“The Entrepreneurs of Saggezza” features the unique journeys Saggezzians have taken in their careers. Each tells a compelling story of how taking your own path can get you to wonderful places. There is no set path on this journey to find your passion.
In high school, Frank Trainer worked at a restaurant in quality assurance, ensuring orders went out correct and complete. What he liked about the restaurant industry was that age and networking didn’t matter; if you had the drive and ability to do the work, you could move up. His interest in the restaurant industry led him to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Following graduation, he began working at Domino’s as an Assistant Manager. He quickly moved into the managerial role. After about a year, he decided to open his own pizza shop with a friend. Grog’s Pizza grew to six locations in eight years. They were located namely in college towns. Hoosiers, Boilermakers, and Fighting Illini are just some of the people who may remember them. Frank enjoyed the pizza business but was ready to move onto his next venture.
At age 30, he decided to get a job as an Investment Representative at Edward D. Jones. Frank quickly noticed that some people have a natural talent for the stock industry. He, however, had to work very long and hard to reap the rewards. It did not come naturally for him. He decided to try to figure out where he was naturally talented. With the help of Myers-Briggs and a few other career analysis tests, he learned software development might be better suited to him.
Frank enrolled in a programming class at the College of DuPage to see if the tests were true. Here, he discovered his love for programming and decided to make the leap yet again into a new career. His first programming job was at Chubb Insurance, which implemented a program in which applicants took an IQ test. If they scored well enough, the company offered a 6-month long training program to teach them how to write software. Following program completion, they placed you at a job.
Frank was placed at Accenture and was there for a year before deciding he wanted to consult for software development on his own. His first client was USG Corporation, and after three years, they offered him a full time job. In conjunction, they would pay for his Grad School. Frank enrolled at DePaul University and got his Master’s degree in Computer Science. Following this, he started consulting at CapGemini and was placed at a large number of clients. One of these was Career Education Corporation.
While there, Frank ran into a former colleague from his days at USG. That colleague happened to work for another vendor of CEC, Saggezza. He recommended Frank go work for Saggezza, and after some research, he decided it was a good move. Frank started at Saggezza in 2014 as a team lead of five developers in India. With the belief that agile fails when it lacks technical excellence, Frank was able to make his mark at various clients by implementing technical excellence. He slowly started gaining more responsibilities and more client work for Saggezza.
Today, Frank is the Vice President of Process and Delivery at Saggezza. He manages about 90 developers, team leads and scrum masters across the US, the UK and India. He is up early each day on calls with teams in other countries. His job has evolved to less development work and more mentoring and training of his teams to be successful at implementing technical excellence. Coaching people and changing their mindsets to help them be successful is a new venture for him, but one he enjoys. When his teams are successful, he is successful.
Frank is a true testament of finding your passion at any point in life. It may not be your first career or even your second. The advice he’d give young people trying to figure out their career? “Don’t worry about what you want to do or want to be. Explore and find what you’re inherently good at. See if there’s anything there you can work with. You will likely find a career you will enjoy and be successful at.”
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