Next Up: Global IT Consultant
After high school, Renato Arenas took a job as a mechanic because he didn't think he could afford college. But he wasn't happy, so he secured financial aid to start his education at Tyler. Now, he's a global IT analyst, helping companies with IT regulations and compliance.
Immediately after high school, Renato Arenas took a job as a mechanic because he didn’t think he could afford college.
But his job didn’t make him happy, so he decided to do something about it. That’s when he secured the financial aid to start at Tyler.
Thanks to Tyler’s guaranteed transfer agreements, he made a smooth transfer to Virginia Tech and launched his career in IT consulting with global firm KPMG.
Here’s how he forged his new path:
Think about the end game
From the start, Renato set his sights on a bachelor’s degree. He just needed some guidance to find the best path.
Partway through his general studies degree at Tyler, Renato discovered his strengths in critical thinking and problem solving, so he decided to refocus his career on tackling complex business issues.
“With a business degree, I knew I could branch out and I could be more valuable,” Renato said. “My professors and advisors at Tyler helped me pick classes and suggested specific tests that I should take to reach my goal.”
After switching his major to business, he focused on goal two: transferring to Virginia Tech.
"With a business degree, I knew I could branch out and I could be more valuable."
Global IT Analyst
Build your leadership skills
After being selected as the student speaker for his Tyler graduating class, Renato had the confidence to really excel at Virginia Tech.
At Virginia Tech, he co-founded a business chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America and served as its president.
“When I got to Tech, there was nothing that spoke to me,” Renato said. “I went to many group meetings for different business chapters, but I felt there was a gap, and others did too.”
Renato brought in company reps to speak with members about what could make them more competitive job candidates. The chapter also held résumé workshops and mock interviews.
Gain real-world experience
While pursuing his bachelor’s in business information technology, he met a KPMG recruiter at a Virginia Tech networking event. He snagged an interview and an internship that grew into a full-time job offer.
Now he’s an IT analyst with KPMG, consulting with national clients from banking to healthcare to manage their IT regulation and compliance issues. He makes sure that clients are granting users the appropriate level of access to their networks—servers, applications, data management systems without harming their own cybersecurity infrastructure.
“You have to be good at time management and managing relationships to do well in this field,” Renato said. “In my current job, I’m juggling three or four clients at a time and keeping relationships going as I’m getting the work done. Experience managing time and people is what I gained most at Tyler.”
After 15 years working in IT, one hospital stay inspired Anissa Ellis to change her career to help others. She earned her degree in nursing at Tyler, and is now a branch director with a home health company, helping nurses make an impact in lives across the area.