Engineered to Succeed
Student Dan Steiner and graduate James Koop both looked to FVTC for high-tech careers in engineering technology.
Dan Steiner was, in many ways, destined to become an Electrical Engineering Technology student. The 20-year-old Appleton native inherited his father’s love for problem-solving, math, and mechanical work. After graduating from Appleton North High School, he confidently chose Fox Valley Technical College as the next logical step in reaching his career goals.
“I love all my classes, from learning basic circuits and measurements to using formulas to predict what would happen when you switched on the power,” says Steiner.
Steiner, who will graduate this fall, is taking advantage of FVTC’s transfer agreement with the Milwaukee School of Engineering. “I not only got accepted, but I received a scholarship too,” he says.
Steiner finds that the diverse student body at FVTC offers a great learning environment. “Everyone in my classes has a lot of life experience, and they treat you with respect,” he says. “I now have friends who are much older than me because we share common interests. I’ve always felt that being treated like an adult was a much better option for me than going to a frat party.”
Steiner also believes in the FVTC approach to teaching. “The instructors know what they’re talking about and give you the advantage of their experience,” he says. “Unlike traditional schools where you do textbook learning, at Fox Valley Tech you spend the majority of your time building things, doing experiments, and learning how to troubleshoot.”
Like many people, James Koop enrolled in a four-year college right after high school, but he soon realized it wasn’t for him. “I lacked motivation and after dropping out, I drifted for a few years,” he recalls. “I returned home and did the smart thing: I enrolled at Fox Valley Technical College.”
Koop first earned an associate degree at FVTC in Culinary Arts. The Appleton native loved the hands-on approach to learning and soon found a great job as a chef. However, married with a baby on the way, he needed more family-friendly hours. He once again turned to FVTC, enrolling in the Electronic Engineering Technology program. “This program was my second love,” he says. “I landed a really great entry-level job.”
Today, the 30-year-old Koop is a technician with Ducommun, a global provider of manufacturing and engineering services for the aerospace, defense, industrial, and medical markets. He is responsible for working on circuit card solutions for the medical industry. “Ducommun hired me before I graduated. I wake up every morning and am happy to go to work,” he says. “The people are great, the work is challenging, and I am never bored.”
Eventually Koop hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering. For now, he’s busy enough keeping up with his three-year-old daughter and family life. “I wish I had gone to Fox Valley Tech right out of high school,” he says. “The teachers are great, and they all have real experience in their fields. Best of all, there are lots of career opportunities in this industry.”
96% job placement
during the past three years for FVTC graduates of the Electrical Engineering Technology program. FVTC Graduate Employment Research Reports, 2012, 2013, 2014
256 full-time job openings
in the New North region for careers in engineering-related fields. 2014 FVTC Graduate Employment Research Report & Wisconsin TechConnect