Classroom experience leads to job in electrical engineering field

Amanda from Gerrie Eletric working on wiring

Growing up, Amanda Fletcher ‘18 saw her dad working in a career as an electrician. At home, she would assist him with projects around the house. When it came time for her to pursue a career of her own, she knew she wanted to do something technical and hands-on, like her dad. After looking at the many programs available, she chose Mohawk College’s Electrical Engineering Technician – Power program. “My research led me to Mohawk, as it had the best program for training electrical technicians,” says Amanda.

In her last semester, Amanda and her classmates were assigned an electrical design project. In teams, they were given an empty machine shop where they had to plan everything from wiring and lighting to how the machines would be laid out, including transformers and breakers. They also had to provide pricing and recommendations to the client. Upon completion, they presented their project to a panel of judges working in their field. “In addition to course skills and knowledge, we have found that industry is very interested in the soft-skills or transferable skills that the final project is designed to demonstrate,” according to professor, Glen Kinashuck.

Amanda’s work impressed more than just her professors. The next day she received an email that Gerrie Electric, who had a member on the panel, was interested in interviewing her for a job. As her final semester was coming to an end, Amanda was thrilled to secure full-time employment with an inside tech support position.

Her day-to-day responsibilities include a lot of troubleshooting with customers through tech support. Amanda relies upon her Mohawk training often, but especially when customers send in drawings. “It is because of my education that I have the knowledge to read them correctly and can provide advice on the parts they need to complete their projects,” says Amanda.

In the past year and a half, she has grown in her role. One amazing opportunity was when Gerrie sponsored her for six months of intensive training at Rockwell Automation in Cleveland, Ohio. This formerly in-house-only intensive program had recently opened up to distributors of Rockwell Automation within North America. Typically reserved for university graduates, Gerrie Electric made every effort to convince Rockwell Automation of the strength of Mohawk’s curriculum and succeeded with allowing access for their employees to the Engineer in Training (EIT) program.

Amanda is the third Mohawk grad and fourth Gerrie Electric employee to be enrolled in the program. Attending with graduates of top US schools, like Purdue and Harvard, the Mohawk graduates consistently finished in the top portion of their class. As Amanda says, “I can’t think of another company that would offer such an incredible opportunity within the first year of employment. It has provided me so much knowledge for the work I do day-to-day.”