When I was young, I aspired to be many different things. Some of which included being a scientist, lawyer, or doctor. The technicality of those careers is what enticed me. However, later in life, it was the length of education that the technicality required that led me in another direction. I was a good student, but I didn’t want to commit that amount of time to education when it came time to make that choice.
While I was in high school, I didn’t necessarily know what I would do for my career after graduating. I had become somewhat tired of being in school. In my junior year, I began working at a car detail shop after school and on the weekends. This job allowed me to afford moving out of my parent’s house before I graduated. At that time, it was good enough for me. About six months after graduating high school, I began working as a laborer and equipment operator in the masonry industry. Several years later, this led me into working as a service technician and mechanic on the equipment which was used in that industry. That is when I had the opportunity to develop my skills as a mechanic.
The trades really were never on my mind in high school. Additionally, I don’t believe they were even advertised as a career opportunity by the high school I attended. Four-year college degrees were mostly viewed as the next step. When I came to NCST for a tour, I had my mind set on either the automotive or diesel program since I had previous mechanical experience. However, having worked in rain, snow, sleet, hot, cold, etc., for 17 years I did not want to continue being out in the elements so I chose the automotive program which would allow me to work under a roof and with heat in the winter. Also, I had always regretted not advancing my knowledge for a deeper understanding of the things I was working on. I believed an education at NCST would offer me the additional knowledge I sought. It wasn’t simply about obtaining a degree. A degree might get you in the door as an employee in your field but It the knowledge, and utilization of that knowledge will allow you to become successful and a valuable employee.
The thing I liked most about the Automotive program was the depth of information provided in the material we were studying. While the program is maybe labeled as “entry level”, the material goes well beyond that. Having the opportunity to grab ahold of the advanced level of information provided is what has allowed me to advance so quickly in my career.
Secondly, the experience level of the instructors allowed me to learn from real-world examples pertaining to the material we were learning. Working hands-on with vehicles having everyday issues. Most of the vehicles we worked on in the shop were not “bugged”. This allowed me to troubleshoot and repair the same as I do today in my career. The only difference is, in school, I had very intelligent instructors who could help me along the way to develop my own methods. For those lucky enough, such as myself, after school you will have coworkers that also help you learn and understand while you are advancing in your career.
The course of Automotive Technology is a very diverse subject. Our text “A System’s Approach” provided a logical approach to the information required to understand all the systems of modern-day vehicles. Reading that text in its entirety was also key in my development of a solid understanding of the material.
NCST served as a guide for me. I believe that is mostly what an educational facility can provide. It is the choices that we make as individuals that lead us to our success. Unfortunately, no matter how good the education is, there will always be those who choose to take that for granted. NCST offered me a phenomenal education and encouragement to learn. As an individual, I chose to grab hold of that offering and get every last bit out of it. What I experienced at NCST with that mindset, was nothing short of a world class education. The entire group of individuals that form the body of employees at NCST were immensely helpful to me as a student. There was not a question that I could ask that wouldn’t get answered and there was not a request for help that I could have made that wouldn’t have received a helping hand.
My efforts as a committed student were recognized by many within the school. This recognition quickly led me to acquire a quality job as an Automobile Technician at Toyota of Boardman. I began my new career there the day after my last day of school.
My wife Amanda and I have been married for fourteen years. We have two daughters, Abigail age 12 and Amelia age 5. My wife has always been a true encourager when it comes to further education. She, long ago, recognized my abilities and has always pushed me to fully utilize them. I will be forever grateful for her encouragement and the life we have together with our children.
My interest in working on things comes from my grandfather John, who recently passed away. I remember making wood projects and watching/ helping him take things apart for the pure fascination of discovering how things worked. No one in my family is or was a mechanic, so he was the only one who spiked my interest in this sort of thing. He was a mill worker in Campbell, Ohio and when he retired is when I believe his interest in taking things apart ultimately arose. I am happy he shared those interests with me.
When I entered the automotive program at NCST, I was 36 years old. I had already begun my life as a responsible adult long before entering the program. This made the commitment to attending school, at that age, far more difficult. I did not let that difficulty stop me from making the choice to attend NCST. Perseverance, courage, and commitment will take you places.
I don’t look back at the career choices I made earlier in my life as being a mistake. Had I made different choices earlier in life, I wouldn’t be where I am now. However, I waited until I lost my job to decide to enter the program. This is something I would not encourage others to do. Be proactive. Make the choice on your own terms. Typically speaking, making that choice during or immediately after high school would provide you the best opportunity to advance yourself. Although, to those who are my age, younger or older, understand it is never too late to learn or try something new.
Getting an education in the trades does not limit you to being a mechanic, carpenter, machinist, etc. for the rest of your life. It opens a doorway for advancement that is limitless. A mechanic can become a service manager, an automobile engineer, an instructor for a trade school, or a master diagnostician for an automobile manufacturer. Education in the automotive industry, specifically working for a new car dealership, is ongoing. I have already begun my further education with Toyota. This additional education is mandatory to achieve status with manufacturers. The greater your education, experience and commitment, the more you will get paid for your efforts as an employee.
– Brian Lencyk, New Castle School of Trades Automotive Technology Graduate