In 2001, Steven Spielberg’s film A.I. Artificial Intelligence seemed so futuristic and not a possibility in our lifetimes. Times have changed, and AI has forged its way into a multitude of industries – even accounting. Components of AI – including machine learning, deep learning, machine reasoning and natural language processing – are impacting accounting in many ways.

What AI (artificial intelligence) is

AI allows machines (bots) to learn from experience, interpret information, make adjustments and apply what they “know” to perform humanlike tasks.

  • Machine learning gives computers the ability to recognize and apply patterns to develop algorithms that they can then fine-tune based on feedback; an example is the way Netflix can offer you suggestions of what to watch based on your viewing history.
  • Through deep learning, computers develop the ability to identify relationships and associations.
  • When machines “understand” information, they can actually “think” of the implications of that data and analyze it with machine reasoning.
  • Computers use natural language processing based on their understanding of human speech.
  • They “recognize” people, activities and objects, and “view” images with computer vision; an example is the way the iPhone X recognizes the face of its user.

How AI is used in accounting

Accountants have to sift through enormous amounts of data to do their jobs. When AI is introduced, it can eliminate some of the mundane tasks that accountants must do. For example, it can digest and analyze large volumes of data at faster-than-human speeds, interpret contracts or deeds, extract key terms and analyze them, and occasionally solve problems that couldn’t be solved before. For example, if an accounting firm is tasked with complex issues regarding billing systems of multiple clients, AI’s machine learning can rifle through the data and flag the problem accounts, even if the systems are disparate.

For compliance considerations, AI provides accountants with reliable, fast data each time they generate a report, maximizing efficiency. In terms of data categorization, AI bots can sift through information and place it into the appropriate accounts because it understands the differences in categories. Machines begin to learn to make better decisions based on human input, and they can even adapt to an accountant’s behavioral patterns.

Will AI replace accountants?

Because AI can do some of the tasks that humans normally do, some lower-level positions could be affected; however, AI will not replace accountants. In fact, employment for accountants is expected to grow 10 percent through 2026 – higher than average. AI can take on the tedious work that takes up so much time – data entry and reconciliation – and will also eliminate errors, reducing liability. With the mundane tasks handled, accountants will be free to engage in more advisory roles. They’ll be able to focus on strategy – process improvement, cost control and capital optimization – and will still have control over sensitive information.

What are the major takeaways of AI’s impact on accounting?

AI and the cloud work together to compute massive amounts of data in a very short period of time. This service streamlines operations by saving time, cutting costs, increasing productivity and providing more accurate results. Perhaps the greatest impact, however, is the change in mind-set that AI brings.

Accountants are becoming very tech-savvy and are embracing the AI tools that do the tedious work for them so they can spend their time analyzing reports, speculating on future outcomes, managing the machinery and intervening if something goes awry.

What additional skills do accountants need in a world with AI?

Companies are going to need accountants with more diverse skills. Those who are familiar with technology and are not afraid of it will be more valuable than those who shy away from it. Having a strong background in data management will be extremely helpful. Learning accounting software such as Intuit, OneUp, Sage or Xero will put them at an advantage. Other in-demand accounting technology skills include:

  • Advanced knowledge of Excel
  • ERP experience, such as SAP or Oracle
  • Microsoft Visual Basic skills
  • Knowing Hyperion for analyst and financial reporting
  • Knowledge of big data analysis

In addition to being tech-savvy, accountants should have excellent customer service skills and be good communicators.

How enrolling at MTI College of Sacramento can prepare you for an accounting career

MTI College offers an Accounting Technician diploma program that prepares you for an entry-level position in accounting and bookkeeping. You’ll learn a number of computer-based accounting applications, as well as other accounting software that businesses use every day, such as Microsoft Office.

Upon completion of the comprehensive, 36-week program, you will be able to transition directly into a professional working environment. As an accounting technician, your duties may include:

  • Calculating and recording numerical data related to business expenses and income
  • Handling money
  • Analyzing financial data
  • Preparing reports

When you’re ready to work, MTI’s job placement staff can help you find that important first job. They will assist with resume writing and offer tips on job interviews.

Contact MTI College today and take the first step toward a rewarding career in accounting.

