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Apprentice Spotlight: Jacob, API Development team

March 8, 2024
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By Paola, Pinnacol Claims Apprentice

Meet 3rd-year apprentice Jacob, the young star being mentored by our API Development team. Jacob discovered a passion for information technology (IT) when he attended cybersecurity classes at the Cherry Creek School District Innovation Campus his junior year. He learned that not only is he enthusiastic about IT, he’s also good at it. Now, in the final three months of his apprenticeship, Jacob is ready to launch his full-time career. 

Strong mentorship

Pinnacol has been an extraordinary fit for Jacob. With his team's support, Jacob has learned multiple programming languages, teamwork, communication, and software development life cycle concepts. Using Pinnacol tuition assistance, Jacob earned his CompTIA Security+ certification, a highly-regarded industry credential. His team manager, Director of API Christine Dharmawardhana, has also empowered him, increasing his sense of ownership regarding his contributions to Pinnacol’s overall success.

Jacob contributes to Pinnacol’s overall goals by working on current tech projects or tech debt, troubleshooting with precision and taking the initiative to find solutions for time-sensitive projects. His problem-solving and technical skills made him the perfect candidate for the role, and under the creative and dedicated tutelage of his Apprentice Supervisor, Senior Software Engineer Shannon Buys, he’s grown leaps and bounds. “Shannon has always cared personally about my success, which means a lot to me,” Jacob stated. In addition, Apprentice Coach Kelly Dryer has helped Jacob close the gap between being a high school student and a young professional by mentoring him through workplace and career challenges, such as prioritization and managing tight deadlines.

Automating manual processes

Jacob recently completed a project with Wes Parham and the Public Affairs team, where he automated a time-sensitive and work-heavy task by writing five scripts that process and look for specific data in a 1,200-plus page PDF. He simplified the task and saved the team a lot of time. 

"Jacob's professionalism and excellent people skills have rapidly made him an integral part of the API team,” raved Shannon. “During his time with us, he’s become someone we depend on to handle essential tasks and help support critical systems, just like any of the other full-time developers on our team.” 

Open to hire

Jacob’s ultimate goal is to secure a position within Pinnacol, where his dedication and passion can make a difference and a lasting impact at a company he loves. He’s driven by achieving financial security and providing for his future family. At the same time, he maintains a strong focus on studying computer science at Arapahoe Community College. Whether learning at school or pursuing certifications, Jacob is committed to development and quality work. He wants his fellow employees to know he’s grateful for this opportunity to launch his career.  

“Julie [Wilmes] always says that ‘Pinnacol is a great place to grow up or grow old,’ which resonates with me because I’ve grown up so much here.”

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