Darrell Wilson said he took an unorthodox approach to getting his education.
After earning his associate degree from Pierce College, he spent the next three-plus years earning his own tuition money so that he wouldn’t have to take out student loans. Then, he earned a certificate and took two internships (one with the Pierce County Health Department, the other with the City of Puyallup) around his career choice: Geographic Information System Mapping Technology. He did all of this before even starting his undergraduate program at the University of Washington.
“I wanted to build my resume from the ground up because some people struggle to get a job in their field after they graduate because they don’t have real-world experience,” Wilson said. “Doing those internships beforehand helped me keep ahead of the competition. It’s a competitive world and I wanted to be ahead of everything.”
Soon, he’ll graduate from the University of Washington with a GIS degree. And he’ll enter the professional workforce already having a strong network in his field because of his hands-on internship and certificate work.
Wilson shared his story with with Gov. Jay Inslee, state leaders and Washingtonians on Tuesday as they discussed how the state is helping more students find a pathway to a good-paying job or career. The meeting focused on college, STEM programs and degrees, and career-connected learning programs such as apprenticeships.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium site.