University Park, IL,
10:04 AM

A graduate journey: The highs and lows

A portrait shot of a smiling man wearing casual clothes

By Sarah Shoaf, Staff Writer

From student to alumni to Governors State University (GovState) employee, Kevin Shane (’20) has been through a journey of highs and lows since graduating with his bachelor’s in Computer Science. 

While he was a student, Shane could be found delivering interoffice mail and packages around campus for the Procurement and Business Services department. His graduation came at the onset of the pandemic.

“I did my senior project and graduated during the pandemic, which was tough,” said Shane. “I never got to have the traditional celebration graduates get in the spring.”

Several months after graduation, amidst a world of uncertainty, Shane landed his first tech job as a database developer at Enverus. 

“Getting my first job as a database developer was my first taste of having a career, being paid like an adult, and overall enjoying my work,” said Shane.

Unfortunately, about a year after he started, Shane was laid off in December 2022. Despite being told otherwise, he couldn’t help but feel like he had done something to lead to this outcome.

Once again, Shane found himself looking for a job. “I applied and interviewed for countless positions, but nothing landed,” said Shane. 

As the lengthy job search wore on Shane, he eventually applied for unemployment and quickly reached out to GovState’s Employment and Employer Services (EES) for additional career training.

His EES career coach, Sabrina Shine, and Program Director of the School of Extended Learning (SXL), Michelle Sebasco, helped secure funding for Shane to get further training in CompTIA Network+, Security+.

“I signed up for two CompTIA certifications in SXL with Michelle,” said Shane. “Studying for those certificates prepared me to interview for the information security position I hold at GovState today.”

Now back at GovState as an Information Security Analyst, Shane is thankful for his wife and all the support she offered him to keep him levelheaded throughout his journey.

“At this point, outside of being a student, I’ve worked at GovState a total of three times. It’s like being around family,” said Shane.

For others facing challenges, Shane has some words of advice. 

“Progress has some struggle attached,” he said. “Taking things one day at a time really helps. Setting small daily goals helps with consistency. Taking walks or bike riding really helped to clear my mind during tougher days.”

Next on Shane’s list? Taking a Master Information Technology course in 2025 to keep honing his skills.