9 Reasons Instructors Do What They Do

UTI Profile Image Universal Technical Institute Nov 27, 2018 ·

One of the best things about an education from Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is the connection you can make with instructors. These are experts who have decades of combined experience in the field, who have burning passion for what they teach, and who want to share their knowledge with the next generation of those searching for tech schools. Here are nine reasons why our instructors love teaching students.

1) Teachers Help Students Make Their Mark on the World

When you work with your hands on products that are used around the globe, you have the opportunity to see a lasting impact.

“When I was a welder in the field, the most exciting thing was that I could walk through the streets of Pittsburgh and see what I did for the community, and it was awesome,” says UTI welding instructor James Young. “This is something for students to be able to grow in and become their own person...This is a trade that goes coast to coast, and I'm a sure proven fact of that.”

2) Seeing Learning in Action Is Exciting

Anthony Mondi, automotive technology program instructor at UTI, says seeing people who had no prior experience with auto tech training progress in class is rewarding.

“If [students have] never heard of anything I'm talking about, and I get them to understand it, the look on their face, the proud moment [is worth it,]” Mondi says. “To see the progression of their knowledge base and them growing as people is incredible.”

3) ‘Aha’ Moments Happen Every Day

David Watkins, automotive technician program instructor at UTI, says he constantly sees students having ‘aha’ moments in his engine class.

“To see a student start to peel back the layers of this engine, and all of a sudden you see the lightbulbs going off, they're saying, 'Oh my gosh, this is how that works,' it's nice to see that unfold,” Watkins says. “It's satisfying for the student, and at the same time, it's satisfying for the instructor.”

4) It's Awesome to Work on Your Passion

Miguel Carrillo, welding program instructor at UTI, says his own career in welding has enabled him to take care of his family, which has meant a lot to him. He hopes to pass on the potential of career success to his students.

“I can actually see how their faces light up when I help them, and they're very content with themselves with the weld they've done,” Carrillo says. “There are so many wonderful things you can see and touch, and different metals... I love this field. It's a great field to be in.”

5) The Work Never Gets Old

Frank Cutajar, collision repair and refinish program instructor, says he gets to work on a career he loves whenever he's with students.

“Even at my age, I still love doing it,” Cutajar says. “I drive that home constantly. If you have a passion for cars, and you have a passion for making things look gorgeous and beautiful, this is perfect for you.” 

6) Sharing Knowledge Is Meaningful

Ted Foos has been an automotive program instructor at UTI for five years and says he stalked the school until there was an opening so he could apply.

“I always liked helping people,” Foos says. “I always liked teaching people new things. When you have 20 years of experience doing something, you've got a lot of knowledge. I found it really rewarding to share it, so I knew I wanted to get into that.”

7) Teachers Remember How Much Their Instructors Meant to Them

The UTI instructors of today still carry with them the impact their own instructors had, says UTI graduate and automotive program instructor Sean Gagnon. They can help give back to others who have a goal to become automotive tech.

“I remember being 10, 11 years in the field, thinking back to instructors I had when I was a student,” Gagnon says. “I wanted to be on the other side of that, giving back, putting my stamp on the new generation of technicians...once I started teaching more and more students and interacting with them in the lab, it's really one of the greatest jobs I could ever have.”

8) Teaching Is a Gift That Keeps on Giving

Talking about what teaching means makes UTI automotive program instructor John Galambos a little teary-eyed. He says being able to share what he loved about being a technician – the blend of using your brain and your hands to fix problems – is meaningful. When students question is automotive technician a good career, he can use his experience to guide their path forward.

“Being able to pass on information that you've learned from the school of hard knocks and the mistakes you've made, and being able to couple that with the curriculum we have at UTI and give that as a gift to our students, it's hard to put that into words,” Galambos says.

9) Seeing Students' Confidence Grow Is Rewarding

Jimmy McMillan, motorcycle program instructor at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), says he felt pressure from his family to go to medical school but chose to attend MMI instead. When he graduated top of his class, his family was proud and saw the value in his education. He wants to help other students follow their dreams, too.

“If I can do it, anybody can do it,” McMillan says. “Stick with it and keep your attitude in the right spot, and you'll get there, too. I've had students that I thought weren't cut out for it really being the best students out there. A lot of time it didn't have to do with technical background. It had to do with attitude. It had to do with confidence. The process to get to that point is absolutely why I keep doing this job.”

Instructors at  UTI,  MMI, NASCAR Technical Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute are really unlike any you'll find anywhere else. Get to know all our instructors here.

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