Celebrating our Graduates: Peter McCulloch

Celebrating our Graduates: Peter McCulloch

A Nine-Year Journey Ends with Electro-Mechanical Technology Degree

Peter McCulloch’s career journey endured several stops and starts along the way. You could blame the recession of 2008 for one detour. You could blame COVID-19 for another detour. Peter, an even-measured student, places blame nowhere. To him, it was all just a part of his career evolution.

“I graduated with a degree in Aviation Maintenance (since renamed to Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics) in 2003 and worked at Gulfstream before moving to northern Wisconsin in 2008 for a corporate aviation job at a private hangar,” Peter said. “But the recession hit, and one of the first things usually impacted by a recession is private travel, so I was laid off.”

As the recession lingered, Peter suspected he’d be moving again. He just didn’t know if it’d be for another aviation position or to head back to school. He chose school and returned to FVTC to pursue a degree in Electro-Mechanical Technology.

“I started back full-time, then cut back to part-time when I landed another aviation position,” Peter said. “But I just wasn’t getting the job done so about 18 months ago, I left aviation for good to finish my degree. The targeted graduation date was May, 2020.”

You can guess what happened next. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, Peter was able to complete his spring classes virtually but wanted access to one more in-person class.

“I decided I could wait one more semester and get that last in-person class that I really wanted,” Peter said. “It’s been a long route, but I finally did it.”

Peter is already working full-time at Eggers Industries in Neenah and putting his FVTC education to work. Just like his non-traditional educational journey, Peter’s plans for graduation night are a little different.

“I walked the first time I graduated and my wife said I needed to walk for this graduation as well,” Peter said. “That obviously can’t happen but we’ll watch it online. We’ll see how long my 7-year-old and 5-year-old will last. I’ll definitely nudge them when they get close to announcing my name.”

Published: Dec 15, 2020

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