By: Mike A. Bryan
Meet our newest apprentice, Alex Hummel! Alex has been placed at ATB Technologies and is very excited for the opportunity to put his cyber skills and knowledge into practice.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Alex’s father moved the family to St. Louis for his job, and decided to stay even when offered another opportunity elsewhere. Alex is still single (pay attention, ladies) and has two sisters. He has loved tinkering with computers since 8th grade, and when he got to college, his interest was piqued in cybersecurity. When he is not working or studying cybersecurity, he likes to read, write short stories, play video games, and work on his computer.
So far, he says, his apprenticeship has been great! He finds the work challenging but rewarding and enjoys working with the folks at ATB. Alex is presented with new opportunities to learn and grow each and every day. For those in the market for an apprenticeship, he says to “Dedicate time every single day to learn something new. It sounds hard, is hard, but rewarding as well. Cybersecurity is about growing and facing new challenges, how you overcome them, and learn from them. It’s something I’ve come to love about working — I am presented with new and different challenges each day.”
When thinking about his personal and work obstacles, he is reminded of a great quote by Eddie Guerrero, “There is one good thing about reaching the bottom. When you get there, there’s nothing left to do but fight your way back up or die.” This quote is very applicable in Alex’s life, for he didn’t believe in himself for a long time. He was morbidly overweight, depressed, and at the edge of a cliff. He was bottling up all of his negative feelings, and it was only a matter of time before he exploded. He kept going after jobs and getting close in the interview process, but was never able to seal the deal. Before he began at ATB, he made a decision to change his life.
He realized that he was down, but not out, and started to make changes in his life for the better — he met with a trainer who has helped him shed over 100 pounds that he gained from the emotional/stress eating, he went to a counselor/therapist to get his head in the right space, and started focusing on his goals to make his life better. Before he was accepted at ATB, he weighed 445 pounds, was downtrodden, and hated himself. Now, four and a half months later, he is down 100 pounds, is working hard, and feeling happier than he has in many years. This may sound easy to some, but it took a lot of work for Alex, and he reinforces his goals everyday by looking at a picture before the weight loss that says “No More” on it. He fights everyday to make sure he doesn’t fall off the path, and says to others in his position, “don’t give up, don’t let the world, your past, or others ruin your life…Taking a hand that is willing to help is not weakness.”
Alex’s goals for his work at ATB are not position or project related; rather, he wants to grow and learn something new everyday and go after some certifications in the future. In addition, he wants to give ATB a reason to hire him full-time after his apprenticeship is complete due to his worth ethic and dedication. We fully support Alex on his physical, mental, and career journeys and can’t wait to hear his success story at the end of his apprenticeship. Best of luck to you, Alex!