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Erik Bakken

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What initially attracted you to Spartan College?

“I really wanted to go to a tech school and saw that there was a good outlook for jobs in the aeronautics industry.”

 

What skills did you want to learn?

“I wanted to learn how to work with my hands.”

 

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

“I feel like I learned a lot about the industry through the teachers and various employers coming to the campus.”

 

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

“Aerospace.”

 

Is that the industry you’re in now?

“Yes.”

 

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

“Ball Aerospace came to Spartan for a hiring event and I was interested after talking to the hiring manager and Supervisor.”

 

Was it through Spartan resources or some other source?

“Yes, I met the people through a career fair at Spartan”

 

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

“I am a Manufacturing Technician, and I am currently happy in my role.”

 

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?

“I would tell them to go to any hiring event that a company is putting on especially the ones on campus (pre-Covid). I don’t know how a lot of that is happening now with the restrictions.”

 

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

“They would definitely need to get in touch with someone at the company with that being a hiring manager or someone at the Spartan campus that would get in touch with them.”

 

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

“Yes, because they counted schooling as experienced and helped me stand out as an applicant.”

 

How important was Spartan in helping you get that role?

“I would not have know of this job opportunity if it wasn’t for Spartan.”

 

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?

“In my current job, I deal with a lot of adhesive and lay-up components, so that section of school helped me get ahead in my first months of employment.”

 

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)

“Most people I work with have experience in the aerospace industry already but a few co-workers also came from Spartan.”

 

Can you share an example of when those unique skills/training had a positive impact on your career?

“It was nice knowing I was not walking into a situation blind and knew what I was talking about because I had already been exposed to it.”

 

Do you think that this skill or experience played a significant role in getting hired and/or promoted?

“I believe it helped me get hired because I knew what I was talking about during the interview.”

 

Was your current employer familiar with Spartan College?

“Yes”

 

How did their familiarity with Spartan influence their decision to hire you?

“It was nice knowing a lot of alumni go and work at Ball.”

 

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.”

 

What industries/roles would you be interested in?

“I would like to work on heavy equipment if aerospace doesn’t work out.”

 

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

“Getting promoted in my current position and exceling at Ball.”

 

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

“Yes, there is a lot of potential growth at Ball.”

 

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

“I saw Spartan as a gateway to find a job I really enjoyed and show me what is out there for jobs I would fit well in.”

 

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

“As long as you make connections and apply yourself, a lot of employers will look highly to you and will be able to work places you didn’t think were possible.”

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