Boyd Clewis climbed his way to the top. After leaving college prematurely due to venturing into parenthood, he transitioned to work for one of the largest copier manufacturers in the world, Ricoh Company. Here Clewis would take on the tasks of repairing laptops to solve a need within the office.
The gesture would lead Boyd Clewis to advance his skills with the help of Youtube and Google. He eventually acquired enough knowledge to add a CompTIA A+ certification under his belt.
The rest was history, as it allowed Boyd Clewis to land a network technician role at Tekzenit Inc. (formerly known as Tekcenture) by the age of 22. He developed skills in active directory, networking, and cybersecurity. Within four years, he refined his skills, opening a gateway to new career opportunities as a security architect at American Airlines and later an external PCI consultant.
During his pivot to consulting, Boyd Clewis recognized a knowledge gap. He recalled various inquiries regarding his area of mastery, the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) framework. After different inquisitive approaches from his peers, Boyd Clewis took a few under his wing to mentor them on the fundamentals of the security framework.
“I am passionate about seeing people succeed, and this is one of the fastest ways to get into cybersecurity and help companies by protecting their client information. I figured that I would help more people get into cybersecurity because it is a non-technical framework that anybody that has attention to detail can learn and transform their lives,” Boyd Clewis told AfroTech exclusively.
He continued: “When I was the security architect at American Airlines, I saw how this knowledge changed people’s influence in the company and gave them the confidence to grow further in their career. That’s when I knew that I had a business model to help other people.”
Clewis Ventures Out On His Own
Clewis eventually quit his consulting position where he was making $200,000 in salary and decided to launch Baxter Clewis Consulting in 2019. Clewis soon integrated a training academy to help IT professionals become business technology specialists by learning the security standards. Clewis says the training academy generated $1 million during the height of the pandemic as he continued to funnel six-figure opportunities to a slew of onboarding students.
The training academy is a fully robust mastery-focused online learning program featuring 14 modules, knowledge checks, recorded lessons, and case studies. To provide students hands-on assistance, a mindset coach is provided to answer onboarding questions, provide helpful feedback, and aid with interview preparation.
In addition, students have the added luxury of working directly under Baxter Clewis Consulting firm. Here, students will acquire direct experience working on security assessments for various Fortune 500 companies, placing them at an advantage for workforce consideration.
Mentees Have Landed Positions At Leading Companies
The firm has found great success for students and continues to provide additional support to foster development long term. Already over 300 individuals have landed jobs at Google, Cisco, American Airlines, IBM, Honeywell, and more.
“We support our students even after they make the transition so that they still shine at the company that they are at and they can continue to grow,” Clewis said. “We have hundreds of students in the community and those that are landing the jobs are supporting and encouraging our newbies so they can see this is possible. We have a Slack community and all of our students encourage each other and have study groups. It’s a whole world within itself, and I think that’s one of the biggest selling points of the program.”
How The Training Academy Plans To Evolve
As the company looks ahead, it plans to add live events to its course offerings, and recently the firm has integrated a staffing agency to help students land leading roles in the cyber security space.
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