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Justin Darnell

TechWorks Graduate

To my SIRA brothers and sisters,

My name is Justin Darnell. I graduated from SIRA in 2014 after attending the Techworks program. My life has been evolving since the first day I stepped foot in Sheffield and I thought I would take the time to share my journey with you.

At first, I was skeptical about attending school, just for the simple reason that I am a rather eccentric individual. I have a large amount of piercings and tattoos, most of which are not covered by work apparel (My picture says it all). So who, in corporate America, would hire me? And furthermore, why would I attend school just to go nowhere afterwards? But despite my skepticism, I decided to give SIRA a shot, and it was the best decision I have ever made. I pushed my way through my classes while working a full time job, and I maintained a high GPA and perfect attendance (On 4 hours of sleep a night! The struggle was real). After a long 6 months, I graduated and the job search was on.

This is the part where I am supposed to tell you that the job offers were just pouring in. As fantastic as that would be, that wasn't the case. I went through many interviews and countless part time gigs until I was able to plant my feet where I am now. As 2014 was reaching an end, I was picked up by System Source as an AV integrator (thanks to my career adviser, Josh at SIRA!). I could not be more satisfied with my position with this company and I have been able to grow exponentially since my employment. I was able to acquire a handful of certifications since my employment, including my EAVA and DMC-E4K (if you don't know what they are, you will in time), and I do not plan on stopping there. There is so many ways to grow in the AV world and I am always eager to expand my knowledge.

Having been said, let me finish up by saying that hard work and a desire to grow is the recipe to success in this field of study. The AV world is evolving fast and it needs individuals that can keep up. I not only made it in this industry, but I am excelling. And if I can do it, you certainly can as well.