After countless cases of data misuse – including the major Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica – companies realize more than ever how important it is to have reliable network security. If they have branch or remote locations, it can be complicated (and expensive) to control and ensure database security in all locations.

To find your best solution to security issues, you first need to know just what is involved and what the options are.

What is network security, and why is it important?

Companies and organizations use network security to secure the information they need to protect from unauthorized users and potential hackers. Network security is the plan or strategy these organizations use to monitor unauthorized access, exploitation and modifications of their networking assets. An essential part of network optimization, it is implemented with a combination of hardware and software to protect the network from viruses, malware, ransomware, hackers and denial-of-service attacks.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN, software-defined WAN (wide area network), is used by companies to connect their networks, which may include branch offices and/or data centers that are far away from the headquarters or main location. Traditionally, WANs use special proprietary hardware to connect their various locations. SD-WAN can manage many types of connections – MPLS, broadband and LTE – to deliver business-class, simple, secure WAN connections without the hardware aspect.

How does software-defined WAN protect networks?

It integrates security, policy and organization by creating a secure connection among network endpoints. The company benefits from:

  • End-to-end encryption across its entire network, including branches and data centers
  • A scalable key-exchange usage and SD security that effectively authenticates all end points, which ultimately results in secure communication throughout the network and the cloud
  • Better control of the network from a centralized location
  • The ability to layer security encryption measures

What types of SD-WAN architecture exist?

SD-WAN is an overlay architecture that offers a networking foundation that is much easier to control and monitor than traditional legacy WANs. By using the cloud, software-defined WAN centralizes and simplifies network management. SD-WAN can be just software-based or a solution that uses both hardware and software:

  • Premises-based uses an on-site appliance that is more economical for small, localized businesses.
  • MPLS-based places appliances at various end points, creating a virtual IP network that provides end-to-end control.
  • Internet-based allows the customer to choose a web provider, has multiple appliances at each location and pays for part of its connection to be SD-WAN.

What are the advantages of software-defined WAN?

Because of an increasing demand for bandwidth and decreasing (or restricted) operating network budgets, corporate WAN managers are looking for ways to optimize their networks cost-effectively and without compromising quality. SD-WAN benefits companies by:

  • Helping optimize traffic flow and performance in branch offices
  • Routing traffic over cost-effective services like broadband
  • Replacing the traditional routers in branch offices with appliances that gauge and utilize different types of transport technologies based on performance
  • Decreasing the complexity of the network with easier configuration, one-touch deployment, continuous monitoring and centralized troubleshooting
  • Managing costs by using the cloud for connectivity and services, thus bypassing the need for expensive routing hardware
  • Delivering branch agility by integrating multiple links, devices and services to work in tandem
  • Optimizing appliance performance with secure access to enterprise and cloud applications
  • Providing more flexibility than traditional WAN technologies like T-1 or MPLS

Gartner estimates that SD-WAN will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 59 percent through 2021, pushing it to become a $1.3 billion market. By providing simple solutions to the increasing concerns of network security and database security, the projection makes sense.

How do you get into the field of network security?

Since new vulnerabilities to our technology are coming about every day, the need for IT security specialists is growing. MTI College offers a fast-paced, hands-on Network Administration and Security associate degree program that prepares you for an entry-level position as a professional network admin specialist.

Computer networking is critical in most industries that rely on secure, shared databases – industries such as health care and banking. Completing your associate degree in Network Administration and Security, and earning CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certification, may open the door to an entry-level job as a:

  • Network administrator
    You would be responsible for setting up and maintaining an organization’s computer network to keep costs down and production up.
  • Security specialist
    In this important role, you would protect a company’s computer network and make sure that only authorized people could gain access to confidential information. You would also have to monitor the network’s infrastructure and firewalls.
  • Information security analyst
    You would look for security breaches and investigate violations, install firewalls and generally help keep a company’s computer network safe from hackers.
  • Systems administrator
    This job entails taking care of the day-to-day operation and upkeep of a company’s computer network.

Get the skills and certification you need from MTI College, and you can be on the road to protecting our IT security.

The year was 2000. Attila Miszti, a recent graduate of MTI College’s IT program, had just received his first weekly paycheck.

