What does a retired military veteran, who no longer has to work, do for fun? Well, Ean Towne is continuing his career in IT by attending Collin College classes to enhance his skills.
Ean is pursuing an Associate Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and this summer, he will begin an internship at McAfee in enterprise product support. If it weren’t for his interest in IT, Ean would be basking in retirement here in Texas. However, due to his love for networking and a “constant challenge,” he continues to pursue and obtain as many certifications in Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) as he can. “I will finish my CCNA Route and Switch at the end of May, and then I will be going on to my Cisco Certified Network Professional Route and Switch and also CCNA Security. Because of the field that I want to be in I can’t stop learning. If I do, I am done working. So my goal is to take my CCEI written (exam) by 2021. Obviously, I have a lot of studying to do between now and then.” His ultimate goal is to receive his master’s or PhD.
As a networking student at Collin, Ean was given the opportunity to sit on a student panel for the National Convergence Technology Center’s (CTC) annual National Visiting Committee meeting. At that meeting, Ean got to tell part of his story: He grew up around computers and his father worked for AT&T. Before attending Collin, he spent 25 years in the military and was stationed overseas for his last assignment. As a military retiree, he was given the option to have the government move him anywhere in the country, “I spent about two years researching community colleges to find the one school that had the best CCNA/CCNP program rolled up into an associates.” Ean already had a background in IT and had done everything from server administration to networking, including “stuff that nobody’s ever heard of and probably will never ever see in the real world.” Ean enjoys networking because it is the “underlining structure of everything in IT.” Collin specifically offered the best program that he could find in the country for what he wanted to do.
Ean believes it’s all about the passion when pursuing a career and his advice to IT students and students that are preparing for a career in any field is to find something that they love doing. “You will be infinitely more successful in anything you are passionate about. It’s great to go to a job and make a ton of money, but if you don’t like that job, you’re going to hate it, and it’s not worth it. Having a job that pays a little less and you love it and you look forward to it every morning when you get up, that’s actual success in a career.”
Ean will be presenting a student poster at HI-TEC in Miami, FL this summer.