From Student to Staff in 30 Days: How Jordan Went from Student to IT Support at TCC

Jordan Gamma Blog

Jordan got a head start as a dual enrollment high school student, but he still had to navigate financial barriers when he started community college. Fortunately, he discovered that he was eligible for G3, which allowed him to focus on his studies, earning him the role of commencement speaker at his TCC graduation.

Jordan shares more on his inspirational story below.

Why did you choose TCC?

I have studied cybersecurity through TCC ever since I was in the Advanced Technology Center program through the Virginia Beach City Public School system. After graduating high school, I decided to come to TCC to finish my degree. 

I thought that studying at a community college before transferring to a four-year University such as ODU made sense financially, especially in today’s economy. I would rather spend around $10,000 over two years than spend $20,000 in just one year at a university. 

How was your experience at TCC?

At first, I was a little nervous, especially moving from dual enrollment to a full-time student. But I did enjoy a lot of my experiences such as the job fairs, the professors’ knowledge that they would share with us and all personal experiences. They definitely impacted me as a person and gave me the opportunity to grow and become more successful.

How did your experiences in dual enrollment as a high school student set you up for success in college?

Dual enrollment was like a trade school where you would go in, get certifications, get college credit for it, and either move on to the workforce, get an internship or get a degree. It definitely helped me do better in my classes since I had a background with the subject matter.

How has G3 helped you?

I was awarded G3 halfway through the fall semester after my Commonwealth grant went away. But it didn’t go in straight away. I was like, well, I don’t have any funding so may have to pay out of pocket. And then I saw this G3 grant.

G3 covered my entire tuition in the spring semester. Since I was working in a restaurant at the time, I had a difficult schedule and wasn’t making a lot of money. G3 relieved me financially and allowed me to focus on getting good grades and graduate on time.  

Can you talk about your graduation and starting a new job?

I was the commencement speaker for my class at graduation. I was a little nervous about it at first, but I knew that public speaking would strengthen my qualifications when I was applying for jobs. I had a lot of job opportunities, but I decided to stay here at TCC. In less than 30 days after graduation I was working at TCC. I’m currently working at the Norfolk campus with the virtual student support team.

What would you like to be doing in a few years?

I plan on working for Microsoft’s detection and response team known as DART. Apparently, they’re the most elite cyber security force, not just in the United States, but in the world.

What advice would you give to a young person as they’re thinking about the next step of their education?

I would say if they’re not entirely sure what they want to do, community college is a good way to network and learn about other people’s experiences and get a feel of what it’s like to be in the classroom.