Alumni Spotlight - Attila Miszti

At the time, he felt like it was all the money in the world.

But as he thinks back on it now, Mr. Miszti believes that paycheck represented something much bigger than anything that could ever fit into a wallet. To him, it represented just how much MTI College believes in its students and strives to empower them to succeed in learning, and life.

“That job was waiting for me once I graduated. One of my MTI instructors worked for Gap Corporate, and he helped line up a full-time contract position for me while I was still completing the program. That really showed me how the people at MTI go beyond the mission of educating and training their students, and help connect them with real professional opportunities and great employers.”

To fully understand the outcome of Mr. Miszti’s experience at MTI, you need to go back to what led him there in the first place.

After graduating from Del Campo High School in 1998, Mr. Miszti knew that college was his next move. The next fall, he enrolled at a local community college as a way to fulfill the general education requirements he knew he’d eventually need, while earning an associate’s degree at the same time.

But not long after enrolling, it became clear that a change would have to be made.

“After I enrolled I was only able to get into two of the five classes that I was going to need to fulfill my gen-ed requirements,” Mr. Miszti recalled. “It was incredibly frustrating. At that point I knew I didn’t want to take six years to earn a degree that should only take four just because of congestion in the system.”

It was the late 1990s, and the dot-com boom was in full swing. Mr. Miszti had always been interested in computers and technology. While exploring various options for changing schools, when he looked deeply into the programmatic offerings and reputation of those options one clearly stood out—MTI College.

It didn’t take long for Mr. Miszti to realize he’d made the right choice. A student in the IT program, he was learning the most current and relevant topics happening at the time. He was able to get exactly the courses it would take to complete the program in two years. And his instructors were experienced professionals who were personally invested in his success.

But that really only tells half the story.

As Mr. Miszti was working his way through the program, he volunteered to help with some of the IT work that was needed at the new building that MTI College was opening. The dedication and quality of work he demonstrated there led to an offer of a part-time job at the College while he was completing the program.

And it was through that part-time job he worked while he completed his academic program that one of his instructors, who also worked for Gap Corporate, offered him a full-time contract position once he graduated.

“It showed just how important that decision to attend MTI College was. I was able to build a network and leverage the knowledge I was gaining into some meaningful opportunities that laid the foundation for my future career. All because of how personally invested the instructors there are in their students.”

With his IT career in full swing, Mr. Miszti knew he was in a position most others that were his age, and working in his field, weren’t.

“I was in my late 20s, and I already had 10 years of corporate experience under my belt. Not many others did.”

While he enjoyed working in IT, Mr. Miszti still wanted to take his career to even greater heights. Although working in IT brought its fair share of challenges, those working in the field typically weren’t in a position to make decisions that would directly impact the overall health and future of the organization.

This is where Mr. Miszti envisioned himself, and he knew that more education was the path to get there. So he decided to return to school to pursue his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of San Francisco. Once again, MTI College came through for him. He was able to transfer all of the credits he’d earned at MTI to the program at USF and, as a result, earn his degree in just two years.

“MTI puts a lot of emphasis on its accreditation and positioning students to advance their education by transferring MTI credits. That clearly was a big benefit for me when I decided to go back and earn my bachelor’s degree.”

Eventually, Mr. Miszti took a position at Citigroup, and not long after decided to return to school to earn his master’s in business administration (MBA), this time at Sacramento State. It was his unique blend of IT knowledge and experience with a high-level education and training in business that, he says, set him apart in the eyes of employers.

After Citigroup, he took a position with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), where he quickly ascended from grid planning, to supply chain, to the position of Director of Line Assets, where he oversees line maintenance throughout the service territory.

“MTI accelerated a lot of things for me and opened some unconventional doors. Being able to get such great experience in a corporate setting at a young age made all the difference in the world.”

In his position with SMUD, Mr. Miszti spends much of his time evaluating resumes and filling open positions in his department. He uses his experience, made possible by MTI, as a guide.

“I value a combination of education and experience. I seldom hire folks who just have the educational component. I find that they’re not as well equipped to jump into a corporate and operational environment.”

And for anyone considering MTI College for their education, Mr. Miszti has advice on what they should know, and what to expect.

