|Hometown: Iron Mountain, MI|
Bay College freshman Jacob Lewis is pursuing a mechatronics certificate right now, but finding a career in this field is not his ultimate goal. Instead, he aims to use these credentials as a way to support himself while pursuing his true dream job.
Though he described himself as a “military child” who moved around quite a bit in childhood, Jacob still calls Iron Mountain his hometown. He graduated from Iron Mountain High School at the end of the 2021-22 school year; a few months later, he started taking classes at Bay during the fall 2022 semester.
According to Jacob, he had already developed a connection to Bay before graduating from high school thanks to the college’s dual enrollment program.
“It has helped me by allowing me to explore mechatronics – a field I was very interested in early on – so I started going for it during my junior year,” he said.
Jacob said his interest in engineering dates back to his childhood.
“When I was younger, I had watched the Iron Man movies and loved the technology in them. I wanted, in a way, to become a superhero through that,” he said.
While his plan to earn a mechatronics certificate at Bay has not changed, his interests have shifted since he first got involved with the college.
“I found something that I would rather do as a career, but I still think it’s a good idea to continue on this pathway so I have a backup if my other plan doesn’t go through,” Jacob said.
Jacob’s other career pathway of choice is animation, which he started getting interested in while living in Louisiana. However, he does not plan to take any art classes at Bay.
“I’ve decided to focus more on getting my certificate for mechatronics and getting my prerequisites out of the way here,” Jacob said.
That said, Jacob has found a lot to like about his time as a Bay College student – most notably, the fact that he feels like an active participant in his own education.
“I enjoy the experience more than I enjoyed high school because it feels more collaborative than what I’ve gone through in the past,” he said.
Jacob said he hopes to earn his mechatronics certificate from Bay in 2023. After taking care of that, he hopes to get an animation degree elsewhere. Though he has not yet decided where he wants to pursue this degree, he is strongly considering Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids or the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, WI.
In addition, Jacob said he has a plan in place for after he eventually earns his degree in animation.
“I hope to find a job somewhere in the field, possibly somewhere like Disney or Cartoon Network,” he said.
Along with that, Jacob will “most likely” put the credentials he is working towards now to good use. While searching for work in the animation industry, he hopes to find a mechatronics job as a form of financial support.