Dakota close up

Dakota Hassell, a 2021 Dyer County High School graduate and former participant of the Upward Bound program at Dyersburg State, was interested in math, science, and technology, but didn’t really have a specific career plan. Dakota enrolled at UT Martin for computer science and coding, but it wasn’t until he was placed in a paid internship at Tencom Services in Dyersburg through the Northwest TN Workforce Board/American Job Center’s Work Experience program that he realized he wanted to do more IT and hands-on work. As a result, he switched his major to Management of Information Systems with a minor in cyber security.

"The IT industry allows me to explore one of my passions which is problem solving,” states Dakota. “Every day there is a new problem with a ton of different solutions that could fix the issue, but the final feeling after solving the issue is an exhilarating feeling that cannot be put into words. The feeling of being able to help people brings me great joy." Working at Tencom has allowed Dakota to gain experience, as well as earn several certifications such as Certified Technician, Dispatcher, and CBT Nuggets. Dakota says this experience has also greatly improved his communication skills by requiring him to answer the phones and speak to customers.

In January 2022 Dakota was hired at Tencom and will participate in an On-the-Job Training (OJT) grant which reimburses Tencom for 50% of his wages during a specified training period. Michael Beavers, Senior Network Technician at Tencom said, “Dakota is an outstanding young man and a hard worker.”