A Dream Career Awaits
Student of the Week: Islen Garcia
“I was out of college for more than 10 years, so when I decided to come back and I jumped at the chance to join the automotive program. Now that I am close to finishing, I am looking at the Tesla program outside of STC, and once you finish with them, they offer you a job at one of their facilities so that is something that is very possible for me in the future.”
Real world experience combined with a natural ability for automotive repair and troubleshooting are paving the way for a bright future one day with one of the world’s premier auto manufacturers, according to South Texas College student Islen Garcia.
Initially working in an auto parts store, Islen opted to enter the Automotive Technology Program at South Texas College in January 2021. She now looks ahead to receiving an Automotive Technology Certificate this December and plans to continue at STC to complete her Automotive Technology Associate of Applied Science by summer 2022.
“I started working in parts about seven years ago and I at first I didn’t really know much about automotive (work) but as the years progressed I started liking it more and more,” Islen said. “I just wanted to progress in my education so I started thinking about what I could do to further my job and maybe even get a better job in the automotive industry.”
The Automotive Technology program at STC is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in the high technology automotive service industry.
While enrolled in the program, students gain knowledge in everything from automotive heating and air conditioning systems, electrical/electronic systems, fuel injection, to manual and automatic transmissions/transaxles, engine performance, brake systems, steering and suspension systems, and computerized automotive control systems.
Emphasis is placed on hands-on learning in the labs to develop diagnostic and troubleshooting skills and repair procedures. Graduates of the Automotive Technology program are typically placed in dealerships, independent garages and specialty automotive repair facilities and quick service shops.
Courses taken for completion of the Certificate Program can be applied toward completion of the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Automotive Technology.
For Islen, the plan is to enter the Tesla START Program after she graduates. START is a 16-week electric vehicle service-training program where students develop technical expertise and earn certifications through in-class theory, hands-on labs and self-paced learning.
“I was out of college for more than 10 years, so when I decided to come back and I jumped at the chance to join the automotive program,” Islen said. “Now that I am close to finishing, I am looking at the Tesla program outside of STC, and once you finish with them, they offer you a job at one of their facilities so that is something that is very possible for me in the future.”