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Military veteran copes with injury and begins an IT career

military vet student by helicopter

Brooklyn Park, May 2, 2023 – Nine days after graduating from Shakopee High School, Logan Shafland joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He was an Avionics Technician on the Osprey, military aircraft that’s known for its vertical take-offs and landings.

Based in North Carolina, Shafland also served overseas and spent time in Spain, Italy and Greece. After he suffered a back injury which ended his military career, he searched for a way to transition back into civilian life and launch a new career. Shafland enrolled in the IT program at Hennepin Tech.

Recently, he earned an impressive honor. He was named to the Cisco Live Dream Team, an internship with a leading IT company. Only 10 students in the U.S. and Canada were selected to work on the Dream Team which helped to provide IT services at a global Cisco convention in Las Vegas.

We asked Shafland finding success in IT after military service.

Hennepin Tech: On behalf of Hennepin Tech, we thank you for your service. Becoming injured during military service is a difficult and life-changing situation. How did you find a new path?

Shafland: I had a lot of good friends who helped me through the dark times when I first discovered the extent of the injuries. But once I got past that, I was like, “Oh, well, I'm alive! Just gonna’ keep rolling with the punches. What do I do next?”

When I left the military, I wanted to work on commercial aircraft. And then I planned to work at Delta, or one of the big companies. But realized that I could not physically do the work due to the injury. The military had a program that helped identify other careers for disabled veterans and IT was on the list of careers recommended for me based on my background.

Hennepin Tech: What advice do you have for other veterans or anyone who lives with a disability?

Shafland: I would tell them just take a shot at something new. Try college. Because you were in the military, you already have completed the hardest thing you'll likely do in your life. So just gain the knowledge and try your best.

Hennepin Tech: You have said that you didn’t do well in high school. What advice would you give to a student with that same background?

Shafland: This is totally different than high school. At Hennepin Tech, they give you the information little by little. You receive information you're capable of learning. Professors are super intelligent and provide an amazing experience, so always ask questions. You'll feel confident when you graduate.

Hennepin Tech: There is a misperception that students need to know about IT prior to enrolling in the IT program at Hennepin Tech. Did you have a background in IT previously?

Shafland: I had no experience. I knew how to type! When I was in elementary school I accidentally shut down the school's firewall, so that kind of in piqued my interest with IT. Also, I grew up with my dad being in the IT Industry.

Hennepin Tech: Well you certainly have shown that you can be successful in IT after starting from square one! Congratulations on being named to the Cisco Live Dream Team in Las Vegas. How will working at a Cisco technology convention help your career?

Shafland: With the Cisco dream team, I actually get to see how everything is incorporated. It’s exciting to work with the actual professionals in a real-life environment. It is really an honor. One of the reasons why I wanted to be selected – I wanted to show veterans that there is life after you get out of the military.

Hennepin Tech: On the Cisco Dream Team, in past conferences, they asked the Dream Team to work on their people skills too. You’ll be meeting IT professionals and executives. Are you looking forward to that as well?

Shafland: I love talking to people and I'm a big social person. It’s an important part of your career and your life. You never know what someone else is going through and maybe a few kind words and a smile to one person could change their week or put them on a different path entirely.

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Tech is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.

Last updated by mdibba : 2023-08-18 04:46:13