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MMI Graduate Kendall Sweet Shows the Power of Perseverance

Jan 21, 2022 ·
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Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) graduate Kendall Sweet has a thirst for knowledge that can’t be quenched. After graduating from the core Motorcycle Technology program in July 2021, he already talks about going back to school — it’s only a matter of time.

Kendall was able to overcome multiple challenges to attend MMI and finish his training. Help from his Admissions Representative and a strong will to succeed allowed him to accomplish his goals.

Keep reading to learn more about Kendall’s story and his hopes for the future!

Starting Classes and COVID-19

Kendall Sweet grew up in Louisiana and had motorcycles on his mind since he was young. He didn’t think about working on them for a living, however, until he saw an MMI ad on YouTube in 2018.

Seeing the MMI ad got Kendall thinking about going to school to learn how to maintain motorcycles, so he called for more information and got connected with Admissions Representative John Guetherman, who started helping Kendall through the process of enrolling.

Five months before starting classes, Kendall experienced a seizure, which is something he’s dealt with since he was 7. This particular case led to a shoulder injury, but despite the setback Kendall remained determined to start classes.

Kendall continued to have conversations with John, which eventually led to Kendall moving to Arizona to attend MMI Phoenix in March 2020. “I used Housing Services and (all) the resources I could. I highly recommend it to the next person,” he says of the experience.

While Kendall’s relocation to attend school went smoothly, the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard during the week that his program was set to start.

Kendall’s original start date was around March 23 or 24, but pandemic restrictions initially delayed it by two weeks. This turned into two months, and Kendall didn’t start until around June 1, he says.

Once classes did start, Kendall remembers being super nervous and kind of shy. After getting into it, he says, “I started to feel more comfortable and talk to other students. There are projects you can’t do by yourself and you’re always going to need help — communication is big.”

“I met a lot of people — people from all around, and they helped me feel like I knew what I was doing. I surprised myself,” he adds.

Working Despite the Circumstances

While COVID pushed back his start date and affected how much of Phoenix he could explore in his free time, Kendall kept working hard.

John kept in touch, and he recalls calling Kendall to check in. “I knew he was going to win. Why? Because I called him to see how he was doing, and not only did he say he had a job, but he also said, ‘Mr. John, I could go down the street right now and get four more jobs this week if I wanted to!’ ”6

Kendall was able to balance working and attending classes, all in the middle of the pandemic. Once some restrictions were lifted, he says, “I didn’t want to just stay in the house. I would go to school in the morning and work at nights, and then work on the weekends too.”

During a time when many students were contemplating riding out the pandemic and finishing school later, Kendall wanted to stick it out and finish his training. The strong relationship he had built with John helped keep him going, as did instructors throughout the program.

“I wasn’t stressed and felt at ease. All the resources helped and made me feel at home,” Kendall says of the experience.

Taking a Break and Finding His Way Back

Though Kendall kept working hard during his time at MMI, it wasn’t completely without struggle. Attending courses while holding down multiple jobs started to take a toll, and he decided to take a leave of absence in February 2021. He headed back home to Louisiana.

Also in Louisiana was Kendall’s young son. John recalls conversations with Kendall about this and expressing some concern, as he only needed a few weeks left of training to graduate.

After a short time off, Kendall called John and said he was ready to come back, but he wanted to finish his training at MMI’s Orlando campus.

John worked with Kendall to help get him situated in Florida, and the two were even able to meet in person. Kendall lived at an extended stay hotel and worked a job as he finished up his training.

The 42-week Motorcycle Technician Training program at MMI includes up to one or two manufacturer-specific classes, and Kendall had completed manufacturer training on Honda motorcycles while he was in Phoenix. He also started training with Suzuki, which he finished in Orlando.

On top of this, Kendall decided to augment his training by taking the three-week Performance and Drivability course, which ended up being his favorite class of all.

“I made a 93% overall in the course and (loved) the instructor, Mr. Duray. I highly recommend him as far as teaching — he was actually a chief on a racing crew,” Kendall says.

Kendall graduated from MMI Orlando on July 2, 2021. After celebrating his accomplishment, he headed back to Louisiana with an education and hands-on experience under his belt.

A Desire to Keep Learning

After moving back home, Kendall had to focus on healing his injured shoulder and scheduling a surgery, which has affected his ability to look for jobs in the industry.

“I know I can get jobs done, I just haven’t put my all into it yet. I know I have a surgery date coming up, and going into the motorcycle industry, it could be a hazard of me and the company I end up working for. I want to get my health together first,” he says.

Kendall is also considering furthering his education even more. Even though he feels his education at MMI prepared him for the industry, he wants “more of it,” he says.

“I have intentions of getting a job, but I feel like I want to give MMI another run … I was also looking at UTI’s programs, from Automotive to Welding. I want to come back and get more knowledge,” Kendall says.

While there were many sacrifices Kendall made to attend school in the first place, his desire to go back and learn more speaks volumes to the impact it had on his life. “You have to put work into it. Work hard and be patient. MMI is worth it — it is worth the sacrifices I had to make,” he says.

Pursue an Education in the Motorcycle Industry

Making the decision to attend MMI and stick with it through several struggles shows the kind of work ethic and determination Kendall has. This, along with his desire for knowledge, speaks well to the future that he intends to make for himself.

If you’re interested in training to become a motorcycle mechanic and building a foundation of knowledge that can be applied to the industry, the Motorcycle Technology program could be a great place to start, like it was for Kendall.

Not all journeys look the same, but you could graduate in less than a year7 from the core Motorcycle program. The program includes up to one or two manufacturer-specific classes with brands like Honda and Suzuki, as well as BMW, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Yamaha. There are also options for students who want to extend their training by taking additional OEM courses.

Connect with an Admissions Representative today to learn more and get your questions answered.

YOU COULD START YOUR EXCITING NEW CAREER AS A MECHANIC OR TECHNICIAN TODAY.
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1) MMI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.

6) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

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