Nothing ventured – nothing gained


When I had my second interview with cloudPWR owner and CEO, Shadrach White, and Senior Software Engineer, Les Harris, I was feeling pretty discouraged. Another company had given me a verbal offer of employment, but then retracted that offer a week later. I had been told at many interviews over the past several months that I was academically overqualified for most entry-level IT jobs, but lacked the experience for mid-level positions.

The initial position I had interviewed for at cloudPWR was in management for the new help desk department. I have no managerial experience, but I am – and always have been – eager to learn. Aim high, right?

At the interview, Mr. White explained that it would be the new manager’s responsibility to hire support staff, along with all the duties of both creating a new department from the ground up and overseeing said department. Daunting as it seemed, the prospect excited me, and I already had a great first impression of what it might be like working at cloudPWR. However, I knew that others with management experience would no doubt be interviewing, so I asked, should someone more qualified be offered the manager position, if I might be considered for a slot on the support staff team. I just wanted a chance.

Four months later, I couldn’t be more grateful, or more professionally satisfied.

Ever since I was 12 years old there was nothing I wanted more than to have a career in information technology. I learned HTML and CSS in middle school, took computer hardware and networking classes in high school, and then became undecided when I started college. I went from earning a degree in network engineering to completing my undergrad in software. There was just so much to explore, and I’m glad my curiosity thrived, because I really am living my dream.

At cloudPWR, I am excelling as the multi-faceted asset I’ve strived to become, because a local company saw potential in me and allowed me the chance to do so. It’s a prime example of a local business taking care of its own.

Tacoma really is a wonderful place to live and work, and has attracted the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). This division of the US Department of Commerce aims at providing minority business owners opportunities for growth and success. Very recently, the City of Tacoma received a grant to house its very own MBDA Business Center, which has already worked to serve its local minority business owners.

One such business stands out to me, because its story illustrates the fruition of hard work and determination when someone is given the chance to succeed. Cassandra Williams is the owner of Love by the Slice, a Tacoma-based bakery that began in her home. What first started as a way to raise money for her church evolved into an avenue for Cassandra to share her baked goods with those who also called Tacoma home.

Love by the Slice was propelled further into expansion when Cassandra connected with Tacoma’s MBDA, along with several other government agencies, including the City of Tacoma Small Business Enterprise Program and Washington State Department of Agriculture. The bakery was recently certified as a local food-processing plant by the State of Washington, and has attained its first commercial lease.

Cassandra and her team are working tirelessly to reach their goal of a fully-operational commercial space, and are asking for donations from the public.

It’s difficult to top a story like this; locals taking care of locals is a big reason Tacoma is so amazing. Hard work and determination are both paramount to reaching your goals, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have someone that sees the potential in you and walks that hard path at your side.

Written by Monica Rice,  support engineer and junior web developer.

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