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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

At a recent Coffee + Connect event at Eleven Fifty Academy, Andres Urrea shared his story of how he found his way to Eleven Fifty Academy’s Cybersecurity program and into a new career.

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Q: I recently saw a post that read, “when you hear an accent that is a sign of bravery”, so where are you originally from?

A: Colombia, Cali, Valle del Cauca.

Q: Tell me about your background and what brought you to the U.S.?

A: I attend the Universidad Libre nad Universidad de los Andes and began working in sales for a large international pharmaceutical company. After several years, I took a six-month sabbatical in 2006 and stayed with a cousin in Lansing, Michigan to learn English. After two or three months, I met the woman who would become my wife (we now have 2 children!), Jamee is originally from Ohio.

Q: When you met your wife, Jamee, did she speak Spanish?

A: Not really, and my English was not that great yet, but we both worked on it.

Q: When did you and your family relocate to Indianapolis?
A: I earned a couple Masters degrees in HR and in Sports Management and Jamee’s background is in journalism. We moved to Indianapolis for her job, she is a Creative Lead for Lilly.

Q: What’s been your career path since immigrating to the U.S.?

A: Having been in high level sales, it was difficult to transition into something similar in the U.S. with a new language. Along my journey, I have taught marketing and hospitality at Central Michigan University and held a couple other jobs. Most importantly, I’ve been a stay-at-home-dad and it was time for me to explore a new career.

Q: How did you find out about Eleven Fifty Academy?
A: The marketing team at Eleven Fifty does a great job, as I saw an Ad on Facebook two years ago and attended the Intro to Code. It was a bit too pricy for me at that time, then the Career Accelerator Fund became available and provided a workable financial option. You can’t beat zero interest and the risk is low.

Q: You graduate this week, congratulations! What is next for you?

A: Fortunately, I am starting my new job soon!

Q: Awesome! Best of luck to you and your future with IT and Cybersecurity!

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