As he begins his final semester at Bay College, Bay undergraduate Jeffrey Condrey is working hard to earn his Automotive Master Technician certificate. Jeffrey’s field of study was chosen with his family’s history in mind.
Jeffrey began studying at Bay a few years ago.
“I started (in) the fall semester of 2019,” he said.
That spring, he had graduated from high school in Norway, MI. According to Jeffrey, Bay College West is actually closer to Norway than the Escanaba campus is – that campus, like the town of Norway, is based in Dickinson County while the Escanaba campus is located in Delta County. Jeffrey made up his mind to go to school in Escanaba because Bay College West did not offer the program he was looking for.
“I didn’t have much choice for (community) college automotive programs,” he said.
Based on what he had learned during college fairs at his high school, Jeffery was also not interested in studying to become an automotive technician at a “big university.”
“This one just seemed easiest to do,” he said of Bay College.
Over the past few years, Jeffrey said his experience at Bay has been positive on the whole.
“I’m learning a lot here, and it’s been super easy for me,” he said.
Specifically, his teachers in the automotive program have been a highlight of his time at Bay.
“They’re fun to talk to,” Jeffrey said.
Jeffrey has been interested in going into the automotive field for years. His grandfather was an automotive enthusiast who worked for Chrysler.
“My grandpa was into cars a lot,” he said.
Eventually, Jeffrey’s grandfather decided to pass on his knowledge about the automotive industry to his grandson – a decision that had a major impact on Jeffrey’s life.
“He took me under his wing and started teaching me about cars,” he said.
After his grandfather’s passing, Jeffrey decided to follow in his footsteps.
“I promised myself I would go into the automotive world,” he said.
During his studies at Bay, Jeffery said he has gained a great deal of knowledge about being an automotive technician that will be valuable in his future work. As just one example, he said he took an engine apart (namely, a four-cylinder engine from a Chevrolet Cruze) for the first time while in class.
“Taking one apart was actually pretty big for me,” he said.
Jeffrey is aiming to earn his automotive master technician certificate from Bay at the end of the winter 2021 semester. The semester officially began on Monday, January 11 and will continue through late April.
Bay students who graduate with an automotive master technician certificate are prepared to enter a number of jobs in the field – among other options, they can become dealership service technicians, assistants, or parts department managers. They can also find work in automotive manufacturing.
“Hopefully, I can get into one of the dealerships here,” Jeffrey said.
However, working in the local area is not Jeffrey’s long-term plan. Eventually, he hopes to move out of Michigan and find work at a family-owned shop elsewhere.
“Family-owned businesses – I feel like they’re more laid-back,” he said.