“One of the big advantages to MTI is that they take care of everything with regards to scheduling and courses. They ensure that you’ll get the exact courses you need within the timeframe to complete your program on time.

“And they’re always reexamining their programs and offerings to make sure they reflect the needs of local business and industry. This isn’t something that’s talked about very much, but it’s very important and a big part of MTI’s success at putting students in a position to succeed in their field of study upon graduation.

“MTI has been in business 50 years. That doesn’t happen by accident.”

Sometimes things are just meant to be. That would certainly be an appropriate way of describing Jenni Burton’s journey to MTI College.

A 2012 graduate of the Paralegal Studies program at MTI, Burton never really expected her professional life to go in the direction of a legal career. Born and raised in what she describes as the Sacramento “bubble,” Burton simply knew that she had a passion for helping people.

After graduating high school in 2006, her mind was set—she was going to attend a local junior college and pursue a degree in nursing. But as she started down that path, Burton quickly discovered that the extreme demand for nursing degrees in the area meant that she would likely have to wait for entry into her program.

“I would have had to wait longer than I wanted to, and I knew I didn’t want to put my career on hold that long. So I had to rethink what direction I wanted to go.”

One thing Burton was sure of was that she still wanted to embark on a career in a field where she would be able to make a difference in people’s lives. And another profession in which she knew that would be the case was law.

“The idea of being in a position of standing up for ‘the little guy’ and making sure people who find themselves in tough situations had the best possible advocates backing them up was really appealing to me.”

Being from the Sacramento area, Burton had heard of MTI College and was aware that it offered accelerated programs, but at first that was all she really knew. She determined that a paralegal studies program was the best fit for what she wanted, and as she researched area programs the picture became even clearer.

A friend of Burton’s was very familiar with MTI and helped open Burton’s eyes to just how respected the school was. She then discovered that the Paralegal Studies program at MTI was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)—which distinguished it from other respected programs in the area—and her decision became clear.

“Being ABA approved is a very big deal. It means that that program is held to a higher standard than others. Another great thing about MTI that I found was how flexible they are with students, giving many options for them to complete the program.”

Throughout this time, Burton had been working at Raley’s Supermarket, in its online customer service department. When customers put in their grocery orders online, Burton was one of the team members who would put those orders together and have them ready for the customers to pick up.

And as luck would have it, many of her regular customers were attorneys.

“I remember I’d be talking with them and they’d always say how respected the MTI program was in their professional circles. How they knew that anyone coming from the MTI paralegal program would be so well versed and prepared to enter the legal field that they’d usually hire them on the spot.”

It didn’t stop there.

One of her regular customers at Raley’s was an attorney at a major Sacramento law firm and actually worked with Burton to get her foot in the door at that firm while she was working her way through the program at MTI. At first she started working as a file clerk. From there she moved on to reception and calendaring and then helping with discovery.

“That was another great thing about the MTI program. I was able to apply what I learned in my program on the job.”

She continued her work with the law firm as she completed her courses in the Paralegal Studies program, utilizing MTI’s convenient day and evening course options and four-day class week. Since she’d completed general education courses at the junior college she had attended, Burton would only need one-and-a-half years to complete the program.

She stayed with the firm for a couple years and, after completing the program at MTI, put her credentials to work at another firm specializing in employment law, where she continues to work today, helping stand up for the little guy.

“It feels good knowing that I’m playing a major role in helping people who need support. And I’m constantly amazed at just how comprehensive and relevant the MTI paralegal program is. I felt totally prepared coming out of the program and do feel like I was ready to hit the ground running.”

Other aspects of Burton’s MTI experience she appreciates are the bonds and friendships she was able to build. To this day she remains close with several of the students that she was grouped with in her last full year of the program.

In her time away from work, Burton most enjoys relaxing and spending time with her husband, Josh—also a graduate of MTI’s Paralegal Studies program—as well as their two children. The couple is currently remodeling their home, and the entire family enjoys taking care of their two dogs and two cats.

“And maybe one of these days we’ll get chickens, but who knows.”

Regardless, Burton says she will always believe in MTI and its mission of empowering students to achieve their professional goals. And to those students who are considering enrolling at MTI, her advice is simple.

