12:26 PM

Doors opened at STC

Student of the Week: Jose Daniel Medrano

"There’s a lot of possibilities for welding, especially since there’s a high demand for it. I know there are companies constantly asking for welders.”

STC Student of the Week Jose Daniel Medrano

For South Texas College Welding student Jose Daniel Medrano, the Technology campus has provided him both new skills and new life experiences.

Medrano, 20, will graduate next week with an associate degree in Welding Technology.

When the McAllen native was nearing high school graduation, he said he was still undecided about where to go for college or what to study. So, he turned to his older brother, a recent STC graduate, for advice.

“Since I had done welding as a junior in high school, I already had a little experience and enjoyed getting to know all the ups and downs of welding,” Medrano said. “I was talking with my older brother about it and he said, ‘Actually, STC offers a welding program if that’s what you want to do.’”

Medrano said he wasn’t familiar with the programs at STC, but once he researched the Technology campus, he knew it was the place to begin his higher educational journey.

“I'm very nerdy and very studious,” Medrano said. “I like learning new knowledge, but I also like being hands-on. Growing up I was always outside and liked working with my hands. That’s why I joined welding in high school. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it led me here.”

The Welding Technology Program prepares students for entry-level positions in welding by giving students knowledge in lay-out and fabrication, as well as blueprint reading, safety and materials science.

Graduate candidates are eligible to take a welding performance qualification test in accordance with American Welding Society (AWS) standards, as used in industry.

Medrano said he enjoys learning about the different processes of welding and looks forward to finding a career in the field.

“Each process offers its own jobs,” Medrano said. “I know here in the Rio Grande Valley, there's SpaceX with Elon Musk, NASA and all these other huge companies that you could potentially work for. Or you can work for a pipeline company or even work in a shop. It depends on where the individual would like to go. There’s a lot of possibilities for welding, especially since there’s a high demand for it. I know there are companies constantly asking for welders.”

Along with his studies, Medrano said the Student Government Association and Student Leadership Academy caught his attention and he decided to join the organizations.

As an SGA senator, Medrano was selected to represent the Technology campus on a trip to Austin and a trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Student Advocacy Conference.

“It was an amazing trip,” Medrano said. “Washington, D.C. was so interesting, completely different from what I’m used to. I'm not used to being in a big city and seeing so many people walk around. The constant cars coming and going was eye-opening. It was a lot of fun.”

Medrano said he was honored to be selected to represent the Technology campus and appreciates the impact SGA makes on the student life experience.

“It provides a connection with the students,” Medrano said. “If students are having an issue with something, we listen to them voice their opinions. It's also a way for faculty and students to interact with each other. Our advisor has connections and knows contacts who can help us.”

Medrano said he especially enjoyed a recent Student Leadership Academy retreat at Camp Rio in Brownsville.

“I had never been to a camp before,” Medrano said. “I've been outdoors, but not in a camp setting, so it was all new to me. Participating in the outdoor activities like canoeing and archery was a new, fun experience.”

Medrano said he would encourage prospective students to consider the affordability and accessibility of programs at STC.

“I would tell future students to explore all the degrees that STC offers,” he said. “I remember when I was looking, there were so many different options, and I didn't realize the variety STC has. Being a first-generation student, I’ve always wanted to expand my education. For me, going to college was an opportunity to pursue a good career and make a good living.”

With graduation in sight, Medrano’s anticipating his next step into the workforce, but is also thinking about furthering his education.

“I’m considering staying with STC and going for another degree or certificate,” Medrano said. “Maybe HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), Automotive Technology or even Cybersecurity. I just love learning and want to get all my education while I can.”