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Knowledge is power – and I’ve gained that power

Student says training gives her career opportunities, adds value to her at current job

Jennifer Perez - Electromechanical Maintenance Technician Student

Jenny Perez knew she wanted more.

She loved her job in an automated machinery department, but wanted to increase her skills and extend her career possibilities. She wanted structured training to help her accomplish her goal.

Jenny turned to Gateway’s Electromechanical Maintenance Technician program – and has gained the confidence and training to flourish in a career she enjoys greatly.

“Gateway has allowed me to become more than just another technician, more than just another person turning a wrench. I know I am a trained automated maintenance technician. It’s allowed me to be a stronger woman, a more independent woman.

“I don’t have to ask someone how to do something – I know how to do it. Knowledge is power and that’s what Gateway has given me. I have the power to do anything I want to do.”

Jenny attended a college open house, talked to a program instructor – and the rest is history. In fact, Jenny says it was the information and guidance she received from Gateway instructors which have helped her succeed.

“My program adviser has gone above and beyond anything I have experienced before. If I need help or support, he backs me up. The answer to anything I ask is ‘yes.’ He holds me accountable. He provides support not just for papers or paperwork or policies or the class – he helps me to know what I need to succeed.”

Jenny says the skills have, indeed, helped her succeed at her workplace.

“I can use the skills I learn at Gateway in my job every day,” she says. “Gateway is allowing me to take steps to expand on the knowledge I have. I am becoming a better technician and a better asset to my company.”

“Knowledge is power and that’s what Gateway has given me. I have the power to do anything I want to do.””

- Jenny Perez

Jenny likes the hands-on training Gateway provides its students.

“None of my classes have been theory-based. Everything I am doing is hands-on, I learn by doing at every single class,” says Jenny. “The hands-on learning is what I looked for. Other colleges don’t have that – it’s all theory. I have friends who are at the four-year colleges, and they say they are learning out of a book or slides. I need that hands-on learning, and that’s what Gateway gives me.”

Jenny says she also chose Gateway because it was close to her home.

“It’s a close-knit community. It was easier to get to Gateway, but I really wanted that close-knit class atmosphere, one where the instructors would know me.”

Instructors do know their students, and provide that one-on-one teaching which helps students succeed. But Jenny says it doesn’t end there – other college staff members have stepped up to help when needed.

“Everyone at Gateway is focused on helping the students. Everyone is approachable. One time, I sent out an e-mail to the dean of my program to ask a few questions, and he sent a personal e-mail right back to me. He didn’t ask someone else to do it – he did it himself.

“To me, that’s going above and beyond. I’ve been enrolled at other colleges, and never had that personal experience.”