“Don’t hold back. MTI is an amazing school with amazing programs. Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to your future or your education. They’re very supportive and focused on giving every student the support he or she needs to succeed. The really want to know you on an individual level, and that’s something you really don’t see that often in higher education.”

Technology’s importance in everyday life and business continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It has revolutionized the way legal processes function, creating a wonderful career opportunity for a paralegal with excellent technology skills.

Changing rules

According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the courts expect attorneys and their support team (including paralegals) to be up to date on electronic stored information (ESI). Since paralegals are usually assigned discovery tasks, it is crucial that they understand ESI and e-discovery.

Ethics and professional conduct

The American Bar Association in 2012 amended its Model Rule of Professional Conduct to include technological knowledge in a legal professional’s obligation to keep client information confidential. In California, Formal Ethics Opinion No. 2015-193 details tasks that attorneys and paralegals must comply with to ethically and competently represent their clients (in terms of technology).

Efficiency and cost control

Legal technology costs have diminished over the last 10 years, but the greatest expense is in processing, storing and searching for data. The cost for each case is different, so it is important for a paralegal to be aware of technology tools that can reduce both firm and client costs. Having electronic information that is accessible to those who need it increases the efficiency of the legal process.

Value to employers and clients 

A paralegal who is technologically skilled is an asset to a law firm. Attorneys are busy people who rely on paralegals to search databases, do research electronically and keep abreast of new rules that are updated electronically. If a paralegal knows where to go to quickly and gather information a lawyer or client needs, he or she is performing a valuable service.

ESI overload

Paralegals and other law professionals must know how to access, retrieve and manage ESI to protect their clients.

ESI includes emails, Word files, spreadsheets, digital photos, videos, texts and IMs, call logs, voicemails, database records and social media postings that can be found in computer hard drives, network servers, USB drives,  databases and mobile devices and on social media websites.

Career opportunity and higher salaries

The rise of technology has created expanded responsibilities – and new job titles – for paralegals. Increasing your technology skill set can also increase your salary. New career opportunities are appearing for paralegals who specialize in e-discovery and legal project management. Your salary (and value) can go up if you are able to combine legal expertise and advanced technology skills in litigation, information governance, compliance and cybersecurity.

How to increase your technology skill set

There are several easy ways to make yourself invaluable to the legal industry as a paralegal, but being technically savvy is one of the best. Here are easy ways you can boost your skills:

  • Learn the legal technical vocabulary
  • Volunteer to work on e-Discovery and seek additional training
  • Accept offers from vendors who demonstrate litigation software
  • Read industry blogs and sign up for free webinars on changes in legal technology
  • Be proactive
  • Find a mentor to help you learn more about technology

MTI College paralegal program

If you’re fascinated by the legal world but becoming an attorney is not on your immediate radar, consider registering for the ABA-approved MTI paralegal program. It gives you the education you need to work in a law firm, government agency or corporate legal department, assisting lawyers and performing many of the same duties. The MTI paralegal program provides you with the minimum requirements to become a paralegal in California. In just two years, or less, you can earn your associate’s degree in paralegal studies and head out to begin a career in a field that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says is growing.

If you have the interest and the necessary personal traits to become a paralegal, enroll now in the MTI College Paralegal program for the education you need to get that important first job.

While no one denies that a university education can open doors to a variety of careers, vocational school importance should not be cast aside. The enhanced training and practical experience trade programs such as the ones offered by MTI College, a leading technical school in Sacramento, provide can put you on the fast track to your career. If you prefer learning by doing as opposed to learning in a traditional academic setting, a vocational school may be your best option for post-secondary education. It emphasizes practical job-specific skills that you can use and apply in any number of fields, from HVAC to cosmetology to paralegal.

Vocational programs MTI College offers

The trade programs at MTI include business administration and accounting, paralegal studies, health care (medical assistant, medical coding and billing, and phlebotomy certification), technology (network administration and IT support), and cosmetology. In many cases, students can complete an MTI diploma program in one year or less and learn valuable job skills that prepare them for entry-level positions in the workforce. For those who want enhanced training, two-year Associate Degree programs are offered in business information, information technology and paralegal law work. In addition to lectures and classroom education, all programs provide practical experience via hands-on training. It’s this combination of learning opportunities that results in preparedness for good jobs. Class schedules accommodate those students who work part time or have family responsibilities that require flexibility.

