Profile: Theo at Ruan Transportation Management Systems

March 2021

Before starting his IT apprenticeship at Ruan Transportation Management Systems in Des Moines, Iowa, Theo lacked experience working with adults. Then a sophomore, Theo said receiving hands-on training and pay while working in high school drew him to the opportunity to enter the computer support specialist apprenticeship program. Now that he’s worked at Ruan for three years, Theo says he enjoys the various challenges he faces on the job and has gained confidence while working with experts in the field.

At Ruan, Theo works about 10 hours a week, learning and applying the skills needed to become a computer support specialist for the company. Theo troubleshoots existing IT projects, attends team meetings, and assists with research projects to increase the company’s efficiency. In addition to gaining competence as an IT specialist to support Ruan’s production efforts, Theo is also exposed to a growing array of unexpected learning opportunities, such as customer support, shipping, and automation processes. And he’s earned nearly 30 hours of college credit during his apprenticeship, while getting paid.

To help apprentices develop technical and behavioral skills, Ruan’s program offers mentorships with daily support check-ins. As a result, Theo’s mentor has helped him with skills such as how to present himself professionally and be timely. Theo plans to continue working at Ruan while he completes his associate degree and start full time work once he’s graduated.

Read more about Theo’s apprenticeship experiences.