Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Headlines

Automotive: Above and Beyond

Automotive: Above and Beyond

Spring 2011

Eddie Paul’s first class at Fox Valley Technical College helped him discover his life’s passion—and set him on the path to owning and operating a business at age 22. 

After graduating from high school in 2007, Eddie Paul didn’t really know what he wanted to do with his life. But the Neenah native owned a 1984 Trans Am he liked to tinker with, and he was curious about auto painting and bodywork. So, he signed up for a class at Fox Valley Technical College. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Turns out I was pretty good at it,” says Paul, who went on to earn his associate degree in Vehicle Refinishing and Repair Technology in 2009.

What it Takes

Proclaiming he was “pretty good” at painting and bodywork is an understatement. Today, Paul is the proud owner of Appleton-based SS Auto Body and Restoration, LLC. One might think owning a new business is enough to keep busy—but Paul has re-enrolled at FVTC on a part-time basis in the Business Management program.

“I basically worked two or three jobs while going to college full-time,” says Paul, who states he’s not worried about keeping up with the demands of a new business and attending college.

Jerry Goodson, FVTC Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing instructor, has no doubt Paul has what it takes to succeed at both. Whether it was working in the classroom, in the shop, or participating in activities such as student government and auto-body repair competitions, Goodson notes that Paul was the kind of student who makes an instructor’s job easy.

“I worked with Eddie his second year at Fox Valley Tech,” says Goodson. “Right away, I noticed he was the kind of person who follows through. If he brought up an issue, it wasn’t to complain about it; he tried to improve something.”

 

Jumping In

During his time at FVTC, Paul immersed himself in student life activities. He started out serving as a student representative to the Fox Valley Auto Body Association. Before long, he became a fixture in student government, serving as president of the Student Government Association and as a student member appointed by former Governor Jim Doyle to the Wisconsin Technical College System State Board. He was awarded a number of scholarships and was twice nominated for the Wisconsin Technical College System Ambassador award, which recognizes the most outstanding student at each of the 16 Wisconsin technical colleges.

Paul appreciates the recognition, but he gives credit for his success to the people he met at FVTC. “Just about everything I’ve done in the past few years, Fox Valley Tech has helped me in some way,” he says, adding quickly that he credits Vicky Barke, director of FVTC’s Student Life department, for getting him involved in student government. “If not for her, I never would have gotten involved in all of the student government boards and other activities.”

Paul says those experiences helped him develop the problem-solving skills he uses today in running his business. And he also gives a lot of credit to his instructors. “They gave me the knowledge I needed to get started,” says Paul. “Most instructors in the Vehicle Refinishing and Repair program go above and beyond what they have to do. They’re very well connected with area businesses and what’s going on in the real world regarding auto body repair.”

In fact, those connections helped Paul start his new business. He was hanging out with a former instructor, Bob Smith, at the Iola Old Car Show and Swap Meet. A conversation revealed that one of Smith’s first-ever students at FVTC was looking to retire and wanted to sell his business. Smith helped the two get connected, and Paul became a new business owner.

“There’s no doubt that the networking I’ve done through Fox Valley Tech has helped me enormously,” says Paul.

Without question, Paul is a self-starter and a disciplined, hard worker. With the skills he plans to learn in the Business Management program, there’s no telling where he’ll end up.

 

@FoxValleyTech on Twitter

Get Social

Connect With Us banner

Categories

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Women's Basketball Team Honors 9-Year-Old Girl

Women's Basketball Team Honors 9-Year-Old Girl

Feb 3, 2015

The Lady Foxes basketball team honored Norah, a 9-year-old girl in remission from cancer, at its ...

Culinary Students Win State

Culinary Students Win State

Jan 21, 2015

Fox Valley Technical College’s Culinary Arts student team of Logan Christensen, Adam ...

Dawn & Dan’s Commencement Journey

Dawn & Dan’s Commencement Journey

Jan 16, 2015

See what it’s like to walk across the stage during a commencement ceremony at a ...

Featured Videos

Featured Photos

FVTC President's Blog


Fall 2014 Focus Magazine

Career Minded: Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, featuring programs that are in demand now. 


Upcoming Events

3 Mar 2015

3/3 Easy Start Session

5 p.m. | Appleton Campus

3/3 Easy Start Session

Tuesday, March 3, 5 p.m., Appleton. Learn about Fast Forward grant programs, then complete all your admissions requirements in one visit.

5 Mar 2015

3/5: On Campus: UW-Green Bay

11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Appleton Campus

3/5: On Campus: UW-Green Bay

Thinking of transferring to UW-Green Bay? 

7 Mar 2015

Discovery Day

10 a.m.-Noon | Appleton Campus

Discovery Day

Want to visit us in person? Attend Discovery Day to experience campus life at FVTC.

Calendar

«March 2015»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
22
2/22/2015 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
9290

Cultural Cuisine 2015

Join us Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 for endless cultural hors d'oeuvres prepared by our Culinary Arts students. 

Read more
2324262728
2/28/2015 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
26692

College Goal Wisconsin

Saturday, Feb. 28 | Get free, on-site professional experience completing the FAFSA.

Read more
123
3/3/2015 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
28035

3/3 Easy Start Session

Tuesday, March 3, 5 p.m., Appleton. Learn about Fast Forward grant programs, then complete all your admissions requirements in one visit.

Read more
45
3/5/2015 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
20445

3/5: On Campus: UW-Green Bay

Thinking of transferring to UW-Green Bay? 

Read more
67
3/7/2015 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
8884

Discovery Day

Want to visit us in person? Attend Discovery Day to experience campus life at FVTC.

Read more
8910
11
3/11/2015 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
26690

Explore Starting a Business, Appleton

Learn the three critical things you must do to launch and sustain a business.

Read more
1314
3/14/2015 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
26256

Cooking Demo: Meatless Moments

Saturday, March 14 | Don’t let meatless fool you! Many are surprised when they have an opportunity to see and taste how great these foods can be.

Read more
151617181920
21
3/20/2015 - 3/21/2015
22796

Sewing & Quilting Expo

14th annual Sewing & Quilting Expo, Friday & Saturday, March 20 & 21, Oshkosh Riverside Campus

Read more
2223
25
26
27
3/23/2015 - 3/27/2015
28
3/28/2015 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
6021

Garden Talk

Learn gardening tips from the experts! Saturday, March 28

Read more
29311234

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: