E93 - Luis Garcia Jr at CDW

Antonio Costa
Luis Garcia Jr

By Antonio Costa & Luis Garcia Jr

On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, our Senior Vice President Antonio Costa was joined by Luis Garcia Jr, the Associate Consulting Engineer at CDW. Luis shares his journey through his career and what an average day looks like for him at CDW.

Luis started his career at a company where he interned for around 6 months or so. Through this experience and his connections, he was able to get a job in a Help Desk role with the same company. From there, he managed 17 sites and built them from the ground up. Eventually, he shifted to Security Operations Centre (SOC) at a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). This new role helped him develop his knowledge of security because it was always something that interested him. From there he moved to the City of San Luis as a Network Security Administrator and was their first Security guy there, so he also built it from the ground up there as well. It was an interesting challenge as there wasn’t a huge budget but a great role, nonetheless. After that, he moved to CDW, where he never thought he would end up as it’s such a large business.

His inspiration came from when he was around 8 years old. Something clicked in him and his passion for computers began there. He never heard much about Networking until he got to college and started to play around with Cisco.

He got an associate degree at his community college and got in through that. It opened up a lot of doors for him how things connect and how crucial networking knowledge is.

An average day at CDW…

His first couple of months were very studying heavy where he learnt about Routing and Switching where he was able to make that connection and certify his knowledge. There are also a lot of mock-up scenarios to prepare them for real-life scenarios with customers. After that, they do a 12–18-month program called the ACE program where they do a lot of firewall-based stuff.

Some of the concerns he is finding in the industry at the moment are mostly in IT. He is seeing that it’s harder to break into it. Once you get into your first job, you can then progress but it’s just finding that first job. The problem he’s finding is that companies have too high expectations of entry-level roles.

Infinite budget…

If he could have an infinite budget for personal use, he would purchase more servers for hands-on learning. He has a server in his house, and it gives you the opportunity to virtualise things and do labbing at your own disposal.

For those seeking advice, don’t give up! Being rejected is part of the process so don’t let it stop you. It’s all part of the journey so remain positive and push through.

Luis shares what technology he thinks will take over the world… Tune in now to hear all about it.