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Turning over a new leaf: A naturalist studies Network Security

Waldo Callo Tapia profile

April 19, 2022 – The State of Minnesota offers thousands of dollars for Workforce Development scholarships to encourage students to enter high-demand careers, such as Information Technology. Hennepin Technical College student Waldo Callo Tapia earned a scholarship and discusses his education and career choice.

Waldo Callo Tapia: Cyber Defense and Network Security, and Network Administration student

HTC: Please tell us about your background.

Waldo: I was a field biologist back in Peru. When I came to the United States, I completed my Master’s at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I worked at the U in Soybean Improvement, I also worked as a naturalist for the City of  Eden Prairie. However, my legal resident status does not satisfy the job requirements for many of the jobs in my field, which are predominantly government work. As a result, I decided for a career change. Encouraged by my family, whom all worked in the field, I turned my wheel to a path that provided more options for employment, and that will offer greater opportunities for the future. That’s why selected Cyber Defense, Network Security, and Network Administration.

HTC: What is your ultimate career goal?

Waldo: Nowadays, everything is so focused on the Internet of Things. Ring doorbells, lights, speakers, refrigerators, windows and all kinds of systems in our homes are connected to it. In the future, our beds might be voice-activated by saying ‘wake up’ in the morning.

Therefore in the long term, I would like to launch my own consultancy company to help homeowners improve the security with all the technology, where I would like to provide direct tailored cyber security services to homes. For now, I am looking to work in a midsized company and then in a few years after honing my work-skills, move to a larger company. I want to land a position where I can use my skills in Network Administration, Cyber Defense and Network Security.

HTC: Why did you select Hennepin Technical College?

Waldo: It was close to home because I live in Eden Prairie. (HTC has two campus locations: Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie.) My sister-in-law studying Network Administration at HTC. I came to visit several times and that convinced me that this is a great place.

HTC is very affordable and the services provided exceeded my expectations. The staff and faculty are very approachable and personable. They are here to prepare you and guide you through what it needs to be done. At the end, as a student, you feel and sense that you have been prepared for what you need in your career.  

HTC: You are a student leader on campus. Describe your experiences.

Waldo: I enjoy the dynamic of discussing issues with people throughout the college. I am able to interact with people at all levels of the college. This, thanks to the existent horizontal structure that assures the student’s voice is heard. That’s why I’m involved with Student Senate.

HTC: You were a student during COVID. What challenges did you overcome?

Waldo: I began classes in January 2020. When the COVID lockdowns began, we switched to online classes immediately. It was hard at the beginning, and I wasn’t sure how I would respond or if I would continue. But the support of the staff and the instructors was great. They are always supportive. Besides, HTC went above and beyond to help students to achieve their academic and professional goals, offering so many services that we can count on. That is the reason why I really feel a valued member of the HTC community.

Last updated by mdibba : 2022-04-28 10:53:44