A complete turnaround; Gateway grad embarks on civil engineering career
For much of high school, Logan Jeppesen wasn’t planning on going to college.
Even though he’d taken Gateway Technical College dual enrollment courses in high school and earned 10 credits, Logan was still unsure whether he would enroll in college after graduation.
That quickly changed, though. Logan’s high school teacher submitted his name for a Wisconsin Technical Excellence Scholarship — a full, three-year technical college scholarship — and he was selected to receive it.
When that happened, he decided to continue his college education at Gateway.
Initially unsure whether college was a good fit for him, Logan has become a strong advocate for Gateway and the benefits of a technical education.
“Gateway is where I learned to love learning,” says Logan. “I am who I am today because of the folks at Gateway.”
Logan earned two Civil Engineering degrees at Gateway, Highway Technology and Fresh Water Resources. He now uses skills gained through his degree every day in his chosen career field working at a local department of public works.
“I love the atmosphere at Gateway -- you build a connection with the instructors, the staff and the college,” says Jeppesen. “My instructors are basically family to me now.”
Jeppesen said Gateway prepared him well for his career. He had a position lined up before he even graduated.
“Gateway did a fantastic job of preparing me for my field -- the skills I learned at Gateway I can apply every day in my work. Getting familiar with the land survey equipment, the GPS systems, having that foundation in the basics really helped me,” says Logan.
“It helped me during the interview process, too. When I was asked about what technology I’ve used, what knowledge I have and when they started asking me questions about land surveying … I was confident. I was confident in my answers because of my training and how well I was prepared, and that was because of how I was taught at Gateway.”
Logan says he’s also attended other colleges but Gateway, by far, works the hardest to help its students succeed.
“At Gateway, they genuinely work hard to make sure you understand before you leave the classroom. I had a lot of one-on-one work with my instructors, and that was invaluable to me.”
Logan’s love of civil engineering began early in life. As a child, he pondered the world around him.
“As a kid, I was always wondering how things work. I like drafting, AutoCAD, stuff like that. I like the process, and that inspired me to ask even more questions on how things work.
“Engineering and civil engineering, they’re the science of how things work. I think I would have liked mechanical engineering, but civil engineering really seemed geared to me and what I like. I love the science of roadways and how curves and such are calculated. I love the chemistry and science of concrete. I love bridges and all that goes into building one. I realized this is where I want to go in life and this was the career for me.”
Jeppesen said he also wanted a career where he could be out and about, working outside for at least part of the day. “I won’t want to sit in an office -- I want to be outside, working.”
Logan says he’s happy he decided to come to Gateway, and he hinted he might return in the future.
“I really liked the camaraderie of Gateway, and I feel you get a great education. There are hard courses, but there are some that are easy, too. Gateway has a great mix of staff and students, too — a real diversity. You end up learning a lot from other students, too