Jessica Ann Mckenty is an Apprentice Communications Technician at Ergon Energy. She is a noteworthy graduate of the Engineering Institute of Technology. In October of 2018, Jessica graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Industrial Data Communications, Networking & IT

Jessica completed the Advanced Diploma in the final eighteen months of her apprenticeship at Ergon Energy. Through her academic endeavors and her apprenticeship, Jessica became equipped with everything she needed to make sense of the industry she was entering into. She said:

“I have been fortunate enough to get exposure to a wide range of applications of communications. This includes fiber splicing, tower rigging, mobile vehicle installation, radio communications maintenance and installation. I have also worked on upgrades of protection signaling paths (microwaves and fiber), removal of old SACS systems and installation of RTU’s in their place, as well as installing and configuring communications modems and switches at remote sites.”

Previously, Jessica had acquired an Electrical Trade certificate and had a reasonable grasp on some of the necessary information in her industry, but she says the Advanced Diploma presented her with ‘greater understanding and appreciation of industrial data, communications, networking and IT.’

“The highlights of the course would have been the DNP and SCADA modules, as many faults I encountered in my work involved these topics. Once I was able to breakdown the knowledge provided by EIT and use it in my fault finding methods, I did feel a sense of success.”

The fault finding, Jessica says, was made more accessible through the first four modules of the course: Physical Media, Industrial Data Coms, Wireless, and Ethernet. It was all systems go after she began familiarizing herself with the kinds of systems she came to know through her studies. She had newfound confidence when working at configuring switches and modems. 

However, Jessica did find some aspects of the course difficult; specifically, the group work aspect of it. Being used to traditional ways of learning, Jessica found that the online method of learning that EIT provides took some getting used to. But soon after, she realized that she could re-watch lectures and found written summaries of past webinars.

Nonetheless, Jessica notes that she really thrived in her work while working through her Advanced Diploma. Her future outlook is one of ultimate optimism. She said:

“In relation to career progression, I feel I am a more valued member of my workgroup. The foundational knowledge that this course provides is priceless. I have been successful in being signed off early as to take on a Communications Paraprofessional role within Ergon, and I look forward to continuing my studies and having a successful career in this field.” 

Jessica is considering studying towards a CISCO accredited course or pursuing an advanced networking course to further her knowledge in network operations. Equipped with the skills and the know-how thanks to the 18-month Advanced Diploma, Jessica feels that she is exactly where she needs to be — building a career in the engineering world.

EIT would like to honor her for never giving up on her course and persevering. That is why she is a runner up finalists of our EIT Graduate of the Year 2018. We hope she continues to take her engineering career from strength to strength and succeeds in everything she does.

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