Faculty admired and respected by students

MTI College hires faculty members who are experienced professionals, practicing in the fields they teach. They’ve been in the workforce and know the obstacles as well as the techniques needed to succeed. Because of small class sizes, faculty are better able to pay personal attention to students. Feedback about our instructors from the students indicates that they really care about them. Jenette Edwards, a graduate of MTI’s Medical Assisting program, says, “[The teachers] pushed me to do my best and to work hard.” A Paralegal Studies grad, Deb Stoeckle, says she enjoyed learning from the faculty. “Having a practicing attorney or working paralegal as an instructor brings stories and real experiences to the classroom.” Diane Campbell, another Paralegal Studies graduate, says all of the instructors are “stellar” and, “I was inspired to achieve because everyone was so supportive.”

MTI’s paralegal program vs. the others

MTI College of Sacramento has been educating students for more than 50 years. For more than 20 of those years, the American Bar Association has approved MTI’s Paralegal training program. Graduates who earn a two-year Associate’s degree can go on to work in the public or private sector as paralegals under the supervision of an attorney. A paralegal’s duties include helping with witness interviews, trial preparation, depositions, trials and preparing legal documentation. Choosing MTI’s Paralegal program has many advantages, including:

  • Providing a two-year Associate’s degree program approved by the American Bar Association
  • Pre-determined class schedules that are guaranteed to be available
  • Small class sizes with books delivered to your classroom
  • Results-based Guaranteed Graduate Program
  • Flexibility of second-year learning either in a traditional on-campus classroom setting or through the OnlinePlus partial online format
  • Job placement assistance, help with résumé-building skills and access to job search tools
  • A history of high graduate job placement rates

What an MTI College education can do for you

MTI has been voted Sacramento’s Best Vocational College and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). A leading technical school in Sacramento, MTI has been preparing students for lucrative vocational jobs in business, health care, information technology, law and cosmetology since 1965. Students come away with the problem-solving verbal communication, written communication and industry skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. They benefit from attentive, respected faculty members who are committed to providing a well-balanced curriculum that combines traditional classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities. MTI offers placement assistance for its graduates in program-related employment and boasts a long track record of high graduate placement rates.

MTI consistently leads the way in vocational training and education, and prepares students with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for pursuing successful careers. Contact MTI College today to invest in your future.

If you were to ask Robert Young when it was that he first knew he wanted to be a teacher, the answer would be a little tricky. He has always believed in the power of education and for a long time has felt something of a calling to have a role in its delivery.

But as far as serving as a teacher in the traditional sense of the word, Young, an instructor of information technology at MTI College, never really pictured it for himself.

“I just hadn’t really thought of it. I wanted to do theatre. I’ve always loved doing theatre. But at the same time, I love giving away knowledge and the things I know, and performance can be a powerful way of doing just that.”

Most people might hear “performance” and “information technology” and think there couldn’t be a stranger pairing of academic or professional disciplines. But for Young, bridging the two fields makes perfect sense, and it tells the story of his journey to MTI.

Born and raised in Marin County, Young grew up in a time when information technology, at least the way we know it today, didn’t exist. One thing that did exist, however, was the “starving artist”—a phrase that refers to artists, musicians, and performers who try to turn their passion into a way to earn a living, often without luck.

So while he embraced his love for the arts, he also knew he had to be practical. He began working temp jobs in the banking industry, initially in accounting.

“When I first went to work back then, it was a time when a ‘computer’ was this huge machine in a huge room. It was kind of this mysterious thing.”

As Young continued in the banking industry, he impressed his supervisor with his work and started moving up the ranks. From accounting he transitioned to loan operations, which is where he first started working in the information technology field. Eventually, he became a database administrator, a role he served in for several years.

But after 30 years of working in the field, he knew it was time for a change. “After so many years, you just kind of get tired of the keyboard.”

Throughout all of that time, Young never stopped doing theatre. And he had a particular interest in historical and educational theatre. To him, being able to entertain and make an audience laugh while also learning something along the way—whether they even know it at the time or not—was a powerful thing.

