April Wadlington says Gateway Technical College helped her to land a job in an industry she's had on her mind since high school.
Wadlington graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering Technology with a Public Works emphasis. She landed a job in computer-aided design (CAD) at a Milwaukee engineering firm where she’s also building on her training in road and municipal design work.
"I wanted to go back to college, but a four-year university seemed intimidating," says Wadlington. "I thought by going to Gateway, I would have better access to instructors if I needed direction. Instructors seemed more friendly and willing to help out."
She says her initial thoughts proved to be true.
"It has become almost more of a personal experience than an educational experience," she says. "The instructors are very warm, they are almost like family. They will do anything to help you succeed."
Wadlington says while she chose Gateway, the catalyst for doing so was her daughter. She was working in the retail industry and says she believed she needed to upgrade her earning potential.
"I was pregnant, living with my parents, no car, I really had nothing," she says. "I knew I would have someone leaning and depending on me – and I knew at that point, I could do it."
Wadlington initially enrolled at Gateway in its nursing program before deciding it wasn’t the career for her. Instead, she pursued one which held her interest throughout high school – engineering.
"In high school, I wanted to be an architect," she says. "I liked art, but wanted to do something on a bigger scale than graphic design –engineering."
Wadlington says she felt comfortable with engineering even with its lack of women in the industry.
"I think a lot of women are intimidated because they think it’s a man’s field," she says. "I feel that I can do as well, and I received the same training as they did, and maybe more at Gateway. The training at Gateway gives you that real, hands-on experience that will help you in your career."