answer to every question that DataServ officials asked was the same: 'Yes, I can do that. I learned it at the JVS,'" Butler said, chuckling. "I also elaborated on my portfolio, which included my resume, photos and examples of the projects I completed at the JVS."
Butler also said that he learned invaluable time-management skills at the JVS while serving as an officer with SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization that prepares high school and college students for careers in trade, skilled and technical occupations.
Now Butler travels around Ohio for DataServ, servicing libraries and school districts from Cleveland to Cincinnati, and from Toledo to Youngstown.
That includes upgrading (digital) phone services for the Akron-Summit County Library Systems; the Hillsboro City School District; West Holmes Local School District (where Butler served as field leader); and also resolving a problem with wireless access at the JVS.
"Most clients express concerns about their network and ask questions like, 'What happens if our phone network crashes?'" said Butler. "That's why it's important to keep the analog telephone lines connected as a backup."
Butler is also preparing for a massive project with Youngstown City Schools, replacing network equipment and upgrading network closets in seventeen school buildings.
"Technically, my day is supposed to begin at 8 (a.m.) and end at 5 (p.m.)," Butler said. "It is rare when that happens. But I'm not complaining. I love this job."
Which is why Butler is focused on his future at DataServ and pursuing advanced CISCO certifications.
Said Butler: "Technology is constantly changing. These courses provide more in-depth knowledge with equipment and installation. I know I've only been employed with DataServ a few months, but in that time I've learned that while a job is something to get you by, my job here is a career. It's a perfect fit for me."