So that’s what he did.

Over the years he’s played the role of many different historical figures, from going into schools and performing for groups of students, to taking the stage as Charles Dickens and performing for thousands at San Francisco’s beloved Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

And at some point, it just clicked. Young realized not only that theatre and performance were powerful avenues for educating audiences, but the craft of performance itself offered tools and skills that are essential for anyone to possess and utilize in the professional world.

“It just all of a sudden seemed apparent. There are aspects of performance that will absolutely contribute to the level of success you achieve, no matter what your profession may be. You’ve got to be able to improvise; you need to understand body language and voice, and how to communicate in a way that puts things in the appropriate emotional context.”

This is what brought Young to MTI. He joined the faculty in 2008 and began teaching the Art of Live Presentation, which is a required course at the College. While professional presentation typically conjures images of PowerPoint and other software tools used to actually lead a presentation, the course also is about teaching all of those soft skills that employers look for.

At the same time, Young’s extensive professional background in information technology also made him an obvious candidate to teach courses with an IT focus, such as Computing Essentials and the Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Suite of productivity programs, to students studying business management, accounting, legal, medical, IT, and cosmetology.

For Young, using technology is about more than simply plodding through programs and a series of executions. What he expresses to his students is that technology is something that has a very real impact on the living experience of people everywhere. Being able to connect with people, whether through theatre and performance or by understanding what they need and want from technology, is what drives him.

“From my early days working in the industry, that’s what interested me. How people relate to technology. And I think that’s the unique thing that my background in theatre brings to an IT setting.”

And he’s found the ideal home at MTI.

“The culture here is amazing. Everyone here is really devoted to student outcomes, which is why our students and graduates achieve the levels of success they do. Students here get a lot of guidance and support along the way. What I would say to a student who’s thinking of attending MTI is that you should expect to come out of the experience as an improved ‘you.’”

When he isn’t teaching, Young enjoys traveling to places like New York City—where he once lived briefly—and London. And, clearly, he spends much of his time away from the classroom performing as a way to entertain and enlighten. He enjoys playing the role of Charles Dickens at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.   But he says there’s a unique sense of fulfillment that comes from teaching performance and information technology at MTI and seeing the transformation that his students experience.

“For me it’s about service and being there for students who are motivated to achieve meaningful goals. It’s really great to see people become awakened to these dynamics and gain an understanding of how to apply them to their careers. Knowing that I’ve played a part in that feels good.”

It is the winding roads in life that are usually the most interesting. The same can be said when it comes to an individual’s professional journey and career path. Nicole Silverman demonstrates this truth as well as anyone.

Ms. Silverman’s educational and professional journey has stretched from high school, college, and law school in the Sacramento area to the museums of Vienna, Austria, and back. It has taken unexpected turns, strengthened her beliefs, and broadened her perspectives.

In addition, it has shaped her outlook on teaching when she began her role as professor in the Paralegal program at MTI College.

“We learn so much from the things we experience. A big part of where I am today is the result of an experience I chose to pursue in my final year of law school that completely changed my perspective and led me down a new path within the field of law. So that’s something I always emphasize to my students, to never close themselves off to new opportunities, to go after the kind of experiences that can impact their outlook and career goals.”

Ms. Silverman grew up in Sacramento and always stayed local, completing what she describes as the area’s “trifecta” in terms of her education—high school, junior college at Sacramento City College, and undergraduate study at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis).

At UC Davis, she chose to follow one of her passions, history.  Specifically, she majored in Early Modern American and European History, and as part of her undergraduate experience traveled abroad to explore some of the history of World War II in Vienna.

Ms. Silverman’s initial plan was to put her degree in history to use by teaching—either at the K-12 level or pursuing advanced study in the field and teaching at the university level. However, while she felt that teaching was something of a natural calling, the more she thought about it, the harder it became to deny the powerful interest she had in another academic discipline—Law.

“I’ve always been interested in law; I like the idea of service and helping people who are going through something very tough and need a voice.  So, I decided that a career in law was right for me, but coming out of UC Davis, I wasn’t totally sure what my best next step would be. I thought about applying directly to law school, but then decided that going the route of a paralegal first would give me a really solid foundation.”

