When I was approached to write a brief article on the impact Fulton-Montgomery Community College had on me I was happy to, since I have always enjoyed sharing all of the wonderful experiences and moments I had while attending the college.
It’s an easy topic since I can remember so many great people that I had the pleasure to learn from and learn with; however, upon further instruction, I realized this article would need to be more focused on how FMCC helped me get to where I am today.
Looking back on this adventure that started almost 10 years ago it certainly seems nothing short of a miracle. At that time, I had no direction in my life and had worked numerous entry level jobs only to continually find myself unfulfilled, aware that there was something better for me out there, yet no idea on where to find it.
I can still picture the 3-fold pamphlet I read at the office explaining the need for electrical engineering technicians. I had no idea what an EET was, zero confidence that I would be good at it, but I was 100 percent positive I needed a job.
I applied for the program and it wasn’t long before I was swept up into a tight group of students lead by phenomenal and caring professors. This was a totally new and wonderful experience for me. This school was something special. This was a team that worked together to build everyone up so that we would all succeed.
FMCC really was the best foundation to starting my career that I could have asked for. Between the degree itself, the teamwork and comraderies with my classmates, and the structured education program that properly balanced theory and practical, FMCC launched me into the professional world with all the tools I needed to get started and succeed.
The associate degree was the beginning for me and has led me on to receive my bachelor’s degree, earn a black-belt in Lean Six Sigma, and begin my studies for my master’s degree. The team atmosphere helped me develop into both an effective team member and leader on the many different teams I have had the pleasure to be a part whether I was working in the R&D lab, as a continuous improvement specialist, or as a process improvement engineer.
The mindset that I learned at FM has quite possibly been the most beneficial of what I learned at FMCC.
“How do I apply what I am learning to a real-life scenario”. This mindset in not only extremely beneficial as an engineering practitioner but has also helped me become a much more effective student by always identifying the connection between theory and practical.
Because of FMCC I went from being someone with no direction to someone with a plan; and perhaps more importantly, I became someone that now had the skills and mindset to navigate the many challenges that life intends to put in one’s way.
Jeffrey Reed is an FM alumni and works as a Senior Process Engineer at SRCTec, LLC in Syracuse, New York.