Have you ever heard of a Choose Your Own Adventure book? If you have, you know the rules, you’re the central character and you get to decide what path and subsequent outcome the protagonist takes. There’s a catch, there’s no going back! It’s meant to mimic real life.
Or can you? Well, of course you can go back. There’s no one there to stop you. And like real life, you can also take a redo.
Louis, a second-year student in the Manufacturing Engineering Technician – Automation (Industrial Mechanic Millwright) program at Mohawk College, discovered that he didn’t like the path he was on, and he decided to make a change. “Before I came to Mohawk, I was attending Carleton University, and I realized after I got a co-op at university that this wasn't quite right for me,” says Louis. “I just didn't like the material I was working on and everything that encompassed the job. I decided to leave mechanical engineering and do more of a hands-on kind of profession.”
After this realization, Louis decided to leave Carleton and attend the Manufacturing Engineering Technician program at Mohawk College instead, a choice he had almost made a few years prior. “I saw an ad in my high school for this exact program, and Mohawk College was one of the two options I was considering after high school,” says Louis. “But I went to university, because my family believed it would be a better experience. In retrospect, it just didn't make sense for who I was.”
Since starting his education at Mohawk, Louis feels it’s a much better fit for his learning style. “I really like the hands-on labs. We do more,” says Louis “I think the theory is more relevant to the actual profession we're doing rather than just an overall encompassing theory class.”
According to Louis, the program takes hard work and determination, but that’s what makes it so worthwhile. “I think you get out what you put into this program,” says Louis. “If you're just going to coast by, then you're not going to be as successful as someone that really cares about the material, asks questions, and shows up to school every day. You'll be much more rewarded for it.”
Through his hard work, Louis has secured an apprenticeship that will put him well ahead of most people in his position as a student.
“In the first semester of the Manufacturing Engineering Technician Program, I applied for a co-op position,” says Louis. “Through the co-op, I was hired by a company that would sponsor me as an apprentice as part of their hiring process. So immediately, as soon as I got in the door, I was already collecting hours into my apprenticeship.”
Beyond completing his program, Louis requires 7200 hours of work experience, broken up into levels, to complete his apprenticeship and move up in his career. “When I do complete this program, I'll also have all three levels of schooling completed and I'll be able to collect the hours through the co-op as well. So, I'm already ahead,” he says.
Louis has worked hard and come a long way to reach the position he’s in after changing his path. He has advice for anyone considering enrolling in the program. “The job is a very, very intensive job, and it takes the right kind of person to get in here,” says Louis. “But if you are that kind of person, you'll love it.”