Having grown up in Sacramento, Ms. Silverman was aware of MTI College, and knew that the school was held in high regard. She looked around at other respected paralegal programs in the area, but in the end, none of the others could match a key distinction of the Paralegal program at MTI College—the fact that it is approved by the America Bar Association (ABA).

“In the legal world, that’s huge. None of the other programs I looked at, which were definitely good programs, had that ABA approval. MTI did.”

Since she had already earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis, Silverman was able to complete the Paralegal program in just one year. From there, she was accepted at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. During her time in law school, Silverman balanced a heavy workload as a full-time paralegal/law clerk during the day and a law student at night.

It was in her final year of law school when Silverman made a choice that would change the trajectory of her legal career. She decided to take part in McGeorge’s Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation Clinic (Prisoner Mediation Clinic), where she assisted federal judges in the Eastern District of California with co-mediating Section 1983 prisoner grievances. In the Prisoner Mediation Clinic, she conducted interviews with prisoners in the prison or via telephone, drafted confidential pre-mediation bench memorandums for the judges, and assisted in mediating settlement conferences between prisoners, the California Office of the Attorney General, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“It was pretty eye-opening to see just how huge the power imbalance was when it came to prisoners’ legal needs being met. Their cases would take much, much longer to work their way through the system.”

It was an impactful experience, and one that led Silverman to pursue work in the public defender’s office so that she could do her part to ensure that everyone, no matter their circumstance in life, would have a legal advocate.

Through it all, Ms. Silverman never lost touch with her interest in teaching. After earning her Juris Doctorate (J.D.), she decided to reach out to her old acquaintance, Linda Gardenhire, the department chair of Paralegal Studies at MTI College.

Ms. Silverman started to engage with students at MTI by taking part in panel discussions and speaking opportunities at the school. She is now in her second year teaching online torts, and substitute teaches on campus in a variety of legal courses.

The positive experience Ms. Silverman had as a student at MTI, has carried over to her role as professor in the Paralegal program.

“Unless you are from the Sacramento area, it is hard to know just how respected the Paralegal program is. I have worked with a lot of law firms, and the majority of paralegals you see there are from MTI. The overall quality of the program is something that I’m really proud to be a part of.”

Nevertheless, teaching at MTI holds a special place for Ms. Silverman, because every day is an opportunity to empower students to achieve their goals.

“It’s really fulfilling to see just how passionate the students are. They are motivated to learn the law, they are inquisitive, they ask a lot of questions, and they want to further themselves. You have to respect that. And it’s great being able to share my story with them as a source of motivation.”

“These subjects can be pretty difficult. So when I see them succeed in class and that they genuinely understand the material in a way that’s going to contribute to their success down the road, it’s just a really good feeling.”

When she is not teaching, clerking, or working as a independent contractor for multiple law firms, Ms. Silverman devotes her time to her son, and can usually be found at a local park cheering him on during his soccer games. She is looking into piano lessons and Spanish classes as other ways for them to spend quality time together.

Ever the lifelong learner, Ms. Silverman is also considering pursuing a master’s degree in social work as a way to help survivors of sexual exploitation, an issue she has learned about through her work in the public defender’s office.

  1. Write a Unique Cover Letter
    Cover letters should always be customized for the position being applied for.
  2. Follow-up on your Applications
    It’s important to always follow-up on your applications. It shows an additional consideration for the position and helps you to stand out from other applicants.
  3. Say “Thank-you”
    Employers want to know that their time is appreciated and it could mean the difference between you and someone else getting the position.

Be sure to watch this short clip for more details on how to help land your dream job. Learn the skills needed to set you apart from other job applicants!

[youtube url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-2cLhFWsMM&rel=0&h=400]

Interested in pursing a career in the healthcare field? Watch this short infographic where you will learn about the benefits of becoming a Medical Assistant at MTI College. Discover how this field gained increasing popularity and find out if this career path is right for you! According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, MA’s are constantly in demand and the growth within the field will only continue to increase from now until 2024. So what is stopping you? Find out why you should be an MTI College student today!

[youtube url=https://youtu.be/kkBQX9FDMRI&rel=0&h=400]

 

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