Austin Abbott

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What initially attracted you to Spartan College?

“Useful training in a booming field that allowed me to be hands-on with my work and open tons of opportunities for my future.”

What skills did you want to learn?

“I wanted to learn stuff about radio frequencies, composites, soldering, electronics, welding and sheet metal.”

What do you feel that you got out of your Spartan education?

“The training I needed to succeed in the field that I am interested in and be more thorough with safety training and it opened me up to a lot of more fields that I didn’t even know existed.”

When you began at Spartan, what industry were you hoping to get into upon graduation?

  • Is that the industry you’re in now?

“I wanted to go the major airline route and eventually be a part of a traveling ground crew and work around the country/world.”

  • “No, and that’s not a bad thing at all. I am very grateful I came across the roll that I did, and I would not change anything.”

How did you first hear about your current industry? When did you become interested in your current career?

“I first heard about Ball Aerospace about 3-4 months into school at a company presentation and I had my eyes set on it ever since.”

What is your current role? How happy are you in your current role?

“I am a technician working on the Advanced Communication Architecture program for Raytheon as well as the Joint Strike Force(F-35) program for Lockheed Martin.”

If you were to speak with a student who is just starting at Spartan, what advice would you give them as they look for a career after they graduate?

  • If they were interested in a similar role to the one you have now, what advice would you give them?

“I would tell them to start looking before they graduate. I started seriously networking with the companies (meeting the hiring staff/managers/supervisors) that I was interested in about 7-8 months before graduation and I interviewed and got accepted at my company about 3-4 months before leaving Spartan and I would attribute a lot of that to networking and meeting with the staff every time I had the chance weather that be at volunteering events or company presentations or job fairs so when I went into an interview it was with a familiar face and that made the final official interview more of a conversation instead of an interview.”

  • “I would advise they really read up and research the company they are interested in and don’t limit yourself to only the field you think you want to go into. I wanted to go the airline route, but I ended up in the defense/space industry and when I began schooling, I had no idea I would be planning to retire with the first company I got hired at.”

Do you feel Spartan prepared you for your current role? Why or why not?

  • How important was Spartan in helping you get that role?

“Yes, a lot of things I learned from spartan I incorporate on a regular basis.”

  • “I would say probably about 50%, spartan put me in a great setting to be able for me to take it upon myself and do what I needed to do to network and land a job at the company I wanted to work for.”

What’s the most important technical skill or experience with a specific piece of equipment/tool you learned at Spartan that you use regularly at your current job?

“Safety and a base understanding of soldering.”

Do you feel that your skills are ahead of your peers in any area due to your experience at Spartan? (For example, because of your training on a specific type of aircraft/tool/piece of equipment at Spartan you excel in tasks that your peers don’t)

“My skills I learned didn’t necessarily put me ahead, but they helped me have a base all-around understanding to be able to learn skills more quickly and complete a task at a more efficient way than I would originally expect myself to do.”

Was your current employer familiar with Spartan College?

“Yes, and a great deal.”

Now that you have finished your education at Spartan, do you think your skills are transferable to industries or roles other than the one you’re in now?

“Yes, definitely almost (probably) any technician role in the defense and space industry because of the wide range of skills that are transferable to different aspects of this industry (radio frequency testing/tuning, polymerics, optics, cleanroom, assembly, soldering) and the wide range of people that have came from different types of backgrounds to work with me at Ball makes it clear that you can go to and come from so many different places (energy, optics, mechanics, military etc.).”

Where do you see your career path heading 2-5 years from now?

“Not much different at all, I’m very happy with my company and I want to stick with them and get more experience whenever the opportunity arises with different programs and eventually move into management down the road. Or, go back to school with the tuition benefits and remain with the same company.”

Do you see a lot of advancement opportunities in the current industry and role you’re in now?

“Yes, there are tons of different paths available to take in my current industry even just at my company alone there are tons of different paths a technician can have.”

How do you compare the career path you’re on now versus where you were headed before getting a diploma/degree from Spartan?

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

In your mind, where can a Spartan Education take you?

“There is so many places that training as a technician can take you, there are endless opportunities in tons of different industries that you might not even realize.”