Internship Leads to Career Success for MCTC Grad | MCTC

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Internship Leads to Career Success for MCTC Grad

May 1, 2023
by Brady Shultz

Roca standing in front of Traditional Bank logo at his workplace.Former Army veteran Rafael Roca, nicknamed "Roca," has become an inspiration for aspiring Information Technology (IT) professionals after successfully launching his career at Traditional Bank in Mt. Sterling. Roca graduated from the Computer and Information Technology Program at Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) in 2020.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Roca joined the United States Army and found himself stationed in Texas. It was during this time that he had his first exposure to a future career in IT, but he knew he’d first have to have some formal training. After completing his time in the Army, he decided to move somewhere greener and chose the Bluegrass State as his new home.

Roca initially started his college career at a larger state school but found he preferred a more hands-on approach and a smaller class setting. This led him to transfer to MCTC.

MCTC’s Computer and Information Technology program was also available completely online which provided some flexibility in his schedule allowing him time to work or pursue an internship while completing his degree.

Roca's instructor at MCTC, Sharon Staviski, recommended him to Traditional Bank in Mt. Sterling for an internship. She says, "I remember being impressed with Roca's drive and motivation in class and I knew the potential was there for him to be very successful."

This internship gave Roca the opportunity to gain real-world experience and insight into the IT industry. Roca says, "My internship time at the bank was invaluable. It allowed me to get a feel for the industry and determine if it was the right career path for me."

When asked for advice to students interested in pursuing a career in IT, Roca emphasized the importance of securing an internship or apprenticeship. He says, "Getting hands-on experience is critical. Not only does it give you a chance to learn on the job, but it also allows you to network and make connections in the industry."

He currently works as an IT Systems Technician at Traditional Bank, supporting the bank's expansion into new markets. In his new role, Roca implemented a goal of quicker response times to help desk requests, ensuring employees of the bank are able to provide timely and quality service to bank customers.

When asked about his experience working at Traditional Bank, Roca praised the company's culture and the people he works with. He says, "I really enjoy working at Traditional Bank because of the people I work with. We have a great culture, we have a lot of fun as employees."

Roca's internship also allowed his future employers to get to know him, which ensured that he was top of mind when a position became available a few months after he graduated. Sharon Staviski says, "I am thrilled to see Roca's success in the IT industry. He was an exceptional student, and it's wonderful to see him thriving in his career."

As a veteran of the Army, Roca was able to have his tuition expenses covered through the G.I. Bill. However, the CIT program at MCTC qualifies for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship which covers 100% of tuition expenses for Kentucky residents seeking a degree in academic programs related to in-demand career fields.

Roca's success in the IT industry is a testament to the importance of hands-on experience and the opportunities that can arise from internships or apprenticeships.