Lamarcus J., Mainframe Systems Administrator

Apprentice Story: Lamarcus J.

Apprentice Story: Lamarcus J.

From a seven-year job search to his dream career in tech: How an apprenticeship changed Lamarcus Jackson’s life

Alabama native Lamarcus knew in high school what he wanted to be when he grew up. He dreamed of working in IT. He followed the standard career guidance and completed an Associate Degree in Computer Science at his local community college in 2014. Then, he started applying for jobs.

After submitting hundreds of applications to entry-level roles with no success, it became clear that his lack of work experience was the barrier.

“Without experience, every application was a dead end,” Lamarcus recalled.

Determined to make his dream career come true, Lamarcus went to Job Corps to gain real-world experience but was still unable to secure an entry-level role in the IT field.

It wasn’t until the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020 that Lamarcus found Franklin Apprenticeships through LinkedIn.

“I thought, this sounds too good to be true,” he explained.

Lamarcus applied to the IBM Z ® Pre-Apprenticeship program, which he completed in about four months. Then, Franklin set up interview opportunities with several employers who were looking to bring new talent into their IBM Z teams.

Finally, after seven years of trying, Lamarcus was hired by Fortune 500 company Black Knight Inc. in July of 2021. Black Knight Inc. is the premier provider of innovative, high-performance software, data and analytics for mortgage and home equity lending and servicing.

Lamarcus moved from Reform, Alabama, to Jacksonville, Florida, to complete his full IBM Z Mainframe Systems Administrator Apprenticeship, learning and earning as a Systems Software Programmer for Black Knight Inc.

Throughout both his pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship, Lamarcus benefitted from the support of his Franklin Professional Success Coaches. “Anytime I needed anything or got stressed out about learning the material, they were there to give me words of encouragement,” Lamarcus said.

After completing the rigorous technical and professional training program, Lamarcus graduated from his apprenticeship in August of 2022. He is now an integral part of his team and looking forward to continuing to grow in his computer skills and knowledge at Black Knight Inc.

He is thriving in his role and relishes the opportunities his apprenticeship brought to his life. “I’ve never made this amount of money, and it’s just the start of my career. I absolutely see myself continuing to grow and learn as part of the IBM Z community.”

Lamarcus’ manager has been thrilled with his performance and his dedication to learning; they said, “Since joining our company, Lamarcus has displayed an eagerness to learn and to contribute to the success of the Mainframe Operating System team.”

Lamarcus explained, “In our society, we think that there’s only one way to get to the finish line, but there’s so many paths that you can take, and Franklin is one of them.”

  • “I’ve never made this amount of money, and it’s just the start of my career."

    -Lamarcus J., IBM Z® Mainframe Systems Administrator